By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
Hyde FC’s Luca Havern is confident the club can claim the Blue Square North title this weekend as they host Boston.
Havern, in his first season at Hyde, believes the Tameside club can secure promotion to the Blue Square Premier just a year after battling relegation from the division.
Hyde sit atop the BSN league table two points clear with two games remaining, and can win the title if they win tomorrow and second place Guiseley fail to win against Bishop’s Stortford.
Luca said: “We’ve done brilliantly this year. We’ve been top for most of the season. It’s a bit nervy now with two games left but hopefully we can get the title won this weekend.”
Hyde narrowly avoided relegation to the North West Counties League Premier Division last season, finishing 19th of 22 teams – just above the trapdoor, with Stafford Rangers falling into the lower division instead.
“It’s totally different from last year here. The club brought in a new manager and a fresh new squad,” said the 23-year-old.
“I’ve never been part of a squad where the lads get on so well off the pitch. It’s worked. It’s nice to be able to play without the pressure.”
Hyde go into the Boston game on the back of five successive wins and although the Lincolnshire club will be tough opponents, Luca believes they have enough to secure a vital three points.
“If we go up, gaining safety would be the first aim. If we can secure BSP football for at least three seasons, we could look at going full time.”
“Hyde are definitely going in the right direction – they’ve just set up a youth team so they’re looking to the future.”
Luca formerly played for Stockport County in two spells, and there were some familiar faces in the Hyde dressing room when he joined – ex Hatters David Poole, Adam Griffin and Ryan Crowther are among the league-leading squad.
“We’re all enjoying our football here. We’re playing regularly and that always helps.”
With County retaining their Blue Square Premier, a real local derby is on the cards for next season should Hyde win promotion.
“I have every respect for Stockport County. It would be great to play against them,” said Luca.
Tomorrow’s game is a 3pm kick off at Ewen Fields – tickets are available on the gate.