The Great Escape: Star players return, chairman reveals ambitions and Chatteris Town... WIN

08:00 09 November 2012

Chatteris Town football club, from left: Mark Heading, Leigh Matthews, Tony Brown and Shaun Hayden.

Chatteris Town football club, from left: Mark Heading, Leigh Matthews, Tony Brown and Shaun Hayden.

Archant

THE Great Escape is on at Chatteris Town Football Club.

Brown: ‘Let’s get the Lilies back where they belong’

CHATTERIS star Tony Brown says he has returned to get his hometown club “back where they belong”.

The centre-back, who can also play up front, walked away from promotion-chasing Newmarket Town to re-sign for the relegation-threatened Lilies this week.

He said: “I would be very surprised if Newmarket don’t get promoted and I was enjoying it there, so it was a tough decision to drop down a league.

“But I couldn’t stand to see my hometown club in the state it was. Hopefully some of the other lads will return and we can get Chatteris back where they belong.

“I’m a Chatteris boy and I want to try and get them promoted.”

Brown’s return will be slightly delayed as work commitments mean he will miss the next two games.

New chairman Shaun Hayden has injected fresh optimism, former players are flocking back to West Street... and the Lilies have even got their first win of the season.

Midfield talents Aidan Hollis and Jack Saunders, who left for neighbours March Town United in the summer, have been tempted to return to their hometown club.

They were quickly followed by Tony Brown, who has given up the chance of promotion with Thurlow Nunn First Division high-flyers Newmarket Town to join the Lilies revolution.

Gary White and Mark Heading have also signed, while things continue to look healthy off the pitch with Hayden securing sponsors to help them finish the clubhouse extension.

The chairman said: “My belief is that this club belongs to the town.

“We want to get a good percentage of Chatteris lads in all three teams and build from there. It’s not just about the first team, it’s about the whole club.

“The plan is to try and get back into the Eastern Counties leagues but we need some stability first.”

Hayden’s first move as chairman was to scrap match-day subs and install a £5 “win bonus”.

The change reaped immediate rewards on Saturday as the Lilies claimed their first win of the season in their 13th league game.

Ben Matthews’ strike was enough to secure a 1-0 win over in-form Sawston United and end their eight-game losing streak.

The result means that, if Chatteris can take three points from their trip to West Wratting tomorrow, they will move off the bottom of the Kershaw Premier League.

Hayden said: “The changes have made them feel like footballers again.

“Paying the subs left them a bit despondent and it’s amazing the difference a win bonus makes!”

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