Hucknall hoping on one big league next season

Hucknall manager Andy Graves and assistant Philip Henry.
Hucknall manager Andy Graves and assistant Philip Henry.

Hucknall Town are waiting on news of the make-up of next year’s Central Midlands League.

But manager Andy Graves would love to see the current North and South divisions merged to create one big league.

Graves has heard a proposed merger with another local league will now not happen and he is desperate to avoid another season of just 15 teams in Hucknall’s division.

“I don’t know what the make-up of the league will be as I don’t think the proposed merger is going to take place,” he said.

“So it will be interesting how many teams we have actually got in the Central Midlands.

“I’d love it to go back to the days when we had just one division.

“You played your 40-odd games a season with one automatic promotion and play-offs for the second promotion spot. That would be ideal.

“Unless they have teams falling over themselves to join, I can see it being the same as last season with only a small division again and only four or five teams that would do well at the next level fighting for one place again.

“You need an extreme amount of luck on your side as well as performing consistently to get that one spot. You have to have everything going for you.”

He added: “One division would also sort out the teams in the divisions. That North League is pretty weak and I don’t know how they will strengthen that.

“The South is competitive but we only have 15 teams in it. The six games we lost from last season could have been vital. They could have made a big difference.

“We will wait and see. I just hope we don’t go into another season when we’ve only got 15 teams again.

“Okay you have a little bit of travelling if the leagues merge, but it’s nothing major. It also makes it a bit different and more like a proper football season.”

With Hucknall’s season now over, work begins on team strengthening.

“The players have got a bit of a break now, though obviously me and Phil haven’t.

“Pre-season is almost all in place and we are back on 17th June.”