‘Wokingham & Emmbrook FC base is no grounds for concern,’ says HerridgeBy Adam Lee
September 23, 2009
Wokingham & Emmbrook assistant manager Roger Herridge says measures are being put in place to ensure the club has a home ground should they achieve promotion from Hellenic Division 1 East this season.
When the club moved its base to Cantley Park at the beginning of last season, it seemed a new chapter had been written in their history.
Hopes were high that the council and local residents would allow Wokingham & Emmbrook to progress at their new home and begin building the club to the level it once was as Wokingham Town.
However, opposition from local residents, as well as a lack of funding from the council has all but put paid to the club’s hopes of remaining at Cantley Park in the long-term.
And with the team sitting pretty at the top of Hellenic Division 1 East, hopes are high that the team can go one better than last season and seal promotion into the Hellenic Premier Division.
To make this a reality, however, Wokingham would need to move away from Cantley to a ground that meets the Football League criteria for that level which would include, among other things, floodlights and a hard stand around the pitch.
Incredibly, this means Wokingham & Emmbrook would actually have to leave the town in order to progress as a club.
And Herridge, although he refuses to admit Wokingham are certainties for promotion, reveals the club are considering their options.
“After the season we had last year we were disappointed to fall away like we did,” he said.
“We look at how Binfield are doing and we would have loved to have been up there facing that same challenge this season.
“There’s an awful long way to go, but we have had a good start and we would be very disappointed if we aren’t up there in the top few places at the end of the season.
“You would assume that we wouldn’t be able to play at Cantley which is very, very disappointing.
“When you think how affluent an area like Wokingham is, you really need the council support.
“But as far as next year goes, Mark Ashwell and the committee are looking into it and the options we have available.
“If we were to get promoted it wouldn’t be a problem for us.
“There are things going on and being put in place behind the scenes which will make sure we can go up.
“We’re not counting our chickens because we have got a smaller squad and you never know what affect injuries could have.
“Wayne (Wanklyn, manager) has regular meeting with Mark and the committee, but it’s up to us to make sure we have a squad in place to get us out of this league and into the one above.”