HAILSHAM TOWN boss Kenny McCreadie has vowed to stay in charge of the Beaconsfield outfit next season, despite the club’s belated relegation to Division Two of the County League this week, writes Tom Biggs.
The Stringers, along with Wick, failed to comply with ground improvements by the March 31 deadline and have subsequently been relegated by County League officials.
But despite the drop, McCreadie has confirmed he will remain as first team manager, unlike Wick boss Gary Block who resigned immediately after the decision was announced.
McCreadie, who guided Hailsham to a 16th placed finish, said: “I have decided to stay in charge next season. Football is a funny old game and someone has to do it.
“It is still quite a shock at the moment, but we will do as well as we can next year. We will still be in the FA Cup and the FA Vase and will just have to bounce back at the first attempt.”
The club finished 15 points above the drop, but failed to add 100 seats to their ground, which would have cost around £25,000 and were therefore relegated. Club chairman Mervyn Walker was understandably disappointed, but admits the club were unable to find the money before March.
He said: “We all knew about the request, but we didn’t have the time or money ready by March. We will be doing the work over the summer to be ready for next season and we are all hopeful we can bounce back straight away.”
The chairman’s optimism is shared by McCreadie, although the manager admits that for this to happen, he needs to keep hold of his current crop of players.
“I hope we can come back up straight away,” he said. “To give us the best chance possible we need to try and hold onto the current players. I haven’t spoken to them yet, but I will see all of them at the club’s annual presentation night and speak to them about next season.”
McCreadie will not bear a grudge against the decision, but is disappointed that Hailsham have been relegated while Sidley, Rye and St Francis have been allowed to remain in Division One.
He said: “Those three teams are cricket clubs. They share their ground between football and cricket, so I can’t understand how they are allowed to stay in the division.
“We have hosted semi-finals and finals for Sussex in recent times, so it is disappointing that they have been allowed to stay and we haven’t. But as a club we have known about it for a long time, there’s no sour grapes towards the decision.”
Club secretary Sue Williams has confirmed the club now have the money to build the stand, as long as they receive the Football Foundation grant they applied for.
She said: “We have got enough money now, but we can’t start the work until we find out if we have the other 50 per cent from the grant.
“Two robberies haven’t helped our cause, but we have received generous donations and hosted a number of fundraising events to help us raise the money, so we hope to have it ready for next season and come straight back up.”
Hailsham Town are currently looking for a reserve team manager. Anyone interested in the position, please call Sue on 07719590268 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.