Woodley United are enjoying their finest season in recent memory with a Berks & Bucks County Cup Final against Marlow United and the very real prospect of an opportunity for promotion to the Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division.
The key question on everyone’s lips though is, should Woodley clinch one of the top three spots in Division 1 East that should allow promotion, could they accept it?
Our man Mark Pugh spoke to the Kestrel’s General Manager Mark Rozzier following United’s 0-0 draw with Wokingham & Emmbrook on Saturday about that very subject.
And Rozzier was very clear when asked if the subject of promotion was on the Woodley committee’s mind.
He said: “Very much so, after last season’s poor finishing position [13 out of 13] our goal was to finish in the top five and reach a cup final which we have done with the Berks & Bucks match coming up, and bearing in mind our current league position we’ve actually started planning for next year.
‘We don’t want to get caught short’
The clubs General Manager added: “That’s not us saying we will be there but we don’t want to get caught short and we want to understand what it means in terms of support, sponsorship and how we go about getting more income streams in to the club.”
The ground grading question
Woodley are the only club in the current Division 1 East in possession of a suitable ground to accept promotion to the Hellenic Premier which at the outset has a requirement for floodlights.
Neither reigning champions Penn & Tylers Green, Finchampstead or Headington Amateur’s have these and would be unable to accept the step up.
Woodley of course currently ground share with Highmoor-IBIS at Scours Lane – the former home of Reading Town which IS suitable for Premier Division football.
More than anything, the Kestrels chances of promotion hinge on remaining as tenants at the ground now known as ‘The Rivermoor’ with the end of their three year deal approaching at the end of the season.
Rozzier said to us that currently they were preparing to sit down with Highmoor to discuss what the options are going forward – all the while attempting to realise a dream of returning to playing in Woodley.
We’ll have more from Mark on the future of Woodley United on Wednesday – or you can listen to the full interview above or below this message.