FIXTURES
The Pitching In Southern League sent out the following statement on Friday morning:

This is an update with regards to the continuation, or otherwise, of the 2020/21 league season, given the latest position concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board of the Pitching In Southern Football League has, together with its fellow Trident Leagues, reviewed the implications of the latest government lockdown.

The matter was also discussed at length by the FA’s Alliance Committee earlier this week.

In order to reach a decision that will apply across Steps 3 & 4 in the National League System, and which is informed by the views of all clubs at Steps 3 & 4, clubs will shortly be asked by the Football Association to provide views on whether the 2020/21 season should be terminated and, if not, what the alternative should be.

This will take the form of a short survey.

Independent of that survey, all three of the Trident League’s Boards hold the view that the season should cease immediately and be declared null and void. The ultimate decision lies with the FA Council, following a proposal made by the Alliance Committee but no proposal will be drafted until clubs’ views have been collated and assessed. In the meantime, the Pitching In Southern Football League is postponing all fixtures up to and including Saturday 6th March since there is no suggestion that the national lockdown will be lifted prior to said date.

The league will continue to provide its Member Clubs with updates as and when it is able to do so.

Jason Mills
Operations Manager

GET WELL SOON LEN
Unfortunately our former ground and supporters club chairman Len Leroux was taken in to hospital on Sunday. Within two hours he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He is on oxygen and has to get his levels above 95% before he can be released from hospital and currently he is reaching 92/93%.

I spoke to Len yesterday and he had retained his sense of humour. It goes without saying that everyone connected with Hitchin Town Football Club wishes Len a full and speedy recovery.

ACADEMY UPDATE WITH MICHAEL JONES
All academy players have returned to education this week. However with the new lockdown measures in place this will mean all education will be completed online via our education provider SCL and our tutor Matthew Winch. Players will keep to their same timetables as well as continuing with their course units.

With the football element of the academy/course this has had to change and the coaches with the help and support of SCL and Pro:Direct have had to think of ideas to change the way we work. Players now, instead of training on the pitch 3 times a week, will now have a mixture of different activities to keep them as engaged as possible. Workout sessions will be completed via online communication platforms meaning players can log into a call and follow the workout sessions provided by the coaches. On top of this to help with all aspects of health and general wellbeing of our players and staff we will be providing psychology sessions each week as this is something we believe is very important within our academy. We will also be trying to keep the fun and competitiveness going by running an online FIFA21 tournament with a prize for the winner.

This will continue until we have received government guidance that it is safe to return to site for education and training.

PODCAST NEWS WITH FREDDIE CARDY

Podcast interview with Barry Swain:

The Canary Club Podcast recently interviewed the vastly experienced talkSPORT International, Women’s Championship and EFL commentator Barry Swain on a Zoom call for the interview. Barry discusses commentating on games behind closed doors, the differences between TV and radio commentaries and his happy memories at Hitchin Town FC when he was younger. He was also full of praise for HTFC Radio. Barry discussed his favourite players to commentate on as well as co-commentators to work with, and tells some great stories from his time behind the microphone.

Later on this month, Boreham Wood star and former Hitchin right back Kane Smith will join us for an interview, and up next we are taking to non-league expert Ollie Bayliss.

You can listen to the Podcast right here – just click play below.

CROWDFUNDER UPDATE
At the moment a lot of planning is taking place to carry out further improvements to Top Field. To ensure we meet the ground grading requirements is the most important task. This means we have to decide the best strategy and then source the contractors to gather quotes and time scales for the work to take place. We also have to look in to whether any grants are available.

We will keep you informed as decisions are made and when the work commences.

BY ROY IZZARD