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WITNEY UNITED F C NEWS

Pitch Work Ongoing at Witney - 24th May

With the closed season now upon us the pitch refurbishment at the Polythene UK Stadium pitches is the main priority for Witney United.

Groundsman, Pete Bridgewater, has advised the club on what needs doing and now the company he works for, Rigby Taylor, (who supply many Premiership Clubs) is delivering 56 tonnes of top dressing, fertiliser and seed to ensure that the playing surface will be one of the best in the Hellenic League next season. The actual groundwork is being undertaken by Don Richens (of Carterton FC) who has already 'earthquaked' both pitches at the Club.

Pete Bridgewater has already provided a pitch that has staged an average of 4 games a week for the last 5 weeks is pleased that the club recognise the importance of investing in a good and reliable surface for all of the teams playing at the stadium. He said. "Whether it is a first, reserves or youth team game I like to pride myself on attempting to provide the best surface possible, what ever the weather'.

Steve Lake (WUFC Chairman) stated "Pete has certainly done that and with the staging of the Oxfordshire Charity Cup, John Fathers Junior Shield (Semi-Final and Final), Witney and District Senior Cup Final and many more representative, Cup and County games Peter has shown that he is an expert in sports field preparation".

 

Manager Sought - 21st May

Following the resignation of Andy Lyne yesterday, Witney United invite applications for the 1st Team Manager position

Applications should be submitted by email to Mark Reid (markreid@witneyunited.co.uk) in the first instance with a covering letter and a CV. Postal applications will also be accepted, address to Mark Reid, Witney United Football Club, The Polythene UK Stadium, Downs Road, Witney, Oxon, OX29 7WT.

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 1st June and any applications received after that date will not be considered.

 

"Lyner" Stands Down - 21st May

Witney United Football Club announce that they are on the lookout for a new manager after Andy Lyne resigned for personal reasons.

Lyne took over the role three seasons ago and has led the club to top four positions on two occasions and also to the last 32 of the FA Vase twice as well as two cup semi-finals. Last season was probably the most difficult season of Lyne's three year reign with the club feeling the effects of the economic situation and having to reduce the playing budget twice. Despite this he kept the playing squad together for the remainder of the season and finished in the top six. However work commitments mean that Lyne has chosen to step down from the role meaning that United will begin the search for their 6th manager since the club's formation.

Chairman Steve Lake said of Lyne's decision " Everybody involved with WUFC will be upset about Lyner's announcement, but we also respect the reasons behind his decision. Andy is Witney through and through, and probably always will be, so we all know how tough this was for him . He will certainly be a difficult act to follow but we all wish him well in whatever he goes on to".

Lyne, who will be joining Stuart Peace at Zamaretto Premier Division Didcot Town, commented "This has been a very difficult decision for me on many levels but after long deliberation I believe its in the best interests of all concerned. Quite simply I do not have the time to lead from the front and manage a club right now, as my work commitments are demanding. I love football though and wanted to stay in the game, thus the opportunity to go to Didcot Town as part of the management team was one I couldn’t refuse".

Witney United FC would like to put on record their thanks for the job Andy Lyne has done both on and off the field for the club during his three seasons and wish him all the best for the future.

An announcement will be made shortly about the 1st Team Manager vacancy at Witney United.

 

Blanketmen History - 13th May

Witney United's youngsters created history last night as they brought the club its first piece of competitive silverware when they clinched the Allied Counties North Division League title.

Needing just a point to clinch the title United were emphatic and won the title in style beating Old Woodstock Town 7-0 in their final match.

A double from Conor Allmond and one from Chris Zoldan gave United a 3-0 half-time lead but it wasn’t to end there as a further double from Zoldan saw him complete his hat-trick and goals from Sam McNally and Sam Wright rounded off the scoring to ensure they won the league by three points.

Witney spokesman Mark Ried commmented." It was a fully deserved title success as United boasted the best defensive record in the league conceding just 14 goals and also beat every other team in the league at least once."

 

Charity Begins At Home - 10th May

During the last week Witney United FC has staged - free of charge - two charity events that have become regular a feature of their end of season.

The regular Kevin Mott (Meningitis Trust) Memorial match between Henry Box School and Witney and Abingdon College. This game was a much more competitive match than some of late but still saw the School side run out, yet again, 3-1 victors over their College opponents.

Second up was the Special Effects Charity 4 team challenge. This competition involved teams from Audley Travel, Charlbury Old Boys, MMR United and Grundons. This tournament was won after a penalty shoot out between MMR United and Charlbury OBs. With the score in the final at 1-1 the match went down to pens and Charlbury held their nerve to run out 4-2 winners in the shoot-out.

Over £2000 was raised for charity through the staging of these two matches.

