Hadleigh still aiming for promotion

HADLEIGH United joint manager Dean Skinner today reflected on his club's promotion prospects and said: “I cannot ask my players to throw games.”Currently fifth in the Ridgeons League First Division table, Hadleigh play sixth-placed Debenham Leisure Centre tomorrow.

By Elvin King

HADLEIGH United joint manager Dean Skinner today reflected on his club's promotion prospects and said: “I cannot ask my players to throw games.”

Currently fifth in the Ridgeons League First Division table, Hadleigh play sixth-placed Debenham Leisure Centre tomorrow.

If results go their way they could be third by tomorrow night. But with severe financial restraints governing the way affairs are run at Millfield, moving up to a Premier Division where money rules could prove an uncomfortable experience for Hadleigh.

Skinner and his managerial partner Steve Jay have bucked the trend by lifting Hadleigh into the top six without paying their players.

“All they get is a free pint at the end of the game - and that will continue next season whether we go up or not,” said Skinner.

Most Read

“Until our clubhouse is finished and we can open it seven days a week, we will continue to operate as we are now.”

The improvement in facilities is being completed by voluntary labour, and it is estimated it will be 2010 before all the work is finished.

“This season could be too early for us to go up, but we will keep going out to win every game,” added Skinner.

“I can't ask my players to throw games.

“A top-ten finish was our goal last August, but when we reached the top six we increased our expectations.

“And when we made the top three we looked at it again.

“I have to pinch myself every time I look at a league table. If we do go up we will have to cope with the extra problems that might bring.

“We cannot put our players under contract so they will be free to leave and possibly improve their bank balances considerably in the summer.

“Hopefully they will stay loyal.

“Debenham have calmed down after a wonderful start to the season, and we have a chance tomorrow to show what we are capable of.”

In the Premier Division, Woodbridge Town will have their eight-game unbeaten run put to the test by Lowestoft Town at Notcutts Park.

Joe Francis will be a vital player for the home side, but it could be his last game for the Woodpeckers after impressing for Ipswich Town again in a midweek reserve fixture at Carrow Road, Norwich.

He has been on trial at Portman Road and a decision on his future is expected to be made by Ipswich next week.

Second-placed Needham Market play third-placed Wroxham in what should be an exciting fixture at Bloomfields, while Felixstowe and Walton United are also at home - bottom-placed CRC are the visitors to Dellwood Avenue.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter