ADDITIONAL FRIENDLY
We are pleased to confirm that we will be playing Luton Town on Saturday 3rd July at Top Field kick-off 3.00pm. It will be Luton’s first game of the season and they will bring their first team squad. We are grateful to Chief Executive Officer Gary Sweet, manager Nathan Jones, and the rest of the Luton staff for agreeing to return to Top Field. We have an excellent relationship with Luton and they used our facilities on a number of occasions last season.

We last played a pre-season game against Luton in July 2018 when a crowd of 788 saw Luton win 6-2.

650 tickets will go on sale from 9.00am on Saturday 12th June. If we are allowed to increase our capacity after June 21st more tickets will go on sale.

EX-CANARY NEWS
22-year-old Josh Coley has joined League Two side Exeter City from Maidenhead for an undisclosed fee, signing a two-year deal. Grecians boss Matt Taylor told the club’s website:

“We’re really pleased to get this deal over the line early and thankful to Maidenhead for allowing us to do that.”

Josh made 13 appearances for Hitchin between 2016 and 2018 and is the son of John Coley who played 42 games for Hitchin between 1996 and 1997.

Congratulations to Kane Smith who was chosen in the National League team of the season. He also won the manager’s player of the season award at Boreham Wood and was runner-up in the players’ player of the year.

Will Wright ended the season strongly at Dagenham & Redbridge and was captain for a couple of their final fixtures.

Dean Brennan, another ex-Canary was this week named Head of Football at Barnet under new manager Harry Kewell.

ACADEMY UPDATE BY MICHAEL JONES
Thursday 10th June Pro:Direct Academy held a showcase event in London for 64 players picked from all their sites in the country. We were lucky enough to have 8 players from our Academy selected for this event.

The day split players into four teams of 16 to play a four team tournament in front of scouts from professional and non league clubs.

This was another great opportunity for our players to show what they can do on the pitch and also show everyone what talent we have coming through our very own academy.

GROUND UPDATE BY PAUL SPRAGUE
Over the next few weeks there is plenty of tidying and cleaning to do. So if you could spare a few hours on a Saturday morning then please come down. We will be there from 9.00 each Saturday – alongside the maintenance work key tasks on Saturday 12th and 19th June will include the following to really make Top Field shine:

  • Sweeping and weeding the concrete areas throughout the ground
  • Sweeping the main stand and cleaning all the seats

We have a small amount of equipment but please also bring your own tools if you have any.

In addition we will also be cutting the hedges at Top Field on Saturday 19th June – if you can lend a hand from 9AM that would be fantastic and if you have any petrol/cordless hedge cutters then please also bring these along.

SUPPORTER ENGAGEMENT UPDATE BY SASCHA GUSTARD-BROWN

With development plans for the Junior Canaries section of the website on the agenda, my focus has been on collating and creating activities and content for this page. I’ve also been able to speak with Mark Burke on content regarding engagement with the players so watch this space.

In addition to this mini project, we have a story being published next week which we hope our supporters will engage with. It’s just a bit of fun and it will really help us with several activities we have planned for future matchdays so please keep an eye out for it and participate if you can. Outside of supporter engagement plans, I was asked to represent Hitchin Town Football Club at the North Herts Art & Culture Community Engagement and Enterprise Panel on Monday evening. It was a really interesting discussion and it was fantastic to see such a wide range of organisations from the Hertfordshire area come together.

We hope this event will lead to exciting collaborations in the near future and we would like to thank Danny Pearson and the North Hertfordshire District Council for the invitation.

MERCHANDISE UPDATE
Sales of our new brand merchandise continue to exceed our expectations and we hope that as the new season gets nearer, sales will continue to thrive. If you’ve thought about buying an item from the new range, be it a new shirt or even a mug or pin badge – you can do so by clicking here.

Thanks again for your fantastic support – it really is appreciated and has been a much needed boost to our cash flow.

TICKETING UPDATE
I felt it was important we repeat the information on ticketing for our pre season friendlies (now including the Luton game) and the season proper.

Pre-Season Friendlies
Prices have now been set for our pre-season matches at Top Field:

Luton: Adult £12, Concession (60-79) £8, Teenager £3, Child Under 13 (must accompany an adult) £1, Over 80s FREE

Stevenage: Adult £12, Concession (60-79) £8, Teenager £3, Child Under 13 (must accompany an adult) £1, Over 80s FREE

Watford U23 and Bedford Town: Adult £8, Concession (60-79) £5, Teenager £2, Child Under 13 (must accompany an adult) £1, Over 80s FREE.