 

Witney Award - 4th May

hellenic league lee henderson witney unitedOne award has already been handed out as Witney United's season came to an end last Thursday night with the presentation of the "JIm Reid Supporters Player of the Year" award.

The winner of the award this season went to central defender Lee Henderson who scooped more than 50% of the votes beating Chris Harper and Andrew Younie who finished second and third respectively.

Lifelong Witney Town and United fan Derek Jackson presented the award to Henderson prior to the match against Reading Town.

Meanwhile United have been confirmed as finishing in 6th position in the FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier Division following Ardley United's 4-1 defeat against Flackwell Heath on Saturday.


Witney v Reading Tonight -29th April

Witney United will bring down the curtain on their 2009/10 FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier Division campaign when they entertain Reading Town at The Polythene UK Stadium on tonight (7-45pm).


In what has been an eventful season both on and off the pitch it should be a decent top six clash to close the season as United look to gain the win that would confirm a top six finish. Reading of course were the season pace setters and at Christmas sat 16 points clear at the top of the table but 2010 has seen them collect 8 wins in 18 matches and they have been overhauled by both Almondsbury Town and Shortwood United. However what shouldnt be ignored is the excellent run of form prior to the New Year when they suffered just one defeat in the opening 22 matches. Also last week showed just what they are capable of when they beat Shortwood 3-0 in the 1st Leg of the Floodlit Cup Final.

United are boosted by the return of a number of players for the clash with Gary Wickens, Jon-Paul Mills, Dan Szczukiewicz and Jack Smith all available for selection having missed the 0-0 draw at Oxford City Nomads on Monday evening.

 

Byfield To Hang Up His 'Boots' - 26th April


hellenic league vinnie byfield witneyIt will be a poignant evening for one Witney United player tonight at Oxford City Nomads in the FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier (7-45pm kick off).

Vinny Byfield (pictured) is hanging up his boots after this evening's game as he is unavailable for the Reading Town clash on Thursday so it will be the last chance to see him in a United kit. Having signed from Bicester Town he has been labelled "The Old Warhorse".

Regarding the Nomads fixture, Witney will also have to make do without the versatile Dan Szczukiewicz who is unavailable. Youngster Cameron Lagan, who had an impressive season for the Reserves before they folded, has been called into the squad.

United of course will be looking for three points which would confirm their top six finish and also look to extend the winning run to five matches. It is likely to be a tough encounter though with Nomads having had an excellent season finishing in the top half of the table and scoring 100 goals in the process having reached that milestone during the 6-2 win over Hook Norton on Saturday. When the clubs met previously this season The Blanketmen ran in 3-1 winners at The Polythene UK Stadium in an excellent match, with John McMahon, Andrew Younie and Ben Thompson grabbing United's goals.

 

Summer Pudding! - 23rd April

Witney United have gone for a change from the normal with the news that they have launched a Summer Raffle, instead of the traditional Christmas fund raiser.

Since the club's formation there has always been a Christmas Raffle but with more and more organisations going down that route United have chosen to try a Summer Draw instead.

The draw will take place on Bank Holiday Monday August 30th with a 1st Prize of £150, 2nd Prize of £50 and a 3rd Prize of £25 along with many other prizes.

Anybody wishing to sell some tickets on behalf of the club should contact Gary Walter on 07986 032772 and also anybody who can contribute any sort of prize they should also contact Gary.

 

Keeper Out Of Hospital - 22nd April

Good news for Witney on the announcement that young goalkeeper Jamie Zoldan was allowed home following two nights in hospital after a pitch injury.

Having been caught with a very late challenge during an Under 18's Allied Counties match with North Leigh on Monday night he was admitted to hospital suffering kidney pains and urinating blood. Thankfully following scans and tests he has been given the all clear and has been sent home with bed rest instructions and will hopefully be back to normal in a couple of weeks time. Naturally everybody at United wishes Jamie a speedy recovery.


Mills Back In Action - 20th April

Witney United welcome back midfielder Jon-Paul Mills to the squad for tonight's FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier League clash against Pegasus Juniors.

The influential playmaker has been unavailable of late but returns as United look to grab a fourth successive win and clean sheet and keep the chase up for 5th place. Jack Smith remains very doubtful with a hamstring injury and John McMahon is definitely ruled out for the visit of the Herefordshire side. Pegasus currently sit comfortably in mid table thanks to an impressive home record that has seen them win 11 of their 19 matches but on the road they have found things much more tricky registering just two wins at Bicester Town (3-1) and Fairford Town (3-0).

They do currently hold the bragging rights over Witney this season though having beaten us 2-1 on a miserable afternoon in pouring rain back in mid-November with Ani Odihambo grabbing our late consolation goal.

 

Skipper Out - 16th April

Witney United will be without captain John McMahon when they make the trip to Bicester Town FC to face Old Woodstock hellenic league john mcmahon witneyTown in the FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier League on Saturday.


