Sewell wants Hall Road to be top ten hit

Hall Road Rangers manager Leon Sewell

Leon Sewell wants Hall Road Rangers to be aiming to be Toolstation NCEL Division One top ten hit.

The former Selby Town and Westella head honcho is heading into his second campaign in the Haworth Park dugout and is hoping to build on last season.

Hall Road had a difficult start, but were starting to get into the groove when the campaign was rightly halted and subsequently thrown out of the nearest window.

“I would like us to be pushing for a top half finish because I think we have got the players capable of doing that,” Sewell told Non League Yorkshire.

“I’ve only lost one player so the squad has bought into the club being better and stronger than where we finished last season. We went away to Skegness and lost 2-1, we got beat 1-0 away at Winterton and we beat Selby at home. So we put in some good performances.

“The first objective is always to do better than what you did last season and for me, it is about having three wishes. What’s your overachievement, what are you happy with and what’s your minimum expectation? I think our minimum expectation is to finish in the top half of the league. It will be tough, but it will be tough for everyone.”

Last season was all about laying for foundations for Hall Road. Sewell literally inherited from the previous regime so Hall Road were never going to fly out of the blocks. Results were poor in the opening two or three months, but the green shoots of recovery started to grow from November onwards and Sewell says the atmosphere on-and-off-the-pitch is excellent.

“There was only Conner Harman who remained with the club from the season before when they unfortunately got relegated (from the Premier Division),” he said. 

“It was a building period. Naturally you would say June and July is enough time for players to gel and get to know each other, but we had quite a high turnover of players. We had some great lads, but unfortunately some weren’t good enough for the level or they didn’t realise the commitment levels which are required.

“We eventually found a lot more stability and a lot of games were a lot closer. We definitely turned the corner after the Christmas period, that’s for certain.

“It goes back to the man-management aspect and making sure the players do give an honest performance. I personally knew all the players, but they didn’t know one another 

“So a lot of team work and building was put into place to try and build that togetherness. A lot of players nowadays look forward to 5pm to 7pm after the game whereas we were getting lads in who were looking forward to 3pm to 5pm on-the-pitch and then looking forward to enjoying it even more afterwards.

“That’s something myself and my assistant Chris Burke have always believed in; having good honest lads who build togetherness and it speaks volumes because we have only lost one player from last season’s squad. That’s Karl Fitzgerald (who has signed for Garforth) who lives Leeds/Bradford way. You can’t expect a player to travel from that way to Hull once or twice a week for not a lot of money.”

Hall Road’s First Five Fixtures 

September 19th – Barnton (H) – FA Vase

September 22nd – Parkgate (H) 

September 26th – North Ferriby (A)

September 29th – Glasshoughton Welfare (A)

October 3rd – Brigg Town (H)

If you have enjoyed reading Non League Yorkshire over the past few months, please consider making a donation to the not-for-profit organisation NLY Community Sport which provides sport for children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties. CLICK HERE to visit the JustGiving page. There is a video at the bottom of the page showing our work.

NLY Community Sport, run by James Grayson and Connor Rollinson, has always had combatting social isolation at the top of our objectives when running our Disability Football teams. As we slowly return to ‘action’, our work will play an important role in reintroducing our players, who have disabilities and learning difficulties, back into society.

We have six teams, a mixture of Junior and Adult teams – Nostell MW DFC, Pontefract Pirates, Selby Disability Football Club and the South Yorkshire Superheroes (Barnsley) – across Yorkshire.

We have enjoyed great success over the past three years. Several of our players have represented Mencap GB in Geneva, including Billy Hobson from Selby and Greg Smith, whose story is quite inspiring.

Like most organisations, we have been affected financially by the Coronavirus and because of the cancelled Lucille Rollinson Memorial Tournament, we are down on projected income for the year and we have incurred losses in the last few months.

We have not been hit as badly as other organisations, but we do need raise £2000 to put us back at the level we were at in mid-March and enable us to make a difference once again to our players’ lives in the future, without having financial worries. Several of our players are suffering from effects of the lockdown and we are determined to be in the strongest position possible to provide services for them.

Any amount raised above £2000 will be put towards new projects (when the world returns to normal) designed to further benefit people with disabilities and learning difficulties. You can learn more about the organisation HERE and on our Facebook page.

Watch the video below to see highlights from our three years as an organisation. The video was produced for our players at the end of March to remind them of good memories from the last three years.

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