‘We’re com­ing home’

FOOT­BALL United are rel­e­gated but re­lieved at ground re­turn

Harefield Gazette - - CLASSIFIED - By Matt Lewis matt.lewis@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

HAYES & YEAD­ING chair­man Tony O’Driscoll hopes the dis­ap­point­ment of rel­e­ga­tion will be off­set by the news that they should be re­turn­ing home this sum­mer.

United have led a no­madic ex­is­tence for the past five years af­ter mov­ing out of Church Road fol­low­ing its sale to Bar­ratt Homes in 2011.

The club be­gan a ground­share with Wok­ing FC and re­mained in res­i­dence at King­field be­fore spend­ing the last cou­ple of sea­sons at Maiden­head’s York Road.

Crip­pling fees of around £1,200 a game to play in Berk­shire put the club at break­ing point and Hayes & Yead­ing were forced to seek a £300,000 ex­ter­nal in­vest­ment.

With that fund­ing se­cured in Jan­uary of this year, build­ing work on the site of their new home, in Bea­cons­field Road, has pro­gressed along nicely in re­cent months.

Ground grad­ing in­spec­tors and the Foot­ball Con­fer­ence vis­ited the site last month and in­di­cated that United should be on course to ful­fill fix­tures in the bor­ough next sea­son.

It is a wel­come re­lief for O’Driscoll af­ter a dis­as­trous sea­son on the field as Hayes & Yead­ing were rel­e­gated from the Na­tional League South un­der Garry Hay­lock.

“We’ve been told by the Con­fer­ence that we’re be­ing rec­om­mended to go back home for Au­gust,” O’Driscoll said.

“For­tu­nately enough, the per­son who does the ground grad­ing also does the ground grad­ing for the Ry­man League.

“What­ever hap­pens, it looks like we’ll be back there for next sea­son.

“Yes, we’ll be in a dif­fer­ent divi­sion, but this is the start of build­ing the club up again.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done and he said he may come back in June to take an­other look.

“He told us to keep our foot on the gas and that’s what we’re do­ing.

“I first met the graders about nine months ago so they can see how much work has been done since then.

“The fans should be pleased know­ing we’ll be back there. I’ve told the fans to come down and have a look.”

Else­where, North­wood have one last game to look for­ward to this week­end be­fore they can hang up their boots for the sum­mer.

They travel to Uxbridge FC’s Hon­ey­croft Sta­dium to take on En­field Town in the Mid­dle­sex Se­nior Cup fi­nal on Satur­day as they look to sign off on a high. writes Sam Meade.

The 18-year-old (pic­tured) is pre­par­ing to visit some of the coun­try’s best-known and most chal­leng­ing race tracks.

He has al­ready ticked Sil­ver­stone off the list af­ter fin­ish­ing sec­ond in class in his f250 Su­perKart in round one.

Gray said: “It was an amaz­ing feel­ing rac­ing at Sil­ver­stone, the at­mos­phere up there is like noth­ing else. The smell of rub­ber and fuel just makes me feel at home.

“Just com­ing out of short cir­cuit rac­ing, Sil­ver­stone was a track I dreamed of rac­ing at and now I fi­nally have!”

The jour­ney con­tin­ues at Snet­ter­ton race track, in Nor­folk, on May 7 and 8 be­fore he heads to Don­ing­ton on the first week­end of June.

Gray’s re­cent per­for­mances have left plenty of room for op­ti­mism and a fu­ture in the sport looks a real pos­si­bil­ity.

His re­cent ac­co­lades in­clude the driver of the year award for 2015 in his class at Hod­des­don Kart Club, based at Rye House.

The club has a proven track record of spot­ting young tal­ent, with three time Formula One world cham­pion Lewis Hamil­ton start­ing his rac­ing days at the Hert­ford­shire cir­cuit.

Gray is cur­rently study­ing with the Mo­tor Sports As­so­ci­a­tion at Lough­bor­ough Col­lege on an AASE course.

He was among 25 stu­dents who were cho­sen from well over 1,000 ap­pli­cants. HILLING­DON AC run­ner Adam Ire­land is find­ing his feet thanks to the help of coach Ste­van Do­kic.

The pair have been work­ing to­gether for 11 months and Ire­land is start to reap the ben­e­fits of his ef­forts.

He fin­ished a re­spectable 12th in a re­cent mini marathon hav­ing qual­i­fied through an event at Minet Park.

Else­where, Hilling­don’s run­ners worked up a sweat at the Lon­don Marathon with eight cross­ing the line.

Paul Lep­pard was the first man to fin­ish with a time of 2:57:01, while Deb­bie Brown led the way for the ladies in 3:43:50.

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