Hucknall homing in on targets

Hucknall Town FC v Eastwood CFC, Hucknall management team Philip Henry and Andy Graves in the dugout
Hucknall Town FC v Eastwood CFC, Hucknall management team Philip Henry and Andy Graves in the dugout

Hucknall Town are closing in on their four new player targets as pre-season beckons in year four of the club’s five-year plan to bounce back.

With a new ground rising across the road from the current one, manager Andy Graves said he couldn’t wait for the new season to kick off.

“I am feeling excited, especially if things go how we are hoping with the targets we are after,” he said.

“These players have played against us so know what we are about. They are not coming in totally blind. They are impressed we try to play decent football.

“They also know there is a pressure that comes with playing for Hucknall Town as we are still regarded as a big club and other teams want our scalp.

“We also have to manage the expectations within the club and of our supporters as we try to go forward as fast as we can and take the club back to where it was.

“The people behind the scenes here are all volunteers and don’t get the credit they deserve.

“All we have asked for is patience. We said this was a five year plan and this is now year four and we have seen massive strides.

“People on the committee are there to be mad at when things go wrong off the field as we are when things go wrong on it. But we are all doing what we are doing for the right reasons.”

On the new players, he added: “We have four targets and we spoke to a couple of them last night. Things went pretty well but until we’ve got their names on paper I am not going to say too much.

“They rang me back today and said they were pleased with what we’d spoken about and our intentions for next season.

“`Of the other two, I will be speaking to one next week when he gets back off his holidays and the other I need to arrange to see face to face still though we have spoken by phone and text so far.

“We’ll show them the new ground and how things are progressing with that, which is a good selling point.

“None of the players from last season want to leave which is good. We don’t like getting rid of a lot of lads and bringing loads more in as that upsets continuity.”

Hucknall have their pre-season fixtures fully sorted which include a bonding weekend for the players and fans at the seaside.

“Pre-season is not far off and I’ve heard a few teams are even back already,” said Graves.

“The pre-season games are all booked and, after the Horncastle game the lads are all heading on to Skegness and staying over.

“We are doing a few things to the ground, we have a new kit ordered and we’ll see where next season takes us.”

Graves is hoping the Central Midlands League will see the North and South Divisions amalgamate after last season’s lack of games which could be even worse this time around.

“We have heard teams are leaving and I’ve not heard about any joining,” he said.

“The AGM is on June 19th when we should know the set-up.

“Obviously Selston have gone, which makes it 14 teams already. But good luck to them. Winning two Championships on the trot, they deserve it.”