Hi, I’m Steve and I shall be endeavouring to provide you all with updates both from FC Clacton and from around the newly rebranded Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League throughout the season.
FC Clacton are about to enter their sixth season of competition, having been formed on the 15 June 2007 following the demise of Clacton Town Football Club. The first team currently play in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Premier Division, at Step 5 of the non-league pyramid, but the club has 21 teams in all, ranging from youth teams at all levels to ladies and disability sides.
It has been a fairly quiet close season so far at the Rush Green Bowl, our home towards the West of the town. New dug-outs have been installed to comply with the wishes of the FA Ground Grading team, and a hard working band of volunteers have been busy ensuring that everything is ready for the start of the new season.
Our league fixtures have yet to be released, but Friday’s FA Cup draw has handed us an extra preliminary round home tie against our neighbours Halstead Town, with the match to be played on 11 August. The winners are set to face Brentwood Town in the preliminary round 2 weeks later.
The FA Vase draw was also announced on Friday and having received a bye through the first qualifying round, we have been given a trip to our conquerors of last season, Whitton United, in the second qualifying round. That tie will be played on 15 September.
The players returned to pre-season training on 30 June, ahead of our first pre-season friendly on 14 July, sadly minus a few familiar faces. Long serving club stalwart Sean Hillier has been forced to retire through injury, whilst popular defender Lee Peacock is about to embark on a new life in the USA. Kevin Coyle has joined rivals Stanway, whilst Matt Cripps has decided to seek pastures new, and Louie Newland and Joe Martin have opted to return to Essex and Suffolk Border League side Holland FC. We wish all these players well for the future.
So far manager Andy Taylor has only been able to bring one new face to the club, as Russ McLean has joined us having spent last season at neighbours St Osyth, but we hope to introduce a few more new faces before the big kick-off on 4 August.
Our pre-season campaign begins this coming Saturday against our friends from just down the road at Brightlingsea Regent, and fans and players alike are now eager to get started. So thanks for reading and may I wish all readers, whoever you support, an enjoyable and successful 2012/13 campaign.