Sidmouth Town confirm management teams for next season

The four Sidmouth Town team shirts hanging in the Manstone Lane dressing room. Now all the Vikings w

The four Sidmouth Town team shirts hanging in the Manstone Lane dressing room. Now all the Vikings want - understandably - is to get back to playing. Picture: JAY THORNE - Credit: Archant

For Sidmouth Town AFC, as for so many foundation clubs that make up the national pyramid of football, the last few months have been frustrating, writes Andy Argyle (Sidmouth Town club development manager).

The Manstone Lane home of Sidmouth Town looking superb in mid-June thanks to the supreme efforts of

The Manstone Lane home of Sidmouth Town looking superb in mid-June thanks to the supreme efforts of Town groundsman Ken Mortimore. Picture; JAY THORNE - Credit: Archant

With the scheduled return of the non-league game still uncertain football administrators are working to find a way of commencing the 20/21 season whilst adhering to guidelines on social distancing to minimise infection rates. For all contact team sports this challenge is immense!

Despite the lockdown however, preparations have been in hand in readiness for the longed-for resumption of both the sporting and social aspects of the Manstone Lane Club.

In a statement on behalf of the club, chairman Jay Thorne said that the club officers, committee members and team managers stand ready to resume operations (once they receive the go-ahead) and demonstrate their commitment to provide the membership and supporters with as close to a normal service as can be achieved.

He said: “’We cannot wait to welcome people back to the club and hope that a way can soon be found to once again host league games at Manstone Lane.”

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He continued: “We have a loyal and local group of supporters who feel a kinship and an affinity with the club and its fine traditions of friendship, competitiveness, hospitality and fair-play.”

In readiness for the new campaign the team management appointments have been announced and these include retaining Danny Burwood and Paul Pocock to oversee first team affairs whilst club stalwart and former Town player Mark O’Connor will manage the second team.

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Leigh Adey takes charge of the third team while the fourth team will be under the management of Alan Hallett and Lee McManus.

There is as yet no news about when formal training will start but throughout lockdown the pitch has been fully nurtured and maintained through re-seeding, watering and mowing by groundsman Ken Mortimore and is ready for action.

No sporting club in the modern era can survive without sponsorship, and the Vikings are fortunate in having a loyal and supportive group of sponsors who enable us to field four competitive teams by providing finance for playing and training kits and taking out pitch-side and programme advertising space for match-days at Manstone Lane.

For the coming season, given the abrupt cessation of activities in March, the club will not be asking sponsors to contribute in the 20/21 season.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit local businesses hard so their sponsorship contributions for next season will be waived as the club resumes operations.

A letter will be sent out to all our sponsors confirming this. We thank them for their continued support.

When it is deemed safe the club will open its doors, in line with the guidance, to our members and supporters.

With the resumption of the Premier League, televised football will once again be available together with the extensive range of beers, lagers and spirits, bar snacks, comfortable seating and good company.

As soon as we have the green light to re-open, we will make sure you know the date.

In the meantime, from all at Manstone Lane, home of the Vikings, keep well and stay safe.

(Andy Argyle is the Sidmouth Town Football Club development manager.)

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