- Saturday 27 July home to Arsenal X1 Friendly kick off 3.00pm.
You can still get a £1 discount for the Arsenal game by buying your ticket online. Adults pay £9, concessions £6 and teenagers £2. This is your chance to see the Arsenal stars of the future.
- Tuesday 30 July away to Eynesbury Rovers Friendly kick off 7.45pm.
We have decided to revert back to Monday night football for the coming season. Wednesday night did not prove popular with the players who much prefer Mondays while attendances were below what we used to get on Monday evenings.
Manager Mark Burke was very keen to return to Mondays and feels it gives us an advantage as our opponents to not relish travelling on a Monday. Our record on Monday nights has been very good on the pitch and wearing my treasurer’s hat I have enjoyed seeing so many neutral supporters attend these games.
SIGNED ON PLAYERS
The following players have now been registered with the Southern League-
- Alex Anderson
- Lewis Barker
- Kieran Barnes
- Josh Bickerstaff
- Lukas Didik
- Brett Donnelly
- Jay Dowie
- Lewis Ferrell
- Joe Gauge
- Jack Green
- Charlie Hayford
- Charlie Horlock
- Charlie O’Keefe
- Leon Okuboyejo
- Max Ryan
- Devonte Simms
- Charlie Thake
- Jack Thomas
- Dan Webb
PITSTONE AND IVINGHOE
Hitchin made their first ever visit to Pitstone and Ivinghoe on Thursday. Their officials could not have been more welcoming and were really hospitable. The playing surface could not have been better as Mark Burke ran the rule over the less experienced members of the squad and trialists. The Hitchin support just exceeded double figures on a stifling evening where regular water breaks were essential.
MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE
I felt it was important to have a training session last Saturday. We were able to have an internal game that I could stop and start to make tactical points. It meant we had three consecutive training sessions which really helped preparations for the season.
As it was an extremely hot evening I decided not to give any of the players a full 90 minutes. We enjoyed plenty of possession which allowed the players to see a lot of the ball. We are still working on our shape and pattern of play and I am pleased with the way things are progressing at the moment. In the next couple of weeks we will be looking to add a cutting edge to our possession. There were signs of this towards the end of the game when we scored two goals.
PITSTONE & IVINGHOE
I took a young development squad plus some first team squad members to Pitstone enabling me to give them vital match fitness. We exploded out of the blocks racing in to a 3-0 lead in the first ten minutes. There was a lot of good football played combined with plenty of energy on another very hot evening. We scored a further two goals to lead 5-0 at half time.
I was a little disappointed that we did not score more goals in the second half and did not keep a clean sheet. However I made many changes to the personnel and shape of the team which did not allow us to get in to a proper rhythm.
I am looking forward to welcoming my old mate Ken Gillard to Top Field on Saturday as manager of the Arsenal under 18 team. We shared many good memories playing together for Hitchin and I would like to thank him for bringing a side to Top Field.
This is the third team in recent years we have hosted an Arsenal side and from those games a number of the Arsenal players progressed to the first team squad. For all supporters it will be a great opportunity to see the next generation of Arsenal players and I urge you to grab the chance and come to Top Field on Saturday.
On Tuesday we go to Eynesbury where we will meet up with another ex-Canary in Mark Ducket who has done a very good job as their manager. The playing surface is very good and I will be taking the first team squad.
BY ROY IZZARD