Clevedon derby switched from Town to United ground

PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 August 2020

Clevedon Town boss Micky Bell looks on from the dugout

Clevedon Town boss Micky Bell looks on from the dugout

Archant

The friendly derby between Clevedon Town and Clevedon United has been switched to the latter’s Coleridge Vale ground on Saturday (August 8, 3pm).

The move comes due to the current restrictions which allow spectators to attend grassroots football, including the Somerset League in which United play, but not at teams in the National League System, which includes Town’s Toolstation League.

Town manager Micky Bell and United’s Mark Selway agreed to the switch to ensure local fans will be able to watch the game and Bell said: “It makes sense all round and playing behind closed doors with no fans for a local derby would have been an unreal experience and would have made it difficult for both sets of players.

“At least we should now get a proper game which we’re all looking forward to.”

However, things will not be quite as normal and to ensure the absolute safety of all players, Town will meet and warm-up at the Everyone Active Stadium and arrive at Coleridge Vale ready changed prior to kick-off.

Chairman Brian Rose added: “Obviously we are disappointed about not being able to host this eagerly awaited game. We have put all the necessary safety arrangements in place in line with FA guidance, but that still does not allow spectators to attend friendlies at our level.

“We think this is inconsistent but we have to go along with it and we are grateful for United agreeing to host the game so it can be played.”

Town have secured sponsorship to provide further safety improvements as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, with the purchase of three new payment machines meaning they can now accept cashless payments by card at the turnstiles, bar, tea bar and club shop, although cash will still be accepted.

The bulk of the money was generously provided by Somerset Wildlife Products and the Friends of Clevedon Town.

SWP are a Yatton-based garden landscaping company specialising in habitats for wildlife who have supported several local conservation charities and groups over the years, including a local school where they have assisted with various diversion and engagement projects.

Colin Higgins, of SWP, said: “Despite our passion for conservation we actively support community engagement through other activities including sports and activities held outside that benefit health and wellbeing.

“We have been extremely fortunate to continue trading throughout these terrible times, albeit at a reduced capacity, whilst Clevedon Town remains in a position with no income streams coming in currently. We are proud to be able to offer a little assistance to the club during these difficult times.

“Clevedon Town are an amazing community asset within our local area offering opportunities for young and talented footballers who are at the transition from junior football to senior football through their extremely successful under-18s team, right through to members of the community who probably thought that they would never play football again at the age of 80!

“Walking football sessions for men and women aged 50-plus have been a huge success in keeping some of us older members of the community active and fit!

“If you are a spectator, the first team play an exciting style of football and are well worth watching. We hope our small contribution to help buy ‘cashless’ card readers will not only keep people safe but will help to ‘future’ proof the club and everyone’s safety moving forward.

“At this time when many of us are still nervous to travel too far, the volunteer-run club has put in every possible prevention to give families a great local afternoon out.

“Observing the community pulling together to actively help each other in recent times, made us realise that it is important we assist a local business that is still locked down and in need of support.”

Chairman Rose added: “We are very grateful for this generous sponsorship which gives us more flexibility in how people choose to pay.”


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