• Tom Cramp

‘We let in 99 goals last season but we are a lot trickier now’

WEALDSTONE FC have set their sights on staying in the National League this season after a tumultuous year of no fans and coronavirus lockdowns.

The Hillingdon Herald spoke to Chris Woods, the club’s Head of Media, who said that despite conceding 99 goals last season, the team are a lot more solid after a summer of shrewd recruiting.

“The hope is to stay in the division,” said Woods. “We’re a part-time club in very much a full-time league, so it’s going to be difficult, but the team has improved rapidly and we are a much trickier side to beat now.”

As the Hillingdon Herald went to press last week, Wealdstone sat 16th in the National League after a series of mixed results.

Manager Stuart Maynard has praised the fanbase recently after 132 travelled to Torquay and just under 200 made it to King’s Lynn the previous week.

On what it means to have fans back in Grosvenor Vale, Woods said: “From a financial point of view it’s amazing to have them back because last year was a real struggle.

“For part-time clubs in our league, gate money is our main source of income.

“We had to furlough the players last season. Apart from the management team and the players, there were no other paid members of staff at the club.

We assumed fans would be allowed back in grounds by the time autumn had finished, so it was a difficult season you know, not just for us but for every team in our league.”

Despite their financial woes, the Stones still managed to avoid relegation last season and finished 19th in their first season back in the National League. “The performances have been largely positive so far,” Woods concluded. “It’s just getting the results now because we haven’t got what we deserved in a few matches.

“It’s a learning curve and I think the players are picking it up quickly.”

For more on the club, go to: www.wealdstone-fc.com.

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