Long time coming but Colney Heath ready for Southern League bow
- Credit: KARYN HADDON
It was something that seemed hugely likely and then almost at once seemed to have been taken away but patience proved and virtue and Colney Heath are at last set for a historic bow in the Southern League.
The Magpies were clear at the top of the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division table when the 2019-2020 season was suddenly halted.
They lost just once in last year's ill-fated campaign but the two together were considered worthy of promotion by the FA.
And skipper Jack Woods believes it has been a long time coming.
"I’m looking forward to it," he said. "I’ve always kept it easy at step five.
"I feel like it has been coming for a few years to be fair. You get yourself towards the end of a season, thinking you’re going to go up, and then [COVID-19] happened and you have to pick yourself up and do it again.
"The Spartan League is hard to get out of but we’re looking forward to the step up and challenging ourselves on better pitches against better players."
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The Magpies have been playing together as a squad for many years, the core having missed out on promotion in 2016 with London Colney.
That togetherness shines through in their team spirit but behind the happy-go-lucky façade is a competitive hunger to go out and surprise people.
Woods said: "Every season is a good season for us, whether we are winning or losing.
"It is always going to be fun but we’re not there just to make the numbers up.
"We’re going to give it our all and I reckon we’ll be alright."
The make-up of the league helps aid the debutants' passage into their new step four environment with plenty of neighbours who have made the leap from the SSML in previous years and flourished.
And it is some of those familiar faces that Woods is most looking-forward to.
"The Welwyn games will be great," he said. "We know quite a few of the boys, we all know each other well so that will be a good game.
"The Berko game will be good too, we’ve played against them many times, but I haven’t really looked too far ahead.
"I’m looking forward to all of them and there isn’t as many Tuesday nights. It’ll be nice just playing Saturdays."