CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

‘Bricks’ are looking up as campaign reaches climax

25 April, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

Hadley FC manager Anthony Clark and assistant coach Junior Matti

A MIRACLE season could still end in promotion for Hadley FC as they prepare for a titanic final fixture in the Premier Division of the Spartan South Midlands League on Saturday.

Manager Anthony Clark, who lives in Highgate, and assistant coach Junior Matti, who lives in Holloway, have worked wonders with the Barnet-based club. They have broken endless records, including guiding Hadley – nicknamed the Bricks – to their highest-ever points total in the top flight, beating the club’s highest-placed finish in the process.

Anthony said: “Up until this season the highest the club had ever finished in the Premier Division was sixth, a position that we matched last season after myself and Junior came on board.

“Now we’re going into the final game of the season level on points with second place Tring Athletic, which is a massive achievement for a club with our resources.

“Tring have got a much better goal-difference than us, so if we’re going to take the runners-up spot we need Biggleswade United, who are playing Tring in their final game, to do us a favour and take points off them. We also have to beat Stotfold, which will be far from easy as they need the points to escape relegation.”

The motivation for sneaking into second place on the final day of the season, behind champions Biggleswade FC, is about more than just pride.

“Officially only one team gets promoted, but last season two clubs ended up going up,” added Anthony.

“As you progress up the footballing pyramid, obviously the demand on clubs increases. Everything is looked at, from their finances to their facilities, and if they don’t make the grade they can be relegated.

“If that happens two clubs could end up being promoted, and we could still end up in the Isthmian South Central League.”

Hadley will go into the decider full of confidence after netting their biggest win of the campaign on Saturday.

Archway striker Ned Clarke and Luke Alfano, who lives in Finchley, both scored two goals each as they won 6-1 away at Leverstock Green. Bradley Marriot and substitute Peter Rosemin were also both on target for the Bricks, who Anthony says are “largely built on some of the best players from Camden and Islington”.

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