‘We’re coming home’
FOOTBALL United are relegated but relieved at ground return
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.