Mambo states big ambition
‘I came here to win promotion’
HILLINGDON Borough’s bid to return to the Spartan South Midlands Premier at the first time of asking will be spearheaded by a player with a Ryman Premier winners’ medal, writes Tim Street.
New Boro boss Ian Crane has snapped up midfielder Reece Grant, who was with Wealdstone when they won the Ryman Premier, and who also spent time on loan at Crane’s former club, AFC Hayes.
He is one of many former Hayes players who have followed their old boss from Farm Park to Breakspear Road, including Jerome Ecclestone, Paul Underwood, Lee McManus and Charlie Crane.
The manager said: “Most of these lads have played in the Southern League for AFC Hayes and have Spartan South Midlands Premier experience, so we have a good spine.”
However, Crane warned Division One will be no walk in the park for relegated Boro, and it may take some adjusting to their new surroundings.
He added: “We will do as well as we can, but we may need a period of consolidation, especially as this level YADO Mambo has revealed Hayes & Yeading United manager Tristan Lewis’ powers of persuasion were the key to him pitching up at the Conference South Club.
Lewis snapped up the centrehalf as a replacement for departing skipper Dean Inman after the fans’ favourite moved across to play for landlords Maidenhead.
Having started his career at Charlton, big defender Mambo enjoyed successful loan stints at the likes of AFC Wimbledon and Shrewsbury before being released by the Addicks.
He joined Ebbsfleet in 2014, where he first came to the attention of Lewis, and the United manager believes he has signed a player with huge potential.
And Mambo, who came through the academy at Charlton Athletic, said that the decision to join United was a no-brainer after speaking with the manager.
“Tristan really sold the club to me,” said the defender. “I really like the direction that the club is going in, and I want to be a part of that.”
United were embroiled in a relegation scrap for most of last will be new for both the club and for me.”
Meanwhile, Harefield United, who Boro left behind in the Premier Division, have appointed Jason Shaw as manager to replace Phil Granville, who has left for Hanwell Town. Former Harefield U18s manager Steve Green will be Shaw’s assistant.
United chairman Ray Green said: season but Mambo has set the club’s sights higher this term.
“I didn’t come here for another relegation battle. I came here to win promotion. I think we have the right personnel in the squad to kick on. And if we don’t get that then we’ll definitely aim for the play-offs.”
Taking possession of the armband from Inman brings added pressures but Mambo, who will be playing alongside the returning Ben Gerring, believes United’s new central defensive pairing can soon win over the crowd.
“There’s going to be pressure replacing Dean,” he added. “He was the fans’ favourite and he scored goals, so hopefully I can come in do a good job and hopefully be a fans’ favourite myself.
“Ben’s a good lad. He’s a very funny guy and we get on really well, so hopefully we can reflect that on the pitch. All the lads really get along with each other so that will definitely help the team spirit going into the new season.”
United, who kick off their new campaign at home to Whitehawk on Saturday, this week confirmed the signings of former Gillingham defender Devante McKain, St Albans midfielder Howard Hall and Northwood striker Ismael Ehui. “We will be starting from scratch as most of the players followed Phil to Hanwell and only two remained, but it happens, and we bear no grudges.
“It’s a shame though, as another year might have seen Phil make the Southern League with us.
“It will be a young side this year but we have a core of players who can hold their own.”
n PEDIGREE: Former Addicks stopper Yado Mambo has league experience