Hadleigh have got the right idea
PUBLISHED: 05:45 13 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:11 03 March 2010
Football: HADLEIGH United are not holding back in their quest for a Premier Division place in the Jewson League - but it will not be at a price.
After catching a financial cold - more like pneumonia - after winning the First Division championship in 1994, every penny has been watched carefully at Millfield.
HADLEIGH United are not holding back in their quest for a Premier Division place in the Jewson League – but it will not be at a price.
After catching a financial cold – more like pneumonia – after winning the First Division championship in 1994, every penny has been watched carefully at Millfield.
This makes manager Louis Newman's achievements in lifting the first team to their current position at the top of the Division One table more remarkable.
Newman is now in his sixth season in charge and during his reign there has been steady, if not spectacular, improvement.
With little cash to work with, Newman has gradually stepped up the tempo and his efforts are now bearing fruit.
Long-serving Peter Hutchings is Hadleigh's football secretary and he
confirmed the serious quest for promotion.
"We are ambitious and would like to go up as soon as possible," he said. "We are under no illusions however about what would be in store and it would be a culture shock.
"With promising youngsters coming through I feel sure we would be capable of holding our own in the Premier Division."
Hutchings, a former goalkeeper for the club, is one of the men who has plotted Hadleigh's recovery over the last few years.
He is convinced that there has to be a firm financial base before restraints can be relaxed.
"We are still recovering from paying our players too much in the mid-'90s," he said. "We spent a lot of money, far more than we could afford.
"There is now a plan in force to put that right. We have a playing surface to be proud of and a car park that has been re-surfaced and improved.
"A new dressing room complex should be in use by the start of next season and then we will start refurbishing the clubhouse.
"We will then be in a position where we have facilities to attract new people to the clubhouse. With the extra money this will generate we will be able to reward our players for their efforts."
Hutchings has managed the first and second teams at Hadleigh, and he has nothing but praise for Newman's efforts.
It was Hutchings who brought Newman to the club as coach and when the former called it a day as first team boss, Newman put in an application.
The job was given to former Hadleigh
striker Donnie Davis, but half a season later he had gone and Newman was asked to take
"I am full of admiration for Louis and his assistant Nick Wilding," added Hutchings, who has been involved with the club for 13 years. "Louis has shown Hadleigh tremendous
loyalty and his players have been loyal to him. They are now getting the rewards they deserve.
"They are a good unit and socialise well. The first team suffered bit of a hiccup last
season, but is back on track now with just two defeats from 17 league games.
"There was a feeling among some players that the committee did not appreciate what was being achieved on the field, but this is not the case.
"Hadleigh is a club that people like to visit, and this is how we want to keep it."
The future looks bright and once the planned off-field structures are in place, Hadleigh will have the wherewithal to become a force to be reckoned with in East Anglian football circles.