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From the press-box #3 – by Neil Winsor

Photographs Supplied by Lee Myers

Under 14’s Graphic supplied by Paul Innes

THE FOLLOWING OPINIONS EXPRESSED WITHIN ARE ENTIRELY THOSE OF THE CONTRIBUTOR AND MAY NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THOSE OF THE CLUB.

 

AN ‘era’ is defined in the Oxford dictionary as a ‘long and distinct period of history’.

So with that in mind, and with the start of pre-season training now tantalisingly close, we possibly sit at the start of a potential new period in the club’s history.

With a ‘three-year’ plan in place towards our commitment to promoting the best talent in the area, the close season has seen a spike in interest, and numbers at our first session at the weekend will likely dwarf those of recent years quite considerably.

An encouraging fact, having seen a number of comments recently from people in regards to the quality of those that have left the club, something people seem fixated about.

We again, wish those who have moved on all the best in their future pursuits as we always do, and always will, but we move on.

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It’s important that patience is shown, especially in the pre-season period, as both Bill Gill and Andrew Watts (right), as well as those working with the reserves and Under 19’s sift through each of those that come down to training.

Three years may not sound like a ‘long and distinct period of history’ I hear you murmur, however it is likely to be the foundations built in this time, that will shape the future of the club for the years to come.

It will not be a system that is perfect I am sure, and personnel amongst the players will likely change a number of times ahead of the season kick off on August 4, hence why two friendlies are arranged on the same day, throughout most of our pre-season campaign.

It’s about giving opportunity, so pre-season will largely be a case of finding that formula to help us be successful ahead of that opening NCEL Premier Division fixture.

It’s important, and I cannot stress this enough to see where we are after the three year period, rather then where we are in three months, and those players selected to take us forward will receive nothing but encouragement from those at the club.

So I implore supporters, and even those that may well be sceptical to do the same, which I am sure you all will.

This previous week has been quiet once again in terms of news items, but this ‘commitment’ once again to bringing all of our teams together was probably the highlight and has been on show once again.

Reggi Waud, one player who has himself come through our Under 19 setup was on hand to give out trophies on our junior team’s Presentation Day this Sunday.

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We will continue to see our junior team’s become part of the first team on matchdays in 2018/2019 by accompanying the team onto the pitch as mascots and then as ball-boys also.

We also have the curtain raisers for our two home friendlies, which will see two of our teams experience what it is like to play on the Haworth Park pitch.

I’ll also be trying to recreate the same buzz of a first team home match-day in terms of pre-match music and announcing, something I’m sure those taking part will enjoy.

It would be great to see some supporters down and getting behind these youngsters as well, as the bar will be open throughout.

The weekend previous saw the NCEL hold their yearly AGM in Harrogate.

Although shall we say, it’s not ‘quite my scene’, my invite got lost in the mail I am sure, I stayed at home to watch the marathon of football from the World Cup.

The AGM has provided it’s share of talking points however.

First of all, we received a bye into the third round of the League Cup, which in my opinion should be revamped or scrapped completely, but the biggest talking point came from the FA, as they plan to scrap play-offs at all step six divisions, including our NCEL First Division, and also reduce the places from the NCEL Premier Division, and all step five leagues for that matter, for both relegation and promotion, to two, and one place outright, respectively.

This is again part of a bigger picture as they aim for the ‘perfect non league system’ but has quite rightly caused outrage from a number of step six sides, especially in the NCEL itself.

The decision to scrap play-offs is extremely disappointing, and has provided added revenue and excitement at the end of the season, not just to the league, but the club’s participating in them.

You only have to look at the excellent progress made by Penistone Church last season, and Bottesford Town over the last two years in our setup to see that, and I’m sure Eccleshill United, who have an excellent reputation, will add to that list next season.

Still, what do we know? So with those opinions, it was probably for the best that I stayed at home!

I also finally managed to sit down and spend a few hours designing and sorting our matchday social media graphics for the new season.

I’ve publically stated on my social media its not a strong point of mine, and we don’t really have anybody at the club, capable of doing it, aside from Lee Myers who quite frankly does enough as it is.

It is something we struggled with last season, and have fallen behind other clubs something which irks me to be honest, and it will be addressed in 2018/2019.

I think its important as well to incorporate each of our player sponsors in each of our individual player graphics and this will be evident next season as you can see from the image included.

So with the lads back for pre-season training in a couple of days, expect plenty of photographs and news on our social media platforms, as we start to move towards what will surely be another intriguing season