The influential midfielder is ruled out with a hamstring injury and may well be joined on the sidelines by Jack Smith who has a similar injury and is rated as doubtful.

Matches against Old Woodstock are always tough encounters and Saturday is expected to be no different with them in an excellent run of form having won seven of their last nine matches including impressive wins against Oxford City Nomads (2-0) and away at the normally very difficult to beat at home Pegasus Juniors (2-1). As a result they comfortably sit in mid-table with no worries of relegation and with United having been shunted out of the top 5 on Wednesday evening both sides will be looking to produce an entertaining affair.

 

Facebook And The Blanketmen - 15th April

Witney United have offered another avenue for its supporters to keep in touch with goings on at the club with the introduction of the club's own page on Facebook.

Facebook is the world's biggest social networking site and the page aims to give United fans an instant access to various aspects to do with the club such as almost instant full time results.

The club's page can be found by clicking the link here Witney United Facebook

Having had a page since the beginning of March the club already has 80 followers and will look to use it to help publicise social evenings and events.

 

Future Prospects - 12th April

Witney United Football Club today played host to some potential stars of the future as Oxfordshire Under 16's saw off their Somerset counterparts 3-1 at The Polythene UK Stadium.

With a strong wind at their backs Oxon got off to a great start just six minutes into the game when Jack Bermasconi executed an excellent volley from 12 yards out.

The lead was doubled just after the half hour when the Somerset defence failed to clear their lines and Frankie Merola reacted quickest to score.

The visitors were back in it shortly after the interval when a long throw caused panic in the Oxon defence and Josh Joiner pounced to reduce the arrears.

The game was killed off with quarter of an hour remaining when Merola rose highest to power home a header for his second of the match.

 

Witney v Fairford - 10th April

hellenic league anaclet odhiamboWitney United welcome back striker Ani Odihambo (pictured) and midfielder Ricky Bridges for today's Premier League clash with Fairford Town at The Polythene UK Stadium.


Both players missed the Easter Monday victory over Carterton as did Jack Smith who has a troublesome hamstring and he may miss out again tomorrow. There is however a doubt over centre-back Stuart Cattell who suffered an arm injury in the same game.

Fairford are currently embroiled in a relegation battle and occupy one of the bottom four places and now face a run in of five away matches. They sit below Carterton on goal difference only and still face a trip to Kilkenny Lane so they will be desperate for any points they can get. They recently ended a run of 13 matches without a win with victories over Bicester Town (6-2) and a surprise victory at Kidlington (4-3). Since those victories they have suffered three defeats but stopped the rot with a 2-2 draw against Malmesbury Victoria on Wednesday night.

 

Witney ‘Pull the Plug’ on ‘Ressies’ - 9th April

After discussions at various levels within the club the difficult decision has been made to withdraw the Reserves from the league. More and more availability had become a problem for manager Darren Teggart especially with the vast majority of the team doubling up as the Allied Counties youth team.

Commenting on the decision Chairman Steve Lake made the following statement; "It is with deep regret that Witney United Football Club have made the decision to withdraw our Reserve side from Reserve Division Two West. With injuries and the unavailability of players it was becoming more and more difficult to fulfil fixtures and the club had already been the subject of two fines for postponing fixtures. To be fair to the league and all the other teams in the competition we feel that withdrawing the side is the right and proper thing to do. Witney United Football Club will be hoping to field a side in the Reserve section next season".

 

Stronger Squad - 5th April

hellenic league john mcmahon witneyThe Blanketmen's injury and unavailability crisis appeared to ease further last night with the news that Chris Harper (pictured) is ready to return for this afternoon's clash with Carterton at The Polythene UK Stadium (3-00pm kick off)

With the four players who were ready to return for the Shrivenham clash also available manager Andy Lyne has some options available to him and maybe tempted to shuffle the pack.

It will be the second meeting between the two sides in the space of a month with United looking to complete the double over our West Oxfordshire rivals having won 2-1 at Kilkenny Lane in early March when goals from Ani Odihambo and Dean Smith saw us come from behind for victory.

Since that match Carterton have picked up two wins and seven defeats as they continue to hover perilously close to the relegation zone. That said one of those victories was the highly impressive 2-0 victory over Shortwood United.

 

Player Boost - 3rd April

Witney United have received a timely boost ahead of todays clash with league leaders Reading Town at The Polythene UK Stadium with the return of a quartet of players.

Following the stunning 5-0 reverse at Shrivenham in midweek Vinny Byfield, Andrew Younie, Tom Aldworth and Dan Szczuckiewicz all return to the squad with Andy Lyne likely to shuffle the pack. One player who will miss out is Chris Harper who has been playing through a groin injury in the last two games but will not be available for tomorrow.

