Football Focus Issue 75 - Page 76

Hurst Green FOLLOW US ONLINE TWITTER.COM/FOOTYFOCUSMAG the great coaching and training sessions put on by our 1st Team Manager (Tom Bartlett) and a fantastic atmosphere off the pitch; it really does make it all worthwhile. There is still noting better at 5pm on a Saturday and getting those 3 points, all that week’s work by everyone behind the scenes makes you realise what it’s all about! ET: The mood is good. Both first and reserve teams have had a good start to the season. We have had some issues regarding Step 7 compliance, but these appear to have now resolved positively, so we are looking forward to a successful campaign, and keep our fingers crossed that we will be in the mix for promotion come April. FF: How would you say the start to the season has gone for the club? SH: So far so good! Saying that, we’re doing the best we’ve ever done at this level. This is a complete credit to the Managers and players; their drive and determination really shows through. ET: As well as could be expected. Apart from a disappointing loss in the County Cup, our league form has been great. The first team were divisional team of the month for September – of course, it’s Sod’s Law that we then lose the next game! FF: What do you think has been behind your successful start to the campaign? SH: The new management team have been great, all lads that know the club and know the history, so they have been tremendous in their efforts. Alongside some fresh faces, there has also been a couple of old heads that are helping out 76 Issue 75 the younger players in the teams. ET: We have had a complete overhaul of the management team. The previous managers did great jobs but every now and then it helps to bring in “new” blood and new ideas. Though when I say new, all those involved have been involved with the club for a number of years. We prefer to keep things as in-house as much as we can! FF: What are your plans for the rest of the campaign? SH: We have to keep the momentum going now, and fingers crossed the weather won’t impact us too much. When you’re on a run of form, you just want to keep playing. Our ultimate aim is promotion, but it would be nice to get a cheeky cup under our belts. Both teams are doing really well and all the players know that we are one club here and not two separate teams. ET: To keep winning, and for both teams to finish as high in their respective divisions as possible. Ideally, we would like to see the first team promoted to the Premier Division of the West Lancs League. FF: Would you consider yours to be a community club? SH: Very much so. This is a tiny village but a very supportive one. In my youth, and when I played, both first and reserve teams were predominantly made up of lads from the village. However, as we have got older, and the village demographic has changed, we have had to spread our net wider. However, every single player is not just a part of the football club, but a part of the village too. FF: What do you believe could be some of the biggest challenges the club may face in the next five years? SH: I guess the same with any non-professional clubs from Grassroots upwards. Player retention and recruitment, particularly for a small club such as ours, is always a cause for a headache. It seems to me that kids lose interest when they hit their late teens and prefer other hobbies to playing football. We lived for football at the weekend, and nothing [H[Yš[\\K\H\H\[ܙB[\\[[]Y[\HۙB]ٝ[^\HHX\ۘK\HB[[Y8&YZH\\Y[HYܙ[x&HB]\HHX[X][ۜ܈B^]HYX\”[[ۈHYBۜY][ۋ\XY\\H[ZY\]\[ۈ]\[[\ݙHBX[\X\K\H[Z]YKB[[ZH][X[š[[܈[\\Y[&\[ š[ܙX\HHXXوHX[[\B]]\K