Gary South

Next up to talk to Off the Post is Gary South who is currently resting up after a busy season for his club Harefield United.

What made you get involved with Harefield United football club?

I’d always been around the club, in the 1960s my father was player manager and in 1982 then Chairman Les Wiggins asked me to join the committee. 

What has been your greatest challenge during the time with the club?

The greatest challenge was setting up the youth football structure after I brought the old Denham United Youth FC to Harefield. It was very much a them and us situation, making it difficult to integrate fully until four years ago when the previous committee left the club. 

What has been your proudest moment with the club?

My proudest moment was the last day of the season when we played Hatfield Town to become undefeated champions and so many youth players turned up to support the first team. Seeing all those youngsters celebrating with the senior players made me feel that we’ve been going along the right lines for the past four years. 

Where do you want your club to be in 5 years on and off the pitch?

In five years I would like to see the first team playing at least step four football in a step three stadium, with home grown players feeding through in to the squad. I hope that by then we will have a thriving girls’ football section and that the club will be more of a community hub. 

How vital is the relationship between chairman and manager?

I believe it is vital to have a good relationship between the Manager and the three main officials of the club, chairman, secretary and treasurer. We are fortunate that in Jason Shaw we have a manager that shares our vision and ambition for Harefield United. 

What are the biggest challenges facing non-league clubs these days?

The biggest challenges facing non league clubs are purely financial which is why it is necessary for us to continue producing our own players through the youth teams at the club. 

How vital is social media and websites now to boost attendances at games?

Using social media is the only way to boost attendances now. The old days of putting up posters in local shops and fixtures in the local paper are long gone. 

Name one thing you would like to change in the game?

The offside law. I’d go back to linos, sorry, referees assistants putting their flag up when someone is in an offside position as the ball is played forward and let the ref decide if it’s offside or not. 

Do you think that part of the broadcasting rights should be handed down to non-league clubs to improve facilities?

Certainly the money in football is top heavy and I would like to see more of the tv riches funding grassroots football to produce more home grown players. 

What can clubs do to get more volunteers helping non-league clubs?

Volunteers? Do you know any? If I knew how to get more then I could take things a bit easier myself.


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