Hornchurch disturbed by Aussie scandal

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

McFarlane: Publicity club can do without

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane believes the high-profile Australian match-fixing investigation linking four of his former players is overshadowing the club’s current success.

Joe Woolley, Reiss Noel and Nick McKoy, who all played for the Urchins last season, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court last Friday on corruption charges and have been bailed to return on December 6.

Former Eastbourne Borough player David Obaze has also been charged, along with Southern Stars coach Zia Younan and Malaysian businessman Segaran Gsubramaniam.

Police claim the results of five matches involving Victoria Premier League club Southern Stars this summer were fixed and authorities are reportedly searching for two other British players – one believed to be formerly of Hornchurch – in respect of the investigation.

Urchins, relegated from the Conference South by a single point last season, are on a 12-game unbeaten run at present ahead of their FA Cup trip to Spalding United tomorrow (Saturday).

But manager McFarlane is disappointed the Australian scandal has put the club’s name into the headlines for the wrong reasons.

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McFarlane said: “It’s all very distressing. Our name should be in the press for being on a 12-game unbeaten run. But every time I pick up the papers and see our name, I’m reading about what’s happening in Australia.

“This is publicity the club can certainly do without and is very disturbing.

“But Hornchurch have done nothing wrong and we’ve just got to move on.”

Urchins will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run when they face Spalding of the United Counties Premier Division in the FA Cup second qualifying round.

And McFarlane, who is hoping to include a new striker in his line-up, insists that cup progress is crucial for financial and football reasons.

He said: “We’ve had a look at Spalding and got enough information on them to work with.

“An FA Cup run is important for two reasons. If you can get to the first round proper and play a big club it can set you up financially for the whole of this season and next.

“And from a football point of view, it’s important for us to keep our unbeaten run going. Winning breeds confidence and makes your swagger that much bigger.

“It’s a great habit to have and we want to keep that going for as long as possible.”

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