Next Game: FA Cup Replay - Fleetwood Town at Home on Thursday 14th December at 7.45pm
(Live on BT Sport)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

HFC And HFA Help Each Other


Since the idea of setting up a club to replace Hereford United was muted, the HFA (Herefordshire Football Association) has been closely involved.

For example when Hereford FC decided to improve the Edgar Street pitch a specialist was brought in by the HFA to advise.

"We have a ground inspector who comes in and gives a lot of advice," HFA chief executive Jim Lambert told BN. "

"Obviously Hereford have got Highground who do the work. But he is a renowned expert and they were quite happy to follow much of his advice.

"There is a possible grant for ground improvements but they have to make an application through the county FA.

"It is very difficult with a short lease. Most FA grants look for a minimum of a twenty/twenty five year lease. That's the biggest problem around any grants trying to help Hereford FC."

It's expected that the Hereford Council will announce details of an extension to Hereford FC's exsisting lease in September.

"That would certainly open the door for a lot more grants. It's one of those cases when you have to be smart what you apply for and when you apply."

Does the club apply direct or through the HFA?

"We're quite happy to advise and we have someone who can help any club with grant applications and who knows what the Football Foundation are looking for.

"If the application is through the HFA it will be the format the Football Foundation are looking for."

The success of Hereford FC last season meant that the HFA County Challenge Cup Final between Hereford and Westfields was the best attended for many years resulting in thousands of pounds for the HFA.

"The board has already allocated £2000 towards every adult team that joins the county league to give them a first aid kit.

"Every team in the county league will receive two Nike matchballs.

"£3000 has been allocated towards a girls football developement centre which the FA have withdrawn their funding for because of us being a small rural county.

"We haven't allocated it all as yet."

Last year's final took place on May Bank Holiday Monday. Will it take place on the same date this season?

"We don't know exactly yet. The first meeting of the governance committee will take place in early September.

"I shall be in contact with Hereford as we would like Edgar Street to be used as it was a great success last season. Hopefully they will be in it as well as it will bring a better crowd in.

"The date could be problematic depending on where they sit in their League at the end of the season.

"I'm sure like everyone else I hope that are clear as champions and therefore no possibility of play-offs interfering.

"If they are in the play-offs they could take place around that Bank Holiday Monday. But I don't know as yet."

As revealed a couple of weeks on BN, Hereford FC will have new goalposts ready for next Saturday's match against Merthyr and HFA have helped with their supply.

"The HFA have a sponsorship deal with Mark Harrod goals and Hereford FC have taken advantage of receiving 25% off the usual price."

The game against Merthyr is the HFA Senior Cup as well as a pre-season friendly.

"The winners of the HFA County Challenge Cup, Hereford, are entitled to invite a suitable opponent and as Hereford's only pre-season home game is Merthyr they are a very suitable opponent.

"This Senior Cup is played for ninety minutes. If drawn after ninety minutes then it's penalties. No extra time, we don't want to put pressure on anybody pre-season.

"It's certainty been a big positive in the past for the likes of Westfields who have invited Hereford United.

"It's a pre-season money earner.

"The HFA do nothing towards running it and take nothing from the gate. It's the clubs because they won the County Challenge, rather than give a prize for winning the County Challenge they get that advantage."