Hyde United Aim For Promotion
Thursday 6th August 2015 @ 11:40 by Mark Phillip
Football Hyde Sports

According to Hyde United boss Gary Lowe, the club will settle for no less than promotion this season.

Despite enduring two successive relegations, the Tigers, who will be playing in the Evo-Stik premier next season, are craving an instant return to step six football.

But even with such confidence, Gary, who will be ably assisted by Martin Booty, is certainly aware of the task at hand. “We only intend to be in this league for one season” beamed Gary.

“I think it’s important that we maintain the good will of the supporters, start well and have a really good season.

“I believe if we have a good season and are near the top of the table, then we’ll maintain the gates and maybe get more people watching us.”

The fans will be more important than ever this season.

Far from being mere spectators, the fans, after a successful takeover in July, will be making decisions at board room level.

Questioned about his views on such a transformation, Gary said: “I don’t know too much about how they (supporters Trusts) are run, although I know everyone’s going to be a little more involved.

“I think it’s created a lot of excitement around the place and I’m sure we’ll meet the people who are running the trust, and we’ll always be very open and honest with them.”

Several smaller clubs have pursued the same model, including Chester City, Wrexham and Macclesfield.

And while the club has undertaken numerous transformations of late, one thing has always remained constant at Hyde – Fan solidarity.

At the beginning of January, hope had all but gone at Ewen Fields.

The club were rooted to the foot of the table following a 7-1 massacre against old foes, Stalybridge Celtic.

Hyde were on life support and needed resuscitating. Fortunately for them, Gary and Martyn intervened. “There was a little bit of belief that we could keep the side up, although we knew the odds were stacked against us” says Gary.

“It took us a few weeks for us to get the message over to the boys, but all credit to them, because they quickly adjusted, took it on board, and proved that the style of football we want to play can be successful at any level.

“I think we made a decision pretty quickly that it wasn’t achievable though, so we cleared some players out that we felt couldn’t take the club forward.

“We filled the side with 18 year olds, and for a period they achieved really good results.

“The good thing for me and Martin was that we completely changed the way the team played.”

The statistics make it hard to refute Gary’s opinion.

A 4-4 draw against table topping Barrow was followed by two draws against AFC Fylde.

It didn’t take long, however, for the residual effects of a nightmare campaign to shine through. Gary added: “We outplayed a number of teams at the top of the table, but I think the results tailed off at the end because the players had been challenged more than they’d ever been.”

The proverbial slate has been wiped clean, and Gary, equipped with a new-look squad, is more than ready to hit the ground running. “I don’t know how we’ve gone without it for two years to be honest” says Gary.

“I had to sway Martin to come back, because he was a little dubious at first, but he’s more enthusiastic than he’s ever been at the moment.

“The squad probably came in two weeks before everyone else – that’s always been mine and Martins way.

“I think you can get where you want to a little slower, and you don’t have to hammer players as much.”

Those that have been put through their paces in recent weeks include Lee Neville, Adam Jones and Lee Gregory – the latter a product of the clubs academy system.

Others players to have joined the ranks include the likes of Scott Spencer, who Gary knows all too well about. “Scott’s career was going on a little bit of a downward turn, and he had a number of clubs where it hadn’t worked out for him” he said.

“We dragged him in and could instantly see a great ability, but we had to make him really enthusiastic about football again.

“He scored 30 goals for me in the first season and got into the England Non-League football team.

“A number of people have said that we shouldn’t be bringing Scott back, but it’s a no brainer for me, and I expect him to get an awful lot of goals for Hyde this season.”

While the club will be hoping to go all the way in their cup competitions this season, the priority lies with gaining promotion.

Questioned about their FA Trophy campaign – which begins against Skelmersdale United on 31st October – Gary quipped: “Yeah we’d like to win it.

“Cup runs are always great, but both the FA trophy and FA Cup pale in significance compared to getting out of this league.”

In 2011-2012, Gary led the Tigers to championship glory. He, along with everyonce connected with the club, will be hoping it’s a case of déjà vu.