Thornbury Town still waiting for green light

July 23 2020
Thornbury Town still waiting for green light

THORNBURY Town's committee, players and supporters continue to wait to find out the new football season will start.

Usually by now the club would be playing pre-season friendlies, with an early August start to the league season in sight. However at the moment everyone is waiting for advice as to when, and in what format, non-league football can resume.

In preparation for a possible restart at the end of September/ early October, the club’s senior sides and some of the junior section teams have commenced pre-season training, all being carried out in accordance with the guidelines set out by the FA.

The first team are awaiting confirmation of the constitution of the Hellenic League Division One West next season. It is expected that Thorns will be playing all the sides they met last season, with the exception of New College Swindon, who have withdrawn. The Reserves and A team promotions to the Bristol & District League Division One and Three respectively have been confirmed.

The Under 18s side have been accepted into the Bristol U18 Football Combination, but again are awaiting confirmation of their opponents. The nucleus of the squad will be last season’s successful U16’s side. This looks to be a promising squad,and the club continues to look for a manager and assistant/coach to support the youngsters. Anyone interested, ideally with coaching experience, should contact chairman Pete Webber on 07732 466606 or vice-chair Graham Smith 07580 212496.

The girls' section is also flourishing, with good numbers attending Saturday morning training sessions: the club is hopeful of being able to run U-13 and U-11 teams next season. Any girls wishing to get involved should call Jack Harrison-Bond on 07539 471637. Once the leisure centre reopens fully the club hopes to re-start SSE Wildcats introductory sessions for girls aged 5 to 11.

Off the field, the club is now trying to raise sufficient funds to complete the installation of the new 50-seater stand on the far side of the pitch, together with the repositioning of the current stand alongside it.

The club has always been financially self-sufficient, but the covid situation has had a big impact on its income. Coupled with bad weather at the start of the year which meant that only 2 home first team fixtures were played from the end of November, all matchday revenue was lost and lucrative fundraising events have been cancelled, leaving the Club’s income in the past season is more than £10,000 short of expectation.

Thorns are in the process of launching a crowdfunding initiative to generate donations from supporters, members, families, friends and the town as a whole. Town hope to be approved for a Sport England fund-match, which will effectively double whatever we raise, up to a maximum of £10,000. Please keep an eye out for an announcement on the club’s website, Facebook or Twitter accounts for the launch of the appeal and how you can get involved.

Malcolm Carr