Sidmouth Town’s Manstone Lane ‘looking a picture’ thanks to the great work of Ken Mortimore

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

It’s very much ‘as you were’ with regard to the management structure at Sidmouth Town Football Club.

The Vikings have announced that the clubs first team will once again be led by Danny Burwood and Paul Pocock whilst club stalwart and former Town player Mark O’Connor will manage the second team.

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

With the 2019/20 football season cut short by the Coronavirus pandemic, there is currently no date set for the resumption of anything like a normal footballing schedule.

Not since early March has any Town team taken to the pitch to see any form of action.

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However, despite the lack of action on the pitch, the work off it has gone on - and at some speed too.

Manstone Lane really is looking ‘a picture’.

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Normally, in mid-June, football grounds are right in the middle of their close season maintenance programmes with groundsmen usually keeping a keen eye on the weather in the hope that reseeded areas of their club’s hallowed turf are restoring the playing surface to its normal condition!

However, in this strange year of 2020 that has seen all forms of ‘normal life’ changed as a result of the pandemic, it’s the ‘get-on-with-it’ clubs who will be at the forefront of a vibrant and positive return to action and Sidmouth Town will certainly be ‘top of the table’ in that respect!

A look at the photograph of Manstone Lane, as snapped by Jay Thorne, really does show off the fantastic efforts of Town groundsman Ken Mortimore who has clearly produced, once again, a surface that will be the envy of many clubs, not only at the level that the Vikings will play in 20/21, but clubs higher up the football pyramid too!

Another real feather in the Sidmouth Town cap comes with the news that they are to write to all current sponsors to say that, given the circumstances vis-a-vis the pandemic, the club will not be coming to them cap-in-hand for the coming season.

This is a superb gesture to their supporting businesses and sponsors who, as the club acknowledge, are no doubt finding life just as tough as the Vikings are!

Andy Argyle, the club’s development manager, explained saying: “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.”

Read a more detailed report from Manstone Lane in this week’s Sidmouth Herald (out on Friday, June 19).

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