Youth teams lead the return of football in Thornbury
AT last, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel after five months' inactivity at Thornbury Town.
With the Government easing restrictions and children back in school, not surprisingly it is the club’s junior section and Under-18 teams that are the first back in action.
Many of the juniors will start training as soon as possible after March 29. The various leagues in which the club’s junior teams participate are recommencing league games from the beginning of April, although in some cases there won’t be a possibility of completing a “full” season.
The Under 18s, who had won three of their four games before the season was suspended in October, restart their League campaign on April 4, with a trip to Highridge United. They then have five other games arranged, which will mean they will have played all the teams in their division once, instead of the usual twice.
The Hellenic League has cancelled the rest of the 1st team’s season, but have not declared it “null and void” at this stage. The FA are keen to proceed with the reorganisation of National League System football to reduce travelling for clubs playing at our level. This could have a major bearing on the Hellenic League, which includes clubs from the Welsh borders to Oxford, Slough and Windsor. It’s not clear how this will affect Thornbury if the reorganisation should go ahead, but a decision is expected in the next few weeks.
In the meantime the 1st team will be back in training at the beginning of April and will play a number of friendly matches, and the Hellenic League is also considering organising a cup competition.
Unfortunately at this stage it seems that any games will have to be played without spectators, at least until the middle of May.
The Reserves' and A team's Bristol & District League seasons have been declared “null and void”, with no promotion or relegation. Both sides are also due to start training at the beginning of April, and plan a number of friendly matches.
The club was successful in applying for a Winter Survival Grant from the Football Foundation. The £7,500 will go a long way towards paying for drainage work that is needed on the main pitch at the Mundy Fields, following a series of postponements last winter, before the start of the new season.