Hayward sees tough time ahead but a better future

Eastwood midfielder Liam Garner (right) challenges during the clash with Halesowen Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday
Eastwood midfielder Liam Garner (right) challenges during the clash with Halesowen Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday

Eastwood boss Gary Hayward says things could continue to be tough at Coronation Park in the short-term - but believes there will certainly be light at the end of the tunnel before long.

Hayward has been hampered by player departures and delays in recruiting since arriving at Eastwood a fortnight ago, with a 3-0 loss to Halesowen in the FA Trophy on Saturday seeing him again have a fragmented squad to choose from.

But with several new signings imminent and Hayward’s work ethic being hammered into the players in training, he feels positive things will pick up.

He said: “It’s been really hard because we’ve barely been here two weeks and have had to build virtually an entire team.

“Some weren’t registered in time for Saturday but we didn’t discover that until midday so once again we were scrambling around for players and even lost our centre-half in the warm-up so had to play a right midfielder in there.

“But we’ve got seven days in for a few players, many of whom have very good experience, and I expect to secure some signings at training on Thursday.

“There’s good news too that striker Kieran Wells has committed to us despite interest from elsewhere which is a massive positive. I just need to get him some support now to give him a good supply line.”

Eastwood will host Coalville Town on Saturday before travelling to face struggling Brigg Town on Tuesday night, and when it comes to the Badgers’ league position Hayward feels things might get worse before they get better.

“The fact is, as things are at the moment, we might well get dragged into the bottom three initially, but given time I think we’ll settle enough to stay up,” he said.

“That first win will be massive and if we can get that as soon as possible it’ll be a great boost. We did really well against Lincoln but then suffered on Saturday with losing a few players down to illness, holidays and so on, so hopefully we can get back to decent shape against Coalville who we’ll certainly have a good go at.”

Hayward also says things off the pitch are progressing, adding: “We’re hoping to get a few social events going soon which will help generate some revenue, and there are some sponsors coming on board too.

“All of that is crucial because in playing terms, quality costs money, so the more revenue we can bring in the better chance we have of attracting players good enough to keep winning us points.”