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Ian Herring: League drop is not an option for Hungerford Town

Hungerford Town

By Matt Badcock

Ian Herring believes Hungerford Town have made the right decision not to take voluntary relegation with the player-boss leading the appeal for fresh blood at the club.

At an emergency meeting last Thursday night, it was announced interim chairman Steve Skipworth, secretary Mike Hall and treasurer Terry Wild will step down at the end of the season.

It coincided with an appeal for more help and volunteers for the day-to-day operations at the National League South Crusaders.

Club members, who own the Crusaders, unanimously turned down the option of dropping out of Step 2.

Herring is determined his side, third bottom ahead of the weekend, stave off relegation on the pitch to help ensure the club is attractive for new sponsors.

“I said that dropping down leagues isn’t beneficial to anyone at the club,” Herring told The NLP. “I just felt it will be harder to get prospective sponsors, get someone on board as chairman and people to help out at the club.

“We know Hungerford have been punching above their weight for a long time. There are a lot of people who have not only put money into the club but a lot of time and effort – people who were there previously and people there now. For that hard work to go to waste would be a crying shame.

“Hopefully on the pitch we can stay in this league and then we can get somebody to come forward to help.

“We don’t so much need financial input, it’s more people who have got the dedication and ambition to bring in the sponsors.

“It’s a great opportunity for somebody to come in and create a new culture at the football club and for the community.

“The ground meets the ground grading criteria. There’s a new stand of 450 seats the club purchased from Newbury that’s in the process of being erected behind the goal. The toilets meet criteria – so the foundations are in place for the club to move forward.”

Herring feels Hungerford can tap into the local town and schools to bring more supporters through the gate and boost the coffers.

To maximise that, he has urged his players to focus on getting the results they need for survival, but in the meantime admits his own long-term future is up in the air.

“I’ve got a two-year contract with the club,” Herring added. “I’ve been open with the players, supporters and committee to say that unless there are drastic changes I will offer my resignation at the end of the season.

“Do I want to do that? No, because I’ve loved developing a young group of players. But if there’s people that come in and I feel I can work with, and they want to work with me, to progress the club on and off the pitch, then great.”

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