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Jimmy McFarlane praises everybody associated with Hornchurch after club confirm they are free of debt

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 May 2016

Jimmy McFarlane of Hornchurch (pic: George Phillipou/TGSPHOTO)

Jimmy McFarlane of Hornchurch (pic: George Phillipou/TGSPHOTO)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Bridge Avenue boss hails volunteers at Ryman North club and discusses their presentation night

Jimmy McFarlane has praised the hard work of everybody at Hornchurch after the Ryman North club recently confirmed it was finally free of debt.

It has been a long journey for those associated with the Bridge Avenue outfit and dates back a decade. The team was riding high in Conference South when backers pulled the plug and the club was liquidated and started out again in the Essex Senior League.

After winning the title under former youth-team coach John Lawrence, the club brought in Colin McBride as manager in 2006, with McFarlane playing.

But new debt subsequently came to light and McFarlane said: “I think this achievement is so underestimated. I forget the figures now, but it hasn’t got the accolade it deserves.

“The directors are the driving force behind it, but supporters have played a huge part and everyone involved deserves a lot of praise.

“If it was any other club we’d be on the front of the Non-League Paper and it hasn’t got the credit it deserves.

“The people that have turned up at six o’clock on a Sunday morning and done a buffet to raise funds, they have got this club debt free.

“We have so many volunteers and people like Terry Fisher, our groundsman, I could talk about him for hours and what he does. They all deserve huge credit for this achievement.”

George Purcell cleaned up at the Supporters’ Association’s Player of the Year presentation night last Friday.

The club’s all-time leading goalscorer won the golden boot, Supporters’ Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season honour.

McFarlane also announced he would be staying for the 2016/17 campaign, adding: “Football is all about opinions, but it says a lot when you get the Players’ Player of the Season award.

“I always thought that was the one you wanted. The Supporters one is nice, but the Players’ Players award is when you are being recognised by all of those at the club.

“In the six years I’ve been doing this, this season was the closest yet with George eventually winning. Last time George got virtually every vote, but until the week before it was a three-horse race.

“It was then neck-and-neck between Nathan Cooper and George, before Nathan voted for George. It is thoroughly deserved and for him to score 41 goals is unbelievable.”

Southend Manor revealed this week they would be facing a Hornchurch XI on July 19 in a pre-season friendly.

It is a home fixture for the Essex Senior League club and McFarlane said: “Until we have fulfilled our pre-season fixture list I won’t know if that is for the first team or just the under-21s.”

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