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Weekly Bulletin, 13 April

Friday, April 13 2018

FIXTURES

Saturday 14 April away to Kettering  league  kick off 3.00pm. coach leaves at 11.45am.
Monday 16 April home to Slough  league kick off 7.45pm.
Wednesday 18 April  home to Didcot  BetFreeBet.Com League Cup Final, kick off 7.45pm.

HITCHIN TOWN LADIES FC

The Ladies are at home to Garston Ladies 2nd XI on Sunday 15 April at Swinburne avenue kick off 2.00pm.

HITCHIN TOWN UNDER 19'S

The Academy side had their game with Kings Langley postponed on Wednesday. Next Wednesday 18 April they are away to Dorking Wanderers kick off 2.00pm.

BIGFREEBET.COM CUP FINAL

On Wednesday we attempt to play our League Cup Final for the third time. I again ask our supporters to turn up in numbers and get behind the team as this is possibly the most important match of the season with not just silverware but £4,000 prize money at stake.

SOCIAL MEDIA OFFICER

Colin Ridgway has announced he will be standing down as our social media officer at the end of the season. He has done a brilliant job and we wish him well for the future. We are now looking for his replacement and anyone interested should contact me at roy.izzard@outlook.com.

SCHOOL CHARITY MATCH

The charity match for Sport Relief featuring Hitchin Boys School, Hitchin Girls School and Priory School was again postponed on Wednesday. It has now been rearranged for Wednesday 2 May at Top Field. It will  start at  5.00pm and finish at 9.00pm. Entrance will be £2.

WET WEATHER AND POSTPONEMENTS

This has been the worst winter weather wise for many years and this has meant we have had an abnormally high number of  games postponed. This week has been particularly frustrating with the Hereford game being postponed twice and the weather forecast being spectacularly wrong on Thursday when torrential rain fell on what was supposed to be a dry morning. Postponements  cause all sorts of problems that I will try and explain.

The person most affected is fixture secretary Chris Newbold who has the unenvious job of having to rearrange the postponed games. This is not as easy as you would think as the league insist the postponed game has to be rearranged within a specific time period. On top of that he needs to find a date that suits not just Hitchin but the opposition as well. This is often difficult especially this season where so many games have been called off which means while we may have a free midweek our opponents do not. There is also the fact that there is a priority order for fixtures to further complicate matters and an example of this is the League Cup having priority over a League game.

Somehow Chris has retained his sanity and got all the games rearranged  He explained how the Hereford game was switched from Monday to Thursday (only for the weather to again intervene) on our Fan's Forum and this shows the difficulties he has face.

When a game is in doubt I have to get a local referee of the correct standard to carry out a pitch inspection. I liaise with the opposition secretary and our ground staff and the timing of the inspection will often be based around when the opposition coach is due to leave. I then have to go to the ground to meet the referee for the inspection and if after consultation with the match referee he decides the game should be postponed a whole raft of phone calls have to be made to let key personnel know the outcome. I can then return to work.

Postponements cause havoc for our programme editor Mick Docking. He has long since sent the printers the programme information before a game is postponed and there are several batches of programmes that were printed but with no game to sell them. Wasted effort from Mick and a financial hit to the club. 

Likewise our ground staff have often done a great deal of work in preparing the pitch only for the rain to thwart their efforts. When it is as wet as it has been recently they have to choose the moments when they are able to work on the pitch as it is often too wet to do anything useful.

Finally if a number of consecutive home games are postponed there is a resulting effect on cash flow and it can be the case that if the rearranged dates mean a number of consecutive home games close together supporters may not be able to afford to attend them all so again there is a financial consequence. We had even hired in extra toilets for the Hereford game and this cost must still be paid even though they were not used.

So if you see me praying for a dry spell of weather you now know why!

PLAYER NEWS

Lucas Kirkpatrick has returned to light training but is not yet available for selection.
Patrick Tshikala suffered a dead leg in training last night and faces a fitness test tomorrow.
Brett Donnelly serves the second game of his suspension tomorrow.
Trey Charles missed the last two training sessions with a hip injury and is doubtful for tomorrow.
Ben Walster has a shoulder injury and will miss the next two games.

Roy Izzard



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