Following financial struggles, Hamworthy United have been forced to resign from the Southern League leaving their former reserve side as the de facto first team playing in the Dorset Premier League.
Chairman Steve Mitchener stated that the biggest problem for him was, “losing all the players”, also mentioning that “it is a very, very young team.”
Following their relegation, Hamworthy have faced issues in terms of ticket sales, with the Hammers’ last game only selling ninety tickets which Steve Mitchener described as “extraordinary.”
The Hammers are in desperate need of income if they wish to get back to the league where they once were, however with a younger and lower standard of squad fans may struggle to find reasons to keep attending Hamworthy’s games.
Hamworthy United fan Ian Harving said: “I’ve been supporting this club for quite some time now and I will continue doing so. I do understand why less fans are attending the game because at the end of the day a lower standard squad playing in a lower league isn’t as exciting.”
Manager Luke Philips mentioned a small positive regarding his youthful squad amidst Hamworthy’s struggles: “For me it’s about how we can help bring through the youth and give a pathway for them into men’s football.”
Philips added: “We want to improve the players, get them up to a level where they’re comfortable. It’s about them adapting to men’s football, understanding the game and understanding my expectations as the manager.”
Mitchener added that on the day of notifying the league of their decision to resign was “the lowest moment I have ever felt in football, bearing in mind a couple of years ago we were a penalty shootout away from Wembley.”
Philips commented regarding how the Hammers are aiming to cope with their resignation through small steps without making any rash decisions.
He said: “Again it’s just about those small improvements, I’m not necessarily looking at the league as a yardstick to be honest, for me it’s about how the lads get better instead of league position.”