Here is the weekly bulletin from Club Secretary Roy Izzard on Friday 20th July 2018.

PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY FIXTURES

Saturday 21 July away to Arlesey Town friendly kick off 3.00pm.

Tuesday 24 July away to Eynesbury Rovers friendly kick off 7.45pm.

RESULTS

Last Saturday a Hitchin X1 won 3-0 at Stotfold while the first team trained at Baldock.

On Monday the first team lost 2-0 to Hemel Hempstead in a behind closed doors training game at Hitchin.

On Wednesday a Hitchin XI beat Sandridge Rovers at the Arena. The first team trained Thursday evening.

The Sandridge game saw Lucas Kirkpatrick and Jay Dowie make their first appearances of the season after their knee operations.

THE HERTS CHARITY CUP SAGA

I received a copy of an email from the Hemel secretary on Sunday morning that he had sent to the Herts FA asking for the venue of the Herts Charity Cup Final to be switched. Hemel had played a friendly at Berkhamsted on Saturday and two players were injured on a surface that Hemel considered to be rock hard and bumpy. No blame was attached to Berkhamsted FC as the long dry spell was the real cause of the problem. Hemel did not want to risk further injuries and after their manager Dean Brennan spoke to Mark Burke it was agreed that Hemel would be happy to play the final at Hitchin instead.

I managed to get hold of two Herts FA officials to explain the situation and to assure them we could host the game despite the short notice. Unfortunately I received a call in the afternoon to say it would not be possible to change the venue for cost and logistical reasons which was very disappointing. When Hemel heard this decision they withdrew from the competition and I was told by the Herts FA that we were officially the Herts Charity Cup winners. Obviously this was not the way we wanted to win the cup but it was out of our hands.

In the meantime both managers wanted a game so agreed to play a friendly at Top Field instead. We publicised this news anticipating using the match officials from the original cup final. However when we contacted them on Monday it transpired that they had been advised by the Herts FA not to officiate the friendly which left us with a real dilemma. Not knowing if we would be able to find any officials at such short notice we had to make a decision to play it as a training game behind closed doors which was agreed by both teams. We apologise for the on/off saga but were very much the innocent party. We had tried to ensure the final went ahead but it was not to be and we are sorry supporters were messed around through no fault of our own.

LEAGUE FIXTURES

The league fixtures were released yesterday and can be seen on the club website.

PRE-SEASON REFLECTIONS FROM ADAM PARKER

Mark Burke is away on holiday so Adam Parker is in charge in his absence. I spoke to Adam today to get his views on how he thinks the pre-season has gone so far. He said he feels very positive and is really looking forward to the season proper.

Adam has been impressed with new signings Ezra Forde and Lewis Ferrell. He also feels that it will be like having new signings with Jack Green, Kieran McCaffrey, Elliot Bailey, Lucas Kirkpatrick and Jay Dowie all returning after missing so much of last season through injury.

Adam likes the spine of the team and the permanent signing of Matt Spring adds great experience. He feels we are ahead of where we were at this stage last year with the younger players also now being more experienced. As far as the players who have left are concerned Adam felt the team had possibly become stale and too one dimensional and changes were needed.

Adam like Mark is always looking for attitude and application to go with the ability players have. He is looking to see their work off the ball and has been suitably impressed so far as we have played three higher level teams in friendlies. He also wants better communication and wants more talking, an area where Matt Spring will be very useful.

Facing three consecutive games against lower level teams will mean a different challenge compared to the Luton, Boreham Wood and Hemel games. Adam want us to find ways to break these teams down and to be patient as they will almost certainly be raising their game but it is very important that we win.

As to the league fixtures Adam is relaxed as he prefers to concentrate on us rather than our opponents.

EVENTS AT TOP FIELD

Congratulations to all our volunteers who made the Cheese and Cider Festival and the Sporting History Evening successful events. It would surprise supporters to find out just how many hours of preparation goes in to these events and the volunteers often have many hurdles to overcome. But their enthusiasm carries them through any difficulties and through their hard graft they enhance the reputation of Hitchin Town Football Club. I will not mention individual names but many thanks to every single helper without whom these types of events would never take place.

Roy Izzard