There is no game on Saturday 20 July as manager Mark Burke wants another training session to follow on from sessions on Tuesday and Thursday to really increase fitness levels.
Tuesday 23 July away to Arlesey friendly kick off 7.45pm.
Thursday 25 July away to Pitstone and Ivinghoe friendly kick off 7.00pm.
HITCHIN V ARSENAL XI
Tickets continue to sell well for our prestige friendly with an Arsenal XI on Saturday 27 July 2018. Make sure you get your £1 discount by buying your tickets online. Adults tickets are £9, concessions £6 and teenagers £2.
The new fence on the dugout side of the ground has now been completed. It really gives a much more modern look compared to the old wooden fencing that was well past its best!
The under 19’s are now partnered with Pro Direct Academy. Pro Direct have centres all over the country and the Arena at Baldock is one of these centres. Pro Direct help with marketing and recruitment and aim to help players showcase their skills. They seek to produce elite players who go on to league football. They chose the best players from their various centres to form a side who then play against professional academy sides.
SCL Education and Training provide the educational side of the two year course which enables the players to gain a B-Tec in sports diploma. We have around 40 players enrolled in the scheme and the football side will be run by our head of youth development Damon Lathrope who is also a coach to the first team. There will be two teams with the Elite side playing in the National under 19 Alliance and the Development side playing in a college league.
Damon has a really interesting football background which I am sure will interest our supporters. I interviewed him today and my article will go on to our social media platforms next week.
MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE
I am very pleased with the way pre-season training has been going. The boys are working really hard and I have been impressed with some of the new players that have come in. It has reminded me of my first season as manager when I was working with young hungry players such as Matt Lench.
I am always looking to strengthen the side and at this stage of the pre-season schedule players often become available who were not on the radar earlier.
BRETT DONNELLY ON THE WEALDSTONE GAME
I was very impressed with our performance against a strong Wealdstone side who I think will be challenging for the National South title. We were missing a number of regular starters so the team was rather thrown together with players not that familiar with each other.
Despite this I saw some promising signs with players stepping up to the plate. I was impressed by the fitness levels and how hard the players worked. I feel we are going in the right direction and it was good to have training sessions this week so we could work on fitness together with shape and tactics. I feel it is important we work harder than other teams and become difficult to beat.
BY ROY IZZARD