Thu, 07 Jun 2018
NEWBURY FC player/manager Danny Langford is determined to get the club back where they belong, despite being hit with ongoing problems regarding the future of their home ground.
The Thames Valley Premier League club play their home games at Faraday Road, but the lease of the facility is due to run out on June 24.
With the lease coming to an end, it is believed that West Berkshire council will take back the land before developing the site further down the line.
However, as no date has been set for work to start, Langford is unclear as to why Newbury can’t continue to play their home games there.
The 26-year-old said: “The question to be asked is, if they’re not building on that facility for the foreseeable future, what is the short-term gain of not letting Newbury FC play there?
“I can’t get my head around it.
“You look far and wide and every other village or town has a football club somewhere along the lines and for a town the size of Newbury to not have one, I think it’s criminal.
“The club and the facilities are there to go and do what you want to do with it.”
With the likelihood of Newbury being forced to play elsewhere, the club are heading for their fourth demotion in a short period of time.
Despite the possibility of dropping down another level, Langford is still aiming to fight on, having agreed to be with the club for the upcoming season.
He said: “I still feel that Newbury town should have a football club, as most people do.”
“It’s not the easiest ride, but I’m confident that we can overcome the problems and one day get back to where we belong.”
Langford took over Newbury when he returned from a spell with Binfield and the club were out of the cup and out of contention to win the league.
However, after using his contacts from his experience in local football, Langford guided Newbury to a fifth-place finish in the Thames Valley Premier League.
Although plans are slowly coming together for the new season, Newbury are unsure as to what division they’ll be playing in and where they’ll be playing their home games.
“We’re potentially going to have to drop down another league,” Langford said.
“Even in the Thames Valley League, we wouldn’t have the facilities to stay in the Premier Division.
“I believe that the squad I put together this year would compete in Hellenic League Division 1 East or West, but unfortunately that’s been taken away from us by what’s going on behind the scenes.”
Langford who wants to continue playing, told how the continued uncertainty over the club’s future has affected club chairman Keith Moss, who has been involved with the club for many years.
He said: “The short-term target is to keep the club going.
“The chairman has put in a lot of hard work into this club, he’s 80 years old and goes down to the ground every day.
“He is heartbroken, it’s his pride and joy.”
“He has been involved in local football for 50 years and he’s heartbroken and I can’t walk away and let the club fold when he’s still involved.” Langford said.
The player/manager has arranged pre-season friendlies with teams within the area and has already said that a number of players from last season have agreed to stay with the club.
“My aim this year is to keep the club afloat and if we do get demoted to Division 1 in the Thames Valley league, I’m pretty certain I can have a side that will win the league and hopefully get to a couple of cup finals.” Langford said.
“I want to bring the good times back, but it’s difficult when you have something in the back of your mind.”
Langford believes that the facilities at Faraday Road are some of the best in the area and the council’s plans aren’t just affecting Newbury FC.
He said: “We had a charity day there last week, we have hosted the Newbury cup finals and it’s not used for just one team on a Saturday.
“If it was just us using it, this wouldn’t be as much of an issue and now we can’t do anything.
“We are unfortunate to be in a position where we can’t move forward when we don’t know what is going on.
“We have got to find somewhere else to play and we have a couple of options, but none are set in concrete just yet.”
He added: “If Faraday Road isn’t available, we could well be sharing with Frilsham & Yattendon for a season.
“If we fold now I think it would be criminal, but you have to make the best out of a bad situation.
“Every time I try and approach a player, the first thing he asks is about the ground situation so we have to assess this before I speak to anyone.”