Following promotion to step four in the football pyramid, we spoke to the Director of Football Stephen Rutherford and First Team Manager Kevin Bolam ahead of the new ambitions for the club.
Hebburn are a step closer to a possible local rivalry clash with South Shields after the club were confirmed promotion into step four which will see them move up a league along with Stockton Town FC and Shildon FC.
The Hornets found themselves in a healthy position sitting third in the Division 1 table at the end of last season which was curtailed due to COVID.
Currently sat at the top of the league this season, the FA approved the club to move into step four through the points per game system.
Going into step four will be the third promotion in the last eight years for the side after floating between Division 1 and 2.
The town is decorated head to toe in yellow and black for the big occasion for the FA Vase final at Wembley on Monday May 4th but the latest news about their move into step four is all the more reason to keep the people of Hebburn in love with their local side.
So what does this promotion mean for the club going forward?
Hebburn’s Director of Football Stephen Rutherford looked ahead to the new ambitions set as the club looks to climb up the football league pyramid.
“So we’ve had a five year plan. Obviously some of that’s been delayed with the COVID. But we always want to get into the FA Vase final and win it and we always want to get promoted.
“The next step for us is to sustain ourselves in the league above and hopefully push on a bit further.
“We’ve got to be sustainable owners can’t be putting 1000s of pounds in in a black hole that’s not how it works at our level.
“Then you’ve got to concentrate on your cup matches like the FA Cup and FA trophy at the levels that we’ll be playing.
“I think that the next three years are on sustainability, keeping at a good level and hopefully getting our way to another cup final”.
Keeping the club sustainable is evidently the top priority for the Hornets and will definitely take a lot of hard work to do so.
But going up brings the likeable opportunity to face up against local South Tyneside team South Shields.
“We’re quite, quite friendly with South Shields.
“We play them every year in a preseason friendly. We’ve got some, you know, good relationships with them.
“They’re going places if we can catch them up that’s amazing for us and probably exceeding where we want to be at
“If we could get shields every year in a league match here that’ll be good not just for the town of Hebburn but for South Tyneside because we are both South Tyneside clubs”.
(Photo Credit – https://southshieldsfc.co.uk/south-shields-3-0-hebburn-town-second-half-blitz-secures-home-win/)
The question comes whether or not south tyneside could accommodate two full time teams – and to simply put it as Rutherford stated:
“Yeah? Why not? I think we’re ambitious. They’re ambitious.
“If you’ve got the right model in place, you attract the right players, and I think that can happen”.
Kevin Bolam, Hebburns First Team Manager, will be on the sidelines taking charge of his side in their first trip to Wembley and believes that the promotion puts them on the right path going into the FA VASE final.
“I think it’s fully deserved, we were sat third, when the season was made null and void.
last season, we were top of the league, I believe six points clear at the time, when it was curtailed.
“The selection process that the FA reviews by points per game over them two seasons was fully deserved to give them a place and to take the promotion.
“The Club is ambitious. The players are ambitious. The management staff are ambitious. It’s the next step. But we’ve still got work to do”.
Over a year into the job Bolam has managed his side bizarrely under the circumstances due to COVID, gain two promotions and also reach two finals in a year.
“It’s a good way of putting it I suppose. Again, it’s not the way we would like to have been promoted.
“I’d love to come here and see the lads lift a championship trophy but it is what it is because of the situation and they fully deserve the promotion based on the process of the selection.”
Hebburn will of course be looking to add to their recent positive momentum by competing to win the FA Vase Trophy which had been postponed since last season and had almost been completely called off at one point.
Since their last relegation eight years ago, the club has seen nothing but soaring sustainable success – moving back up into Division 1 and now finding themselves climbing the pyramid once again into step four which can only open the door to so many more opportunities.