Hearn excited by Alfreton return

Liam Hearn spent three years with Alfreton in his first spell
Liam Hearn spent three years with Alfreton in his first spell

Liam Hearn says he was disappointed his spell at Ilkeston FC came to an end before a competitive ball had been kicked - but that he’s excited to be back at Alfreton Town.

Hearn, 30, was appointed as player-coach at Ilkeston back in May but opted to sign for a second spell at the Impact Arena just days before the Robins’ season was due to start.

A league suspension and subsequent postponement means Ilkeston won’t now begin their campaign until at least Tuesday night, and with the ongoing situation at the New Manor Ground not cited by Hearn as his main reason for leaving, he says he couldn’t turn down the chance to return to his former club.

He said: “I went to Ilkeston with a lot of hope and ambition for the future but unfortunately for one or two reasons it hasn’t worked out.

“I’m disappointed how it ended and admittedly the timing couldn’t really have been worse what with the suspension having happened last week. Although that’s not the main reason I left it did make me think that it would be hard to turn down the chance to come back to Alfreton in case things didn’t get sorted quickly at Ilkeston and I was left high and dry.

“I spoke to their chairman and the manager Paul Holland and they agreed to let me go. I wish the club all the best and hope things all get sorted out as it’s a good club with lots of good people and with plenty of players with a lot of potential.”

Hearn, who represented Alfreton between 2008 and 2011, said he had opted against joining Nicky Law’s men earlier in the summer but that he is already feeling back at home having signed his deal on Friday afternoon.

He said: “They wanted to sign me before I went to Ilkeston but the chance to go there and not only play but earn my coaching badges and tutor young players was too good to turn down.

“Thankfully the chance remained open and when things didn’t work out at Ilkeston and a club like Alfreton, with whom I have so much history, came calling I had to look at it.

“The chance to come back and potentially enjoy another long spell here really appealed.

“So much here is the same - from the chairman to the staff throughout the club - so I feel at home straight away having already seen so many familiar faces.”

Hearn was expected to be in the squad for the visit of Curzon Ashton to the Impact Arena on Saturday and he says he is looking forward to the season.

He added: “It’s a good division this year with a lot of good teams having come up and down from other leagues last year, so I’m really excited by it all. I’m blessed to have had this opportunity come up and I’m keen to make the most of it.”