Bostik North: Dave Collis confident Hornchurch can return to National League South again after finally getting back into Bostik Premier

PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 April 2018

Hornchurch interim boss Colin McBride and player-coach Dave Collis issue instructions from the touchline at Witham Town (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

Hornchurch interim boss Colin McBride and player-coach Dave Collis issue instructions from the touchline at Witham Town (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

The player-coach previewed tonight’s match with Aveley and revealed he and Colin McBride are willing to hold the fort for as long as possible

Dave Collis is hopeful the past week’s success can be the start of another memorable journey in Hornchurch’s history.

The player-coach, who has had many roles this season including playing in goal for a half during a 1-0 win over Maldon & Tiptree, was speaking after Urchins won the Bostik North title.

After securing promotion last weekend, before confirming their status as champions on Tuesday, the focus now turns to what will happen next season.

Collis, who has helped out with first-team duties alongside Colin McBride over the past two months, believes Hornchurch can get back into the National League South – step two of the non-league pyramid.

He said: “Friday (tonight) will be great. We have the game with Aveley first and foremost, so we have to win – that is our first goal – because we want to end our home campaign on a high.

“It will then be great to receive the trophy from the league and we’ve got our own end of season evening after the match, so that is when the players will get their own individual awards.

“We are all looking forward to it and this club should be higher than the Bostik North, we are back in the Premier now and I think there is potential for us to get back in the South.

“The club has its goals for the next couple of years and we are through the first hurdle now of getting promotion. Our plan is to enjoy the next few weeks and then the hard work starts again with pre-season plans and we’ll go from there.”

Hornchurch spent a solitary season in the National League South, then-titled Conference South, in the 2012/13 campaign and the ultimate aim is a return.

Manager Jimmy McFarlane is currently recovering from a stroke, but Collis revealed he and McBride are willing to hold the fort for as long as the Urchins boss needs.

“Jimmy is recovering really, really well and he is expecting a full recovery. We don’t know how long it will take because no one really knows the timescale on these things, but Colin and I are prepared to cover and do what we need to do,” added Collis.

“We can get things prepared and bring players in for next season until Jimmy can come back. We don’t really know how long it will take before Jimmy can come back.

“We don’t know how long it will take for him to be a 100 per cent again, but we all know each other really well and we are all on the same page when it comes to football.

“All of us have the same ideology, so we can take care of things for now, but we’d obviously like him to come back for the start of the new season in the Premier.”

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