The first training session took place at the Arena on Thursday. Mark Burke was pleased with the turn out with the majority of last season’s squad attending together with a number of new faces. Mark is keen to build on the performances at the end of last season as we averaged two points a game from January which is play-off form. We won difficult away games at Stourbridge, Bromsgrove, Peterborough Sports and Coalville in this period and Mark is keen to retain the core of the squad who produced the turnaround in our results and look for a few additions to increase the overall quality.

The players will train again next Thursday before going to three sessions a week. The start of the season is still set for 12 September but no further guidance was received from the FA or Southern League this week. We have been advised no spectators will be allowed to attend friendlies and as yet we have not been advised how many supporters will be allowed to attend league games.

Details of friendlies will be announced in due course.

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.

Hitchin Town FC masks have proved very popular and we have already sold out our first batch and have had to re-order so please do not delay and place your order as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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 up to 7.00pm on Tuesday 28 July when the screening will be available on You Tube so please place your order as soon as possible as you will not want to miss seeing this iconic game. 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 12 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.

The game has enhanced graphics and commentary added by Barry Swain (current TalkSport commentator). We are very grateful to Barry for his considerable contribution.

Tickets are now on sale for our fifth online 50/50 draw… the draw will take place at 7.00pm on Wednesday 5th August.

The draw will be split 50/50 between the winner and the Club. Thanks for any support you can give.

The link to sales of the tickets is here.

On behalf of the Club I sent an email to ex-Canary Stuart Hammonds who is now the Press and Media manager for Luton Town congratulating them on avoiding relegation. Stuart quickly acknowledged my email thanking me for the good wishes. We have a good relationship with Luton and are very keen to continue to build on this.

We had another amazing day with all the brilliant volunteers coming along again for which we are very grateful (same next Saturday please). We carried on where we left off last Saturday with more materials being gathered up and put in the skip which is now filling up fast.

A small three sided compound by the side of the club house was taken down as it hasn’t been used for ages with the fence panels saved to be used inside the ground. This task was made more difficult as several blackberry bushes had grown inside it and some slight “injuries ” were inflicted, certain people picked and ate some of the berries and remarked how sweet they were.

The tractor shed had a final coat of wood stain and now looks very tidy. Cladding started to be fitted to the yellow painted boardroom which will smarten that up too.

Again the pitch was cut and it also got a cut on Tuesday. We are glad the rain arrived in the afternoon otherwise sprinklers would have had to be deployed but you can’t get better than natural water for free.

Next week I intend to mark the pitch so it will be ready for pre-season games next month sometime.