Beer Albion launch a new season with visit of Feniton

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Beer Albion start the new football season with a home game against local rivals Feniton in the re-structured Joma Devon and Exeter League, Premier East Division, writes Richard Honnor.

The opening games on Saturday (September 19) is sponsored by Alyson Arbourne and kick-off is at 3pm.

There was little to choose between these two young sides last season. Both games were closely contested with a 2-2 draw at Feniton and Beer winning 1-0 at the Furzebrake.

When the league programme was curtailed by Covid-19, both sides were well in contention for top four places, with Feniton having 38 points from 20 starts and Beer 30 from 16.

Preparation for the new season has not been easy for co-managers Mark Rooke and Alan Potter.

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Mark Rooke explained saying: “We have had to completely re-build our midfield this season due to the loss of several key players.

“Finley Rooke has signed for Honiton Town Charley Skilton is unavailable due to work commitments, Alex Hunt has moved out of the area and Taylor Rooke is away at University.”

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He continued: “However, thanks to the depth in our 1st and 2nd XI squads we are able to fall back on the likes of the experienced Alex Paget and Simon Smith combined with young emerging players like Jack Harwood and Ryan King all of whom have done well in pre-season.

“New signings Jacob Hale and Tom Perry also provide us with fresh attacking options.”

Rooke was quick to stress however that any success achieved on the field will be essentially down to good teamwork and all players working hard for each other.

Under new skipper, Chris Long, performances against testing pre-season opposition have been steady if not spectacular, culminating in a good 4-2 win against Colyton last Friday.

Rooke is looking forward to playing in the regionally re-structured League. “Playing in the Premier East Division will mean shorter travelling distances for away fixtures and it creates more local interest.”

The Beer second team will again have Tom Neal and Chris Driver at the helm.

After finishing in runners-up spot in last season’s curtailed Division Two programme, they find themselves in the newly-formed 1st Division East, just one tier below the 1st XI. Their campaign starts with a trip to Honiton Town Reserves.

Off the field, the club is undertaking a massive programme of improvements. The playing surface has undergone intensive maintenance during the summer including the installation of a new sprinkler system.

Also, the club house is being refurbished and extended to enhance its catering facilities, heating system, bar and viewing areas.

These improvements will enable the club to host many more social events in the local community as well as providing an even more pleasurable experience for the die-hard local and visiting spectators who brave the elements every week to watch their local teams.

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