Building a club for the future
NEW Hayes & Yeading manager Mickey Lewis is preparing for his first league game in charge this weekend and has vowed to build a club and not just a team.
Lewis has experience of coaching from his time at Oxford United but is undertaking his first top job with United as they look to reclaim a place in the National League South.
His first challenge begins on Saturday at Frome Town as the Southern League season kicks-off.
United’s ambitions of creating more than just a team took another leap forward on Friday as they took to the field at their new ground for the first time.
The SkyEx Community Stadium played host to Hendon as Hayes & Yeading’s first game back in the borough in five years ended in a 2-0 defeat to the Greens.
But is a major obstacle over- come for Lewis and chairman Tony O’Driscoll as they now look forward rather than backwards at Beaconsfield Road.
Lewis said: “We want to build a club, not just a team, and I feel I’ve got good experience.
“I’m not stupid enough to think I can do this on my own, but I’ve got good people around me and that will help.
“People say you’ve been in the Football League and now you’re joining a club that’s been relegated – but that doesn’t matter to me – it’s about becoming a manager.
“It’s more about the club than what league they are in for me. The club has a good chance to build something now.
“Nobody at the club is expecting things to turn around overnight. We’re obviously going to try and win every game but it’s a task to build a football club.
“We hope that the new ground will help to attract players. People only need to come down to see the training facilities and they’ll be impressed.
“We hope that is a bit of a selling point and we think we’ve got good staff here too.”
Meanwhile, after finishing 15th last season, Uxbridge will go up against AFC Dunstable at Honeycroft on Saturday, followed by Fleet Town away three days later as the Southern League Division One Central gets underway.
Their rivals Northwood, who finished seventh last season, will play Ashford Town on Saturday to kickstart their season before taking on Egham Town away as they strive for another solid showing.
AFC Hayes opened their campaign in the Combined Counties Premier Division at Farm Park taking on CB Hounslow United olast night with another meeting the following week against Bedfont & Feltham.
Hillingdon Borough and Harefield United will also be looking to get off to a positive start in the Spartan South Midlands Division One.
Boro come face to face with Codicote, while the Hares will be up against Northampton On Chenecks.
n READY FOR ACTION: Jack Mills leaps out of the tunnel before kick off Photos by John Patrick Fletcher n LOOKING GRAND: The main stand at Hayes & Yeading’s SkyEx Community Stadium