The following message was received from the Southern League secretary this week:
“I am writing to advise you that on Friday 19th March 2021, that FA Council ratified the decision of the FA Alliance Committee to curtail the 2020/21 season.
“The DCMS have now published their non elite sport guidance for the period covering Step 1B (from 29 March) of the Government Roadmap. This will be in force until the start of Step 2 (no earlier than April 12). The main point from our point of view is that no spectators will be allowed in to games before 17th May.”
TRAINING ON MONDAY
On Monday (complying with the government roadmap) the players will meet up for the first time in three months as Mark Burke has arranged a training session at the Arena. He has said it will be a light session and will be a chance for the players to socialise as much as anything. He hopes to organise further sessions to keep the players as fit as possible and to start planning for next season.
ACADEMY UPDATE BY MICHAEL JONES
We have our first league fixture on Wednesday 31st March in the SCL U19 East Division at home against Barking FC. This game is due to be played at Hitchin Town FC. Unfortunately, this will be a behind closed doors fixture and no spectators will be allowed.
We are also holding a free 6 aside football tournament for under 16 teams on Saturday 17th April 2021 between 12-4pm, which will be hosted at the Arena, Baldock, Hertfordshire, SG7 5AU.
If interested, please register your team at the following link: Www.northhertsarena.co.uk/tournament-entry-form
Once you have completed the registration, we will be in touch with further details in relation to the tournament.
SUPPORTER ENGAGEMENT UPDATE BY SASCHA GUSTARD-BROWN
Details of the Canary Rock Garden were launched on Monday morning and it’s a fantastic project that we hope will prove popular with our supporters and the local community. From Saturday, a designated area will be setup outside of the Fishponds Road turnstiles so that you can leave you rocks/stones there; it will be signposted accordingly. A member of the volunteer team will collect the rocks/stones at regular intervals and keep them safe until the Canary Rock Garden is implemented at the ground.
The Junior Canaries Kit Competition closed last Friday and I am pleased to announce that Mark Burke has selected the winner! There is a great prize for the winning design and a little gift for all of the entrants as a thank you for taking part. The full story will be published within the next week, with the gallery of designs being uploaded to the club website over the Easter weekend.
I am also pleased to confirm that our artwork partnership with local schools is going well, with another school joining the project. This project, along with other initiatives we have in both planning and development, will ensure that Top Field is a bright and creative space for all of our supporters to enjoy.
Lastly, if you haven’t seen today’s story already, please take a look at the Easter activity resources we have uploaded to the club website. With the activities now available, and the Canary Rock Garden also launched, there is plenty to keep you busy during the Easter holidays!
LUTON TOWN AT TOP FIELD
On Tuesday we hosted the Luton Town Development team as they played Gillingham. Despite taking a two goal lead Luton were beaten 3-2. The game had to be played behind closed doors to comply with government protocols. It was good to see the Luton first team manager Nathan Jones in attendance with his assistant Mick Harford. The chairman and asistant secretary were also at Top Field together with ex-Canary Stuart Hammonds who is the press and media manager. It was good to speak to Stuart who still follows Hitchin very closely.
We are always keen to improve our relationship with Luton and this was the third match we had hosted for them.
INTERVIEW WITH SIMON EDWARDS
Our steward Simon Edwards found himself at the centre of a media frenzy when news broke that he had discovered his birth father was the world famous boxing commentator Colonel Bob Sheridan and that Simon was sole heir to his fortune. Simon gave me an interview in which he gave the full story of what happened and gave details of his love of Hitchin Town FC. The interview is now available to read.
BREAK-IN AT TOP FIELD
In the early hours of Saturday morning there was a break-in at Top Field. The social club was not targeted but the perpetrators did cause damage to a number of doors and locks including those of our new Canary Kitchen. Luckily nothing was stolen but it is heartbreaking to have to deal with such vandalism. However you cannot let the actions of a few thugs put you off. Great work is going on around the ground and mindless individuals will not deter this – it just makes us more determined and we will increase our security.
It may only be March and this season’s FA Cup is still only at the semi-final stage but this week I had to complete the entry form for next season’s competition along with the FA Trophy and FA Youth Cup. It just shows that pandemic or not plans have to be made for the future.
BY ROY IZZARD