‘I’d love to be captain again’
Ferrell not afraid of injury ‘curse’ on H&Y’s skippers
United have lost three captains in as many games this season following injuries to Yado Mambo, Adam Everitt and Ben Gerring – and are onto their fourth already.
By coincidence, whoever was selected to wear the armband at Maidenhead last night (Tuesday) would have shaken hands with another former Hayes skipper, Dean Inman, who moved to the Magpies this summer.
Ferrell said: “It may seem like it’s cursed, but nobody is avoiding the armband. I would love to wear it. I’ve been skipper before at Hampton & Richmond Borough, Farnborough and Staines Town, and even here a few times.
“Losing Ben on Saturday was a blow as he has been superb and was forming a good partnership with Devante (McKain). Elliot Benyon went off injured too, which will be another blow as we will miss his work rate up front, a lot of which goes unnoticed.
“But at the same time, Ismael Ehui (who had scored three in as many games before Tuesday night) has been fantastic and will hopefully hit the 20-goal mark. He looks hungry to succeed, which is the mentality we have this year.
“A few of us have been involved in fighting relegation for the past few years, and nobody is interested in doing that again – we want to be fighting at the right end of the table.
“We’ve got a good mix of youth and experience this year, and everyone has played at least one season at the level above, whereas last year we mainly had people coming out of academies.
“There have been a lot of new faces coming in since last season though, so it will take some time for us to gel, but we have to do it as soon as possible.”
United followed last Tuesday’s impressive 2-0 win at Truro City, in which Ehui netted twice, with a harsh 4-0 hammering at Chelmsford City on Saturday. They travel to Maidstone United this Saturday. TONY Chouless believes he can get Jon-Jo Bates’ wayward career back on the right track at Uxbridge, writes Tim Street.
It was only four years ago, while at Bedfont Town, that Bates (pictured) landed his big break after being snapped up by Football League side Dagenham & Redbridge.
He was, however, released by the Daggers afterft an unhappyh stay at Victoria Road and has since drifted around the non-league circuit with Harrow Borough, Hampton & Richmond Borough, Northwood, Burnham and Beaconsfield SYCOB.
But the striker has now settled at Uxbridge, where manager Choules is determined to tap into the talent which earned Bates his big move not so long ago.
He said: “I’m one of JJ’s biggest supporters. He has got a lot to offer but has spent the last two years in the wilderness. He’s been brilliant during pre-season, and if he gets his head down he could be a top player again.”
Another recent arrival at Uxbridge is fellow front-man Zak Joseph, who has played alongside Bates at Beaconsfield and Burnham, and who is the son of former Brentford and Wimbledon goal machine Francis Joseph.
Choules added: “I used to play at Hillingdon Borough with his dad, and Zak has definitely inherited his talent.”
Joseph earned Uxbridge a 1-1 draw at another of his former sides, North Greenford United, with a second half equaliser on Saturday. This follows last Tuesday’s stalemate at Godalming, in which Uxbridge were 2-0 up after nine minutes but ended up drawing 2-2.
They are fifth in the Southern One Central, but the early leaders, with three wins out of three, are Northwood. Max Hastings scored the only goal of the game at North Greenford last Tuesday, before goals from Michael Murray and George Nicholas earned a 2-1 win at Royston on Saturday.
Northwood were due to host Petersfield Town last night, while Uxbridge welcomed Chalfont St Peter.
n PROMOTION FIGHT: Lewis Ferrell is hoping to battle it out at the right end of the table this year