Infinity receive ground grading boost as uncertainty over what league they will be in next season goes on

Infinity have been handed some good news at one of the bleakest times for football clubs nationwide.

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 11:01 am
Updated Thursday, 26th March 2020, 3:07 pm
Infinity (yellow/black) in action at Paulsgrove last month. The team have not lost any of their 24 Hampshire Premier League games so far. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The Hampshire Premier League Senior Division table-toppers have taken another significant step towards their Wessex League dream after being granted a step six ground grading.

But even that, coupled with the lofty league position they find themselves in, might not be enough to see them promoted given the current coronavirus pandemic.

The FA and leagues up and down the country are still to decide what the outcome of the season might be with the game in the UK shutdown at present.

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Infinity owner Jody Hoare and everyone at the Knowle Village-based club have worked so hard to see them realise their Wessex League dream.

They are moving into AFC Stoneham's former HP Arena home in Eastleigh and have all the necessary improvements at the ground completed to meet step six standards.

However, promotion might still be ripped away from them in a cruel way. After all, how many clubs have gone the entire league season undefeated - Infinity have won 20 and drawn four of their 24 league games so far - and not won promotion?

‘At the moment, the main thing is everyone staying safe and the economy and everything else going on in the background,' said Hoare.

‘It is a slight bit of good news and the wheels are still turning in the background so to speak.

‘I’ve still got to carry on doing what I need to do in order to get us up the leagues for when we do get back playing.

‘Over the past couple of seasons we’ve applied more in hope than expectation.

‘We’ve been working alongside Mark Stupple (Stoneham chairman).

‘He’s been an absolute godsend for us, a breath of fresh air.

‘He’s gained nothing from helping us. We approached him with the idea, immediately he was open to it but he had to speak to other people.

‘He has worked with us very closely since and he’s helped us massively.

'We’re going to move into their own ground once they’ve vacated - they’ve already vacated it, but they still have a few teams playing at the HP Arena until the end of the season.

'They’ve moved into the Stoneham complex.'

Infinity remain on track to make Hampshire Premier Senior Division history this season.

They could become the first team from that level to complete a league season undefeated - at present, the record is Locks Heath’s single defeat in 2012/13.

But whether or not they will play again this season remains to be seen.

Although admitting manager Danny Thompson and his squad are adamant they want to land the title, Hoare is not overly fussed as long as the club are in the Wessex League next term.

‘We got Danny in at the start of the season and he’s done an amazing job,' assessed Hoare.

‘He’s very well organised, a top fella, and he’s worked really hard.

‘To be in the position we are at the moment, 24 games unbeaten.

‘Dan and all the lads have said quite adamantly they want to carry on and they want to do it properly, win all the games and win the championship.

‘For me, that’s not a priority. For me, I’d finish fourth or fifth and go up to the Wessex League.'