Here is the weekly roundup of all things HTFC from Club Secretary, Roy Izzard, along with a round-up by Manager Mark Burke on his thoughts on the recent and upcoming fixtures.
Saturday 4 August away to AFC Dunstable friendly kick off 3.00pm.
Tuesday 7 August away to Bishops Stortford Herts Charity Cup kick off 7.45pm.
HERTS SENIOR CUP
Hitchin have been drawn at home to Tring Athletic in the Herts Senior Cup. The Herts FA now have the full draw on their website.
HITCHIN V LETCHWORTH GARDEN CITY EAGLES
There will be a second leg to the Vince Paige Cup and we will visit Letchworth later in the season. It was good to see some familiar faces on Tuesday. In the Letchworth line-up were two ex Canaries in Carl (Charlie) Williams and Luke Donnelly while Paul (Meathead) Donnelly was on the coaching staff. With Ian Donnelly also present it was like old times with the Donnelly clan at Top Field in numbers!
Also watching the game were Kane Smith and Ali Ann. Kane is still recovering from a serious knee injury and at best hopes to start playing in March. He told me how heart breaking it was to miss the chance of playing at Wembley in the play- off final for Boreham Wood against Tranmere. Ali is studying physiotherapy at college in York and will hopefully play for a northern club this season.
Jay Dowie is still in rehab and hopes to be back playing by the end of August.
Matt Spring has a tight calf and is aiming to be fit for the Kettering game.
Josh Bickerstaff has a dead leg and could be out for two weeks.
Kieran McCaffrey, Jack Green, Lucas Kirkpatrick and Elliot Bailey are all progressing well after their injuries last season and are available for selection.
Daniel Olaniran has decided to join St Neots and will be transferred.
Kieran Barnes will be joining Baldock on loan. Other players will be loaned out during the season to ensure they remain match fit.
NORTH HERTS FM – INTERNET RADIO
Many congratulations to Brian Gray and Freddie Cardy for their brilliant commentary on last night’s game with Maldon & Tiptree on North Herts FM. To get 859 unique listeners was a great achievement and it is a wonderful service to offer our supporters who cannot attend matches.
It is another sign of how the club is moving forward with our new website and social media team having impressed while we now have an on-line ticketing option as we continue to embrace changing technology.
Ian and Jackie Mann left Canary Club on Tuesday and we are now back in control. Please support Canary Club as Steve and Rose assume day to day management. We hope to make improvements in the coming weeks and will keep you informed.
MARK BURKE’S MANAGER’S NOTES
The Letchworth game on Tuesday enabled me to give a number of key players prolonged playing time. I was happy with the fact we scored four goals and I was pleased with the fitness levels we showed.
It was a good exercise for us to try and break down a team that got a lot of players behind the ball and we did create plenty of chances.
MALDON & TIPTREE
Maldon arrived on Thursday with a number of Colchester Under 23 players in their team. I was very happy with the tempo set by both sides making this a very realistic game to play in. I always intended to use the game as a tool for our fitness levels, sandwiched as it was between the Letchworth and AFC Dunstable fixtures and all our players benefitted from their time on the pitch.
AFC Dunstable had a successful season in 2017/18 narrowly losing in the play-off semi-final. Manager Steve Heath has got a good eye for finding players and has constructed a number of good teams over the years. I am hopeful this game will be played at the same tempo as Maldon. However I will be mindful of the weather conditions and this will influence my decisions on playing minutes for the squad.
The season officially starts with our first competitive match away to Bishops Stortford in the Herts Charity Cup. Stortford are no strangers to us as we played them five times last season. However they have a new management team and will be competing in a different league so will have a number of new players.
This should be a good prelude to our opening league game with Kettering.
Roy Izzard & Mark Burke