Stotfold and Beaconsfield Town: Adult £5, Concession (60-79) £3, Teenager £2, Child Under 13 (must accompany an adult) £1, Over 80s FREE.

All tickets must be bought or booked online in advance – this includes Over 80s FREE entry tickets. The online booking office will from this season be kept open until 30 minutes after kick off, or when our attendance capacity is reached, but it is emphatically stressed that there will be no facility for turning up and paying on the turnstiles.

Match Day Tickets
For Season 2021-22 we have decided to retain prices at last season’s rates for adults and concessions. We have however decided that an increase in teenager prices to £3 and to charge £1 for children under 13 entries is necessary. Teenagers can make a good saving by purchasing a season ticket at last season’s prices if they wish.

Prices will be as follows:

Adult £12, Concession (60-79) £8, Teenager £3, Child Under 13 (must accompany an adult) £1, Over 80s FREE

Again, all tickets must be bought online in advance.

Season Tickets
We fully appreciate the difficult time that our loyal supporters have had with interrupted and curtailed seasons for 2019-20 and 2020-21. Therefore we made the decision that all season tickets purchased for 2020-21 will be valid for the pre-season and League matches for the 2021-22 season. We will not be issuing new season tickets for 2020-21 season ticket holders – you will not need to do anything other than present your existing season tickets for scanning at the turnstiles, they will be automatically valid.

Season tickets for the new season are now on sale online, and prices are unchanged from last season. These are: adults £185, concessions (60-79) £110, teenagers £25, over 80s FREE. There is currently no child season ticket available – this may be a possibility later when crowd capacities are no longer restricted. These can be purchased by clicking here.

If you have any ticketing queries, we have tried to answer these in our ticketing Q & A section on the website. If you cannot find your answer there, you can email clubadmin@hitchintownfc.club to put your question.

ROSE WILKINSON FAREWELL BY MICK DOCKING
On Tuesday we said farewell to our much missed Rose, who, until cruelly stricken by cancer at the beginning of last year was running the Canary Club with Steve Kimberley.

She finally lost her battle on 13 May and family and friends joined together at the Club to remember her sharp wit, humour and of course that piercing stare of disapproval.

Allison and her family spent many hours dressing the tables and chairs so as to ensure the hall was fit for the occasion, resplendent in Rose’s favourite colour – purple. Many thanks to them. Table service and social distancing were of course deployed as required.

To all of Rose’s family we again offer our sincere condolences and trust that the day went as well as could be expected.

All in all this was a sombre foil to the more trivial affair going on over the road at the same time. Roy is writing a few words on that subject elsewhere. Whilst the film shoot day eventually went off smoothly, the week before was a genuine pain in the rear with continual changes to requirements, filming days etc. Worth it in the end – well, maybe?

HARRY STYLES AT HITCHIN TOWN FC
The 27-year-old former One Direction star Harry Styles, along with other big names were in Hitchin on Tuesday with Amazon Prime, who were filming at Hitchin outdoor pool.

The film is called My Policeman starring Harry Styles, Rupert Everett and Emma Corrin. It is adapted from Bethan Roberts’s popular book, that follows a love triangle between a man, a woman, and a policeman, set in the 1950s.

The film company had hired our car park to accommodate some of their vehicles and equipment.

Styles did actually appear in the Hitchin Town FC car park. While a look-alike distracted the large number of female fans outside the swimming pool, Styles was led by a security man from the football club to the set for filming.

CANARY CLUB UPDATE BY KATE DELLER

We have now been open since the 17th May and have welcomed back our customers. Thank you all so much for supporting us through these strange times. The hall has had a wonderful makeover with a new suspended ceiling and new floor. It looks amazing. Our staff and family have worked on the garden and it is now back ready for use after becoming ‘a bit wild’ in lockdown.

EURO 2020
Today we finally see Euro 2020 start. We are a very popular venue for watching the football. We have 2 large screens in the hall for great immersive viewing. Telephone Steve and his staff to book your table on 01462 421888, it is advised that you do so as this Sunday 13th June the hall is already FULLY BOOKED for the England game although there is limited seating in the bar area. There will be with additional tv’s and accommodation inside and out throughout Euro 2020. At just over £3 a pint it’s a no brainer to use Canary Club.

We are excited to announce Canary Kitchen is opening its doors today on a permanent basis and we welcome this move; our customers at the Club can now enjoy some home cooked food on the premises. A menu will be available from this afternoon.

So, please come and enjoy the football, fine ale and home cooked food in the comfort of the Canary Club. Lets hope, Football is finally…Coming Home! Come on England!

Don’t forget the clubhouse is available for private hirings – just speak to Steve on 01462 421888 or 07857 983345.

BY ROY IZZARD