ONLINE 50/50 DRAW
Please do not forget to buy your tickets for our latest online 50/50 draw. The draw will take place at 7pm on Wednesday 5 August so do not delay.

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.

HITCHIN TOWN FACE MASKS
Hitchin Town Face Masks are now on sale online – they are re-useable and cost £7 each which is inclusive of post and packing. But please be warned they are selling fast so only limited stocks remain

This 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.

COVID-19
As a result of Covid-19 all National League System clubs now have to produce a risk assessment and action plan to cover the return of football. This has to be published on each club’s website. Also each club has to appoint a Covid-19 officer who will be responsible for oversight of the Covid-19 risk assessments, ensuring the necessary level of risk mitigations are in place and the minimum guidance to be achieved has taken place.

They should also ensure that the club, or any venue used can adhere to their guidance responsibilities within local constraints. For clarity, the Covid-19 Officer does not have to hold a formal qualification but clubs should give thought as to who the most relevant person would be for the role.

At Hitchin detailed work is already being undertaken to adhere to these new guidelines and to ensure Top Field will be as safe as possible for the return of competitive football.

RETURN TO FOOTBALL
Mark Burke was again very pleased with the number of players who attended Thursday’s training session. All the players he wanted to retain from last season were there with a number of prospective new signings. From this week it will be three sessions per week until the friendlies start.

The pre-season programme is being put together and will be announced soon although no supporters are allowed to attend. The League season is still due to start on Saturday 19 September but there is still no guidance regarding how many (if any) supporters will be allowed to attend. The League AGM will take place by zoom on Friday 28 August but the Central League will have the same teams as last year.

On Monday 3 August the FA have announced clubs shall be notified of the following information for each of The Emirates FA Cup, The Buildbase FA Trophy, The Buildbase FA Vase and The FA Youth Cup Competitions;

  • List of Clubs accepted
  • List of Clubs to receive exemption
  • Competition Format
  • Round Dates
  • Prize Fund

The proposed date for the FA Cup first qualifying round is Tuesday 22 September.

BRETT DONNELLY RETIREMENT BLOG
I asked Brett to write a retirement blog to mark his decision to hang up his boots and it is now on all our social media outlets. As ever he has come up with a blog that is humorous, insightful, provocative, entertaining and very readable. I certainly intend to keep pushing him to produce more blogs through the coming season from his coaching position.

So many thanks to Brett for devoting so much time to produce his official retirement blog – I hope you enjoy reading it, click here to do so.

RALPH ARMITAGE
We recently lost another of our long standing supporters with the sad death of Ralph Armitage at the age of 86. His son Chris, himself a regular supporter, let us know he suffered a major stroke. He said:

“He had great admiration for all the officials’ work at the football club. Top Field was his second home and he had great memories of following the Canaries all his life”.

In all the 40 plus years I have been treasurer Ralph never failed to buy a season ticket and also bought them for other members of his family. He was a real gentleman and rarely missed a game. Typically the request in the Comet obituaries said ”family flowers only but donations may be made in Ralph’s memory to Hitchin Town Supporters Trust”. Rest in peace Ralph.

HITCHIN RETRO
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the latest Hitchin Retro game this week which featured Hitchin’s famous 2-2 FA Cup draw at Hereford. Two points stood out from the game for me with Shaun Marshall scoring two brilliant goals while our manager Mark Burke proved what a good defender he was! I must also pay tribute to Barry Swain who provided a brilliant commentary which was really Match of the Day standard, while he also provided great graphics – well done and thank you Barry.

GROUND REPORT BY STEVE BARKER
On a very warm day we managed to get the rest of the clean- up done and filled the massive skip. Thanks to all the volunteers again for their efforts which is very much appreciated.

The top boardrooms had its outside cladding completed and just needs painting to finish it off.

The walkway steps on the large terrace and the blocks at the bottom of the wooden terraces were painted white during the week. The changing rooms have been painted too.

The pitch was cut and we’ve started marking it out to get it ready for whenever we play again. We will complete the marking next Saturday.

Paths around the ground were swept and grass was cut behind the terrace. Finally, we deployed the sprinklers as the pitch was showing signs of stress from the hot weather yesterday – picture above from Eddy Reilly.

BY ROY IZZARD