Clevedon Town push on with preparations for pre-season friendlies

PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 July 2020

Clevedon Town boss Micky Bell (pic Clevedon Town FC)

Clevedon Town boss Micky Bell (pic Clevedon Town FC)

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Clevedon Town are gearing up to ensure they can meet requirements and be ready to start pre-season friendlies next month.

Following the Football Association’s publication of detailed guidelines for the return of grassroots football, following the coronavirus pandemic, the Seasiders hope to be able to play pre-season friendlies from August 1 ahead of the start of competitive football from September 1.

Manager Micky Bell said: “We got it spot-on by starting pre-season training in small groups at the end of June and all the players have worked really hard and enjoyed some good sessions in a completely different environment.

“We’ll be back to full training at the end of July and will certainly be ready for the first games.”

Bell also confirmed that he has already agreed some exciting friendlies to kick things off for the Toolstation Western League Premier Division outfit, adding: “We have set up games with Southern League sides Taunton Town, Yate Town and local rivals Weston and now we can go ahead and sort out dates.

“However, we are looking forward to getting going with a game against neighbours Clevedon United on Saturday August 8 at the Everyone Active Stadium.”

Club chairman Brian Rose acknowledged there is still a lot of work to do off the pitch, saying: “We have been studying the very detailed FA guidelines to understand exactly what we have to do, including preparing our own risk assessment.

“Things will be different for everybody, from spectators having to record contact details in case of the need for subsequent tracing, to players having to arrive ready changed and then wash their own kit.

“But we are pleased that we will be able to open the bar, tea bar and club shop which provide necessary income for us. We will use the friendlies to test the measures we are putting in place and ensure we can meet any additional requirements the Toolstation League might require.”

The Seasiders have already been carrying out a number of ground improvements during the shutdown through its Stadium Crew volunteers who will now be ready to carry out any additional works that need doing, boosted by the return of competitive football.

Rose added: “We understand that the first fixtures on Tuesday September 1 will be the opening round of FA Cup matches, which we are delighted about, as it would have been a huge disappointment to lose the prestige and income which the FA Cup provides clubs at our level.”

The position on how spectators will be allowed at pre-season friendlies is still unclear, but the club hope to provide an update at some point.

Pre-season friendlies – Saturday August 8: Clevedon United, home; Tuesday August 11 Taunton Town, home, 7.30pm; Saturday August 22: Weston, home; Friday August 28: Yate Town, home.


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