Infinity owners almost walked away after null and voiding –now they’re celebrating promotion to the Wessex League

Co-owner Jody Hoare praised Infinity's players for ensuring he stayed around to see the club reach the Wessex League.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 5:37 pm
Callum Parker (right) in action for Infinity during a 3-0 Hampshire Premier League victory over Paulsgrove in November 2019 - one of 37 successive Senior Division games the club have remained unbeaten in. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Infinity are celebrating the news they have been promoted from the Hampshire Premier League as part of the FA's major non-league restructure.

They will be joined by HPL rivals Bush Hill in Wessex League Division One next term, with both clubs pushed up a division after applying for 'upward movement'. Fleetlands and Stockbridge had also applied, as had Dorset Premier Leaguers Hamworthy Recreation and Dorchester Sports.

Promotion comes as welcome news to Hoare after Infinity had gone a HPL Senior Division record 37 matches unbeaten over the past two pandemic-shattered seasons.

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But Hoare revealed he and co-owner Simon Tribe, who founded the club back in 2006, might easily have been celebrating for afar.

The pair were in serious discussions about walking away from Infinity following the FA's decision to 'null and void' the 2019-20 season in March 2020.

But now Hoare – whose club have been based in Southampton, Winchester and Knowle Village during a nomadic existence - is delighted he was persuaded not to quit.

He said: 'My phone has been red-hot since it’s happened.

‘In fairness, everyone has been through a tough time with the pandemic, but it’s good to have a cause for celebration now.

‘All that hard work prior to that, when we were all but up that time when it got null and void - at the time it was very, very hard to take.

‘We were on the verge of nearly not continuing; now a year or so on, we’re there and we’re looking forward to the next step.

‘From my point of view, myself and Simon (Tribe), we made the club in 2006 and we set a five-year goal and moving forward we’ve achieved them goals.

‘We set another goal when we won the Hampshire Division 1 title, to be in the Wessex within 10 years and we would have achieved it last year.

‘It was through no fault of our own, after being given the green light, we were going up and planning for it then the null and void came in.

‘That coupled with the pandemic at the time and the way everyone’s personal lives were affected, we seriously thought about whether we wanted to carry on. Was it the right time to call it quits?

'To be fair, one of the main reasons we did carry on was because of the lads in the team.

‘We did speak to them a bit about it because they’re quite close with us and they told us we couldn’t and we had to carry on.

‘The main part of it was because of them and we decided to do it and go again.'

Infinity boasted the best points per game record of the four HPL teams who had applied for promotion.

Over the course of the past two seasons, their PPG ratio stood at 2.51, with Bush Hill (2.5), Fleetlands (2.08) and Stockbridge (1.52) after that.

Infinity will groundshare for a second season with Hythe & Dibden in 2021/22, with their landlords also celebrating today after being promoted to the Wessex Premier.