Progressive Basford United ready for new challenge

Striker Liam Hearn scores for Basford United last season against Spalding United.
Striker Liam Hearn scores for Basford United last season against Spalding United.

Progressive Basford United break new ground this weekend when they make their debut in the Premier Division of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

Hoping to continue their eyecatching climb through the non-league ranks in recent seasons, Basford travel to Hyde United on Saturday (3 pm) and then entertain Hednesford Town at home on Monday (7.45 pm).

Basford’s ground is at Greenwich Avenue, which is just behind the Highbury Vale tram stop if any supporters from the Dispatch district wish to go along.

The division they are now playing in is only three steps beneath the Football League, and Basford will be rubbing shoulders with former professional clubs such as Workington and Scarborough, as well as non-league big guns such as Stafford Rangers and South Shields.

Last season saw Basford dominate Division One South of the league, winning the title at a canter after going 27 games without defeat.

Their side boasts Bulwell-born Liam Hearn, who has played for Grimsby Town, Mansfield Town and Lincoln City and was the league’s leading scorer last season with 39 goals. Matt Thornhill and James Reid were once on Nottingham Forest’s books, while Jack Thomas played more than 50 league games for Mansfield Town.

Former Hucknall Town boss Tommy Brookbanks, an ex-Basford player, has returned to the club as vice-chairman after stepping down as manager of Coalville Town.