With the close of the Essex Senior League season less than a week to go, it appears we already have a new name penned in for the upcoming campaign.
Hackney Wick FC announced yesterday an exciting merger with an as yet unnamed ESL club, with The Wickers set to maintain their full name, colours and identity.
Speculation peaked immediately, after the Hackney club’s statement, over which club had been consumed by the (now) former Middlesex County League side.
Wadham Lodge were quick to quash Twitter rumours that they were involved, leaving the smart money on basement boys, Haringey & Waltham being the other half of the merge.
Frankenstein club, Haringey & Waltham experienced a torrid return to the ESL in 2016/17; The Purps didn’t secure a home ground until mid-September and finished the season dead last with a goal difference of minus eighty six.
H&W originally formed through a series of mergers, which included the historic Walthamstow Avenue and Leyton Pennant along with community club, Mauritius Sports. in 2013 they briefly changed into ‘Greenhouse’ after a linkup with the South London football charity, before reverting back last year.
Despite finishing 7th in the Middlesex County second tier, the merger means Hackney Wick will now jump through three levels of the football pyramid and could potentially compete in the FA Cup.
Hackney Wick does, however, have the backing, presence and infrastructure to put many ESL clubs in the shade. Although the climb up will mean having to leave Hackney, which doesn’t currently have a facility able to meet Step 5 ground grading standards.
The New River Stadium in Wood Green has been touted as a potential new home for Wick. The 5,000 capacity sports ground is primarily used for Rugby Union.
With their motto ‘Our borough, our club’, Hackney Wick will be keen on an eventual return to E9. Hackney hasn’t had a senior club since Clapton Orient left Millfields Road in 1930.
Clapton FC left Hackney for Forest Gate in 1888 and has never looked back.
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