START FOR NEXT SEASON
The Southern League yesterday published the following statement:
“The FA and the Leagues are aiming for a September start of competitive matches in the National League System; however, this is subject to change in accordance with Government guidance and approval for paying spectators which may be published from time to time.
Competitive training can now take place with groups of up to 30 people including coaches. Pre-season matches can commence in August. NLS (or relevant FA Competition) fixtures are proposed to commence on:
- Step 1 & 2: No earlier than Saturday, 5th September 2020
- Steps 3 & 4: Saturday, 19th September 2020
- Steps 5 & 6: From Saturday 5th September 2020
Clubs must complete their Action Plans for all aspects of the official FA document as soon as possible to ensure that leagues are able to start against these timetables.”
So we are due to start on Saturday 19th September but details regarding supporters have yet to be finalised.
BACK TO TRAINING
The players start their pre-season training on Thursday 23 July at the Arena. But as you might expect due to the Coronavirus pandemic there are a range of protocols that have to be followed. Our physio Sam Backhouse has produced this for the players:
- Any players feeling unwell, should notify the club and not attend training until they are better or for a period of 7 days.
- Symptoms to look out for: Temperature 37.8C or higher. Fever (may feel warm, cold or shivery). Continuous cough ▪ Can be a new cough that’s lasted for an hour, ▪ have had 3 or more episodes of coughing in 24 hours ▪ are coughing more than usual and loss or change in sense of smell or taste –
If a member of any players/staff house develop symptoms above, they should stay away from training for 14 days from the first day of their symptoms or until they have had a coronavirus test to rule out the virus. Information about tests can be found on this link.
- Players and staff must have their temperature taken on arrival at training, any player with temperature of 37.8 or above must leave. They should self-isolate for 7 days, and not attend training for a minimum of 7 days or until a test clears them (as above).
- All players must arrive and leave in their training kit, no use of the changing rooms at all.
- All players must have their own allocated water bottle – no sharing.
- Equipment must be disinfected throughout sessions, and thoroughly after every training session.
- No spitting or clearing of nose during training.
- No face to face drills with less than 2metres apart, no heading drills.
In addition to these protocols the physio team will require a number of PPE (personal protective equipment) including face masks, goggles, disposable aprons and face shields.
Thank you to all those of you who supported and watched the 1993 Enfield League game. Next up on Hitchin Retro we have one of the most important games in the club’s history. It is the 1994/5 visit to then Football League side Hereford United in the F A Cup which will be screened on the Hitchin Town FC YouTube channel.
Tickets for this game will be Pay What You Want (minimum £1). These will be on sale from 17:00 hours on Tuesday 14 July, and can be purchased up until the time of the screening. All monies raised from the “admission fee” will go directly to help Hitchin Town FC pay essential bills at this difficult time.
Click here to purchase your tickets.
The match was played at Hereford’s Edgar Street ground on Saturday 12th November 1994. This was the first time Hitchin had reached the first round of the FA Cup for 18 years and I am sure it will bring back happy memories for so many of our supporters.
Screening will be available on YouTube from 19:00 hours on Tuesday 28th July 2020, and has enhanced graphics and commentary added by Barry Swain (current TalkSport commentator). We are very grateful to Barry for his considerable contribution.
BEST WISHES TO JOHN AND ALAN
Sadly two of our past players are facing difficult times with health issues at the moment. John Woodward who played 166 games between 1981 and 1986 has been suffering with a long illness while Alan West who played 183 games between 1983 and 1987 and was also our manager is currently in hospital awaiting a heart operation. On behalf of every one at the club I send John and Alan our very best wishes at this difficult time.
HITCHIN TOWN FC FACE MASKS
At this challenging time, you may have seen football supporters wearing face masks sporting the brand of their team. Well why should we be any different? Hitchin Town Face Masks are now on sale online – they are reusable and cost £7 each which is inclusive of post and packing.
Online is the only way to buy one of these masks, so if you would like to indulge and support your Club in this venture, please follow this link to place your order.
Delivery will take between 7 and 14 days from time of placement of order. Thanks for your help. We would love to be reordering midweek because online orders have outstripped the initial order so please order your Hitchin town face mark now.
GROUND REPORT BY STEVE BARKER
We had a very productive Saturday this week with around 20 volunteers attending and I would like to thank them all, it’s so reassuring to know how people care about our great club giving up their time for free when asked.
The massive skip was almost half filled with more materials collected from all around the site with more still to be loaded next Saturday. All the paths behind the stand were cleared and the seating area was started on having not been cleaned since last used in March.
Lots of ivy was removed from on and behind the buildings around the stand, that stuff soon takes over when it’s left untouched. Good to have the use of Allan Johnson’s truck and trailer to collect the waste from around the ground and take it to the skip, thanks Allan.
I cut the pitch today again and I am waiting for when I can get it all measured and the white lines put down which is a day’s work in itself, no lasers at our level just a long string and tape measure. The goals and nets take a few hours to erect too and when they are up it looks like a football stadium once again.
We are up the ground every Saturday from 9:30 if anyone fancies fresh air so please just turn up, we don’t bite.
BY ROY IZZARD