6:16pm Thursday 29th May 2014
By Sports editor Kerry Miller
Wessex League Premier Division newboys Andover Town are hitting the ground running as they prepare for the next chapter in their fledgling history.
Work is about to start on relaying the pitch at the Portway Stadium which it is hoped will be ready for the start of the season in early August and manager Neil Benson is confident that the majority of his successful squad will re-sign and that the impressive facilities on offer will entice new players to the club which as well as playing at the higher level has also been accepted into the FA Vase.
Benson is resigned to possibly losing influential Lloyd Foot, who has been courted by several League and Conference clubs following his return to competitive football last season but is excited at the prospect of some of his young Elite boys making the step up, despite their tender years.
Benson said: “The club has come a long way in a short time and our players enjoy some fine facilities are certainly not playing for the money. With a near perfect playing surface at the Portway and a professional environment which includes a full-time physio and free membership at the top of the range gym at Sparsholt we have plenty to offer and with a young squad on a high from winning three cups, we will play some exciting football.
“There may be a small budget available for expenses as there will be more games to play in the Premier Division plus we hope to have a run in the FA Vase and to that end we would be happy to hear from any local players interested in coming in board.”
With the constitution of the league as yet unavailable and the Vase draw not due for another month Town supporters will be kicking their heels before the pre-season matches which are expected to be at Sparsholt.
It seems that the prospect of local derbies with Thatcham Town have been dashed as the club, who voluntarily left the Southern League, have been accepted into the Hellenic League but a number of juicy clashes are on the list.
Benson’s final duties for last season were to present the Player’s Player Award to Lewis Benson, who also took the Supporter’s Award, with Gunner Yates taking a well deserved runner-up.
Those looking to link up with Town are invited to contact Neil Benson on 07860150075.
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