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Hitchin Town FC Weekly Bulletin & Manager's Notes

Author: Roy Izzard Published: 8th September 2017 20:14

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FIXTURES

  • Saturday 9 September away to Tiverton league kick off 3.00pm. Coach leaves 8.30am.
  • Tuesday 12 September away to Slough league kick off 7.45pm. Coach leaves 5.00pm.

CHANGE OF FIXTURE

With both teams out of the F A Cup Bishops Stortford will now host Hitchin in the Herts Charity Cup semi final on Saturday 16 September 2017 kick off 3.00pm.

UNDER  19S

This season our under 19's are playing in the National League Under 19 Alliance in division F. Their first game is next Wednesday 13 September when they travel to Sutton United kick off 2.00pm.

In the F A Youth Cup Hitchin will travel to Concord Rangers on Thursday 21 September kick off 7.45pm.

PLAYER NEWS

We have signed Jonny McNamara from Hemel Hempstead on a permanent deal and he is available for the Tiverton game. Welcome back Jonny!

Brett Donnelly did a light training session last night and hopes to be available for the Bishops Stortford game next Saturday.

Connor Vincent returns to hospital next week for a further x-ray on his broken hand.

Trey Charles did not train last night due to an ankle problem and faces a fitness test tomorrow.

Elliot Bailey  trained last night and will have a fitness test tomorrow.

Kieran Barnes will be getting much needed match time at  Stotfold.

NON- LEAGUE DAY

On Saturday 7 October Hitchin will play Stratford. This is the latest Non- League Day, a concept that started in 2010. Non-league Day is always scheduled to coincide with an international break and provides a platform to promote the importance of affordable volunteer led community football while giving fans across the country the chance to show support for their local non-league club who are encouraged to attract new supporters by using innovative ideas.

Hitchin have decided to fully embrace Non-League Day and want to attract as many new supporters to Top Field as possible. There are no Premier League or Championship games  on this day while Luton and Stevenage are away to Accrington Stanley and Crewe respectively so we will try and attract some of their regular supporters to come to a non- league game. We are delighted to say that both Luton and Stevenage have agreed to publicise our game on Non-League Day and encourage their supporters who are not travelling to Accrington or Crewe to come to Top Field. Many thanks to Stuart Hammonds of Luton and Bob Makin of Stevenage for their support on this matter.

To make it more attractive and affordable the game will be pay what you want which continues to be a very popular part of our pricing structure. With under 16's gaining free entry there is a great incentive for families to attend. We will be giving away free water bottles to the first 200 under 16's as a further incentive.

We decided it would be good to showcase that we are a true community club so we asked Councillors Judi Billing and Ian Albert to recommend a local charity that we could support on the day. One of their suggestions has led to us teaming up with Stevenage Haven who are responsible for the day to day running of North Herts Sanctuary which is a 17 bed night hostel in Nightingale Road, providing temporary accommodation for homeless people. A percentage of the match day receipts will be donated to Stevenage Haven who will use these funds  to directly help homeless people in Hitchin based at the North Herts Sanctuary hostel. There will be other fund raising initiatives on the day to further boost the amount raised for this worthy cause.

One of our community coaches Marc Campbell has been working with the residents of North Herts Sanctuary for a number of years helping to turn around their lives. He has held football and boxing sessions to build self esteem and confidence and helping residents make friends. In the run up to Non-League Day Marc will run further boxing and football events to highlight the work he has done with the homeless. The charity will publicise examples of how the lives of  homeless individuals have been turned round.

Through our diversity officer Beatrice Thirkettle our game has been chosen by the Kick It Out and the Fans For Diversity campaign as one of just five games on Non-League Day that they will offer special support. Kick it Out and Fans For Diversity is a joint led initiative that celebrates diversity and inclusion amongst football supporters and they have recognised homelessness as a diversity. On the day players will wear t-shirts recognising Kick It Out and Fans For Diversity during the pre match warm up with supporters welcomed with badges, stickers, wristbands and fan clappers.

Other ideas are still being considered and we are aiming to attract 1,000 supporters on the day.

MANAGERS NOTES

I gave my comments on the Haringey FA Cup exit to Roy which are in his report of Monday's replay so I will not repeat myself other than to say how vital it is that we look to the future now and do not look back.

TIVERTON

We set out on one of our longest trips of the season as we travel to Devon to play Tiverton. They gained promotion last season and have continued to prosper this season and are in the top half of the table after some good results.

Their home record is good and I will be very pleased to come home with some reward.

I feel we have been lacking a little confidence on the ball over the last few games and we have reverted back to basics at training to try and regain some of that confidence. To try and put a positive spin on the recent run of results we are unbeaten over 90 minutes in the last three games and we need to build on that.

SLOUGH

On Tuesday we visit Slough who have started the season very well and are one of the favourites to win the league. They came close last season and have further strengthened their squad in the summer with a number of new signings including our own Matt Lench. We look forward to seeing Matthew again but hope to spoil his evening by coming away with a positive result.

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