Thursday, 5 May 2011

Highworth Town with Fraser Haines

Please read below for my interview with Highworth Town secretary Fraser Haines. It was published in the latest Football Focus magazine which can be viewed here for absolutely free! Included in the current issue are Leyton Orient, Dunfermline Athletic, Crawley Town and many more football clubs.

Highworth Town
Highworth Town line up

Last month Football Focus chatted with Highworth Town secretary Fraser Haines and not before long, it became apparent that they are an incredibly close-knit club, and proud of it. Fraser's brother is the current chairman and he took over the reigns when their father passed away. Fraser believes that it is the comradeship within the staff that has helped the club move forward so successfully. “We are all a very close club and have grown rapidly recently after merging with our junior section in 2008.”

Indeed, it is in the youth that Highworth have invested towards in large sums and Fraser is delighted with the rewards reaped. “We’ve kids of all age groups and we have over four hundred children registered with us in thirty-two teams. Our manager Dave Webb trusts youth players and gives them a go if they are good enough. The average age of our first team is around twenty-two which bodes well for the future and shows our youth system is working.”

Although Fraser is rightly optimistic about the future of the club, he is also pleased with the current success of the first team in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division, despite their lack of experience. “Our league performance has been very good considering how young our squad is and we don’t pay players unlike a number of teams at our level. Within five years I would like to see the club in the Southern League. We almost got there in 2005, but at the time our ground didn’t reach the required standard.”

After being held back from promotion six years ago, the club were adamant to make the necessary improvements and Fraser cannot speak highly enough of the people who helped make it possible. “We have so many volunteers and everyone involved works so hard here. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them. We’ve spent money on the facility including floodlights, stands and dugouts and have enclosed the pitch with a fence all around the perimeter. We were recently awarded our community status with the FA which gives us a chance to develop our facility further.”

With Highworth Town Reserves having recently won their respective league, Fraser is hoping the first team can kick on from their current spot in the higher echelons of the Premier Division and occupy a place in the Southern League before long.

written by Will Lyon

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