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Hook United look to complete journey from strugglers to contenders
8:00pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in Sport
HOOK United FC are chasing the North East Hampshire Youth League Premiership title this season – an amazing turnaround for a side that finished bottom of Division One just two years ago.
Manager Alisdair Pattison said: “It was a tough season in 2011/12. We struggled that year, largely due to a combination of lots of new boys joining and because we lacked strength in depth.
“It was quite tricky to motivate the lads and equally the parents when we were losing week in, week out."
So it was something of a surprise when their fortunes turned last season, with the team now in the Under-11 league.
Pattison added: “It was a real surprise when we started winning games. Going from seven to nine-a-side helped.
“We added some key players to the squad that really made a difference.
“Suddenly, a team which habitually lost by one or two goals started to win by the same sort of margin, especially at our home ground, Hartletts Park in Hook.”
As the season entered 2013, a win away at league leaders Rushmoor Community Meteors saw Hook United start an unbeaten run that lasted until the end of the season.
Hook manager Pattison said: “That was the turning point. The point at which self-belief started to show. Every game thereafter, the lads played with a fierce determination to win.”
It was this competitive streak that saw Hook rise from no-hopers to Division One champions by the end of the season.
They compiled 15 wins, two draws and only three defeats, scoring 78 goals in the process and only conceding 23.
So, sporting a new strip, courtesy of the club, the team kicked off this season at under-12 level in style with a 7-0 thrashing of visiting Manor Colts Blacks from Alton.
It now just remains to be seen what the side can do in their first campaign in the Premiership.
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