IT’S been a summer of upheaval at Hyde. Owner Jon Manship has sold the club to a supporters’ trust and, despite the great optimism among the supporters, no one is entirely sure how things will work out.
Manager Gary Lowe has stayed aloof from the “boardroom” changes. Even so, he knows the club needs to raise money and he’s hoping the way he is encouraging his squad to play will lead to success and bigger crowds.
Lowe has no time for talk of rich clubs like Salford or the inevitability of being dragged down by the over-physical approach of other sides. As far as he is concerned, good football will always win the day. He and assistant Martyn Booty fear no one.
“At the weekend somebody said Arsenal play football in a difficult way and I think that applies to us. But building from the back is definitely the way to play. Other clubs might see it as creating unnecessary pressure, but we think it gives us a platform,” he explained.
“Martyn and I passionately believe in passing the ball and playing in an attractive way. We think it’s a good recipe for success. If other people want to criticise, that’s up to them. I don’t care what they think.”
Although a relatively small budget has been put at his disposal, Lowe has made some very interesting signings. Striker Ayrton Bevins was at Cambridge United last season. Full-back Ryan Ellison was at Sunderland, and midfielder Gerard Kinsella was considered the equal of Ross Barkley when a youngster at Everton.
Former Curzon Ashton man Josh Ollerenshaw takes over in goal and fans are delighted to see the return of front man Reece Gray.
On-loan midfielder Ben Jago made an instant impression, scoring direct from a free kick against FC United. Lowe said: “Ben’s a very talented lad. Tranmere think he’s not quite ready for Vanarama National and want us to bring him along. Their manager, Gary Brabin, came to us because he knows we get the ball down and play football.”
Central defender Spencer Harris, signed from Farsley, is described as a great competitor and a great character. He started out at Huddersfield Town was with Lowe at Curzon.
Many eyes will be on returning striker Scott Spencer who made such an impact in Hyde’s Vanarama North championship season in 2011-12. Lowe is convinced he can get the best out of the player.
“I’ve got 100 per cent confidence and belief in Scott,” he commented. “He’s not a straightforward character, he’s a bit zany, but he’s a lovable lad and I’m sure he’ll do the business for us and get plenty of goals.
“People are saying that I can work with him – that he’s a Gary Lowe sort of player. I hope that’s true.”
Although Hyde failed to beat either Mossley or Trafford in their last two friendlies, Lowe wants fans to focus on the games against Stalybridge, Halifax and FC United. He’s also keen to get the season started.
“I want to get on with it now,” he said. “We started earlier than most clubs and pre-season has started to get tedious. We have a squad full of footballers and they want to play football.
“The pitch is looking great. I just hope we can put on a show and get the fans through the turnstiles. That’s the key. We want to get the place rocking again.”