Reading Town of course have had an excellent season and just after Christmas led the league table by an astonishing 16 points but slowly the pack has closed them down and ahead of tomorrow they top the table from Almondsbury Town by three points although the latter have four games in hand. Victories over Bicester Town and Malmesbury Victoria in their last two matches have ended a recent mini slump which saw them collect just three points from four matches. The two sides met at Scours Lane at the end of February when we could consider ourselves very unlucky to come away with a 1-0 defeat.

 

Smith Back - 31st March

Witney United are boosted by the return of Jack Smith for tonight's FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier League trip to face Shrivenham (7-45pm).

The youngster has missed the last two games due to suspension but returns as United's focus switches to clinching as high a league finish as possible following last night's Floodlit Cup exit.

Andrew Younie definitely misses out but Ani Odihambo also returns having been cup tied for the Shortwood clash and will be looking to continue his recent rich vein of form.

Shrivenham are looking safe from relegation currently sitting seven points clear of the bottom four but have suffered a terrible run of form with just one win in the last fourteen matches and without a win at home in the league since September.

That said on their day they have the capability to pull off a result as their recent 2-0 victory at Shortwood United in the Challenge Cup shows and on Saturday they will travel to Abingdon Town for a Quarter-Final clash.

 

Floodlit Rip Roarer - 29th March

Witney United will be hoping its a rip roaring cup night at the Polythene UK Stadium tonight as they look to overturn a 2-0 deficit when they entertain Shortwood United in the 2nd Leg of the A M Print & Copy Floodlit Cup Semi-Final.

Since the lacklustre display in the first leg United have regained some form and some confidence and have swept to three straight victories scoring thirteen goals in the process whilst Shortwood have won at Ascot (3-2) drawn 1-1 at Wantage Town and on Saturday went down to a shock 2-0 reverse at Carterton. It will of course be the second cup tie between the two sides at Witney this season with United having won 2-1 in a FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round Replay way back in September after the sides had drawn 3-3 at Meadowbank.

Witney have also been handed a major boost on the team news front with the return of influential midfielder Jon-Paul Mills and there will be a late fitness test for Chris Harper to see if he is ready following his groin injury. Definitely missing will be Ani Odihambo who is cup tied along with Jack Smith (suspended) and Tom Aldworth (ineligible).

If the scores are level over the two legs after 90 minutes there will be a period of 30 minutes extra-time and then a penalty shoot out if necessary.

 

hellenic league jack smith witney unitedSmith Sit's It Out -26th March

Witney United will have to make do without young defender cum midfielder Jack Smith when they make the trip to play Malmesbury Victoria tomorrow.

The youngster (pictured) passed the 10 yellow cards threshold recently and as such has to sit out a two match suspension meaning he also misses the Floodlit Cup clash with Shortwood United.

On the plus side though United have been boosted by the return of five players as they look to continue their recent rich vein of form. Paul Tassell returns in goal whilst both Andrew Younie and Lee Henderson also return to the squad. Dan Szczuckiewicz is back from Poland and is straight back in the squad and Andrew Styles has recovered from the hamstring injury he picked up at Kidlington.

The Vics have had a turbulent season since their promotion and currently occupy one of the four relegation places. They have also had a recent change of manager and former "Blanketman" Kevin Coles is part of the management team. They are currently in a run of one win in seven games but by all accounts gave title favourites Almondsbury Town an almighty scare in midweek before going down to a 2-0 defeat.


Trio Missing - 23rd March

Witney United will be without a trio of players for their trip to Wilks Park to face Marlow United in the FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier Division tonight.


Paul Tassell, Andrew Younie and Chris Harper all miss out following Saturday's win over Ardley United so Steve Hale will be back in between the sticks for United again.

Marlow had an excellent start to the season including a very impressive 2-1 win at The Polythene UK Stadium but their last nine games has seen a drop in form winning just one of their last nine matches although with an eight point cushion over the bottom four they should be safe. If ever evidence was needed that on their day Marlow are capable of a result against anybody you only have to go back a week when they held league leaders Reading Town to a creditable 0-0 draw. United will be looking for victory to try and keep some distance between ourselves and the chasing pack keen to break into the top six but will also know that with Wantage playing Shortwood there is also an opportunity to close the gap on some of the teams above.

 

Knee ‘Op’ for ‘Thommo’ - 22nd March


ben thompson hellenic leagueWitney United have been dealt a cruel blow with the news that star striker Ben Thompson faces a knee operation after an MRI scan confirmed the injury as a ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament.

Following the confirmation of news that was expected Andy Lyne paid tribute to Thompson's contribution to United over the last two seasons. “Over the course of your managerial career you occasionally fall upon a piece of good fortune as far as players are concerned but when Ben Thompson moved from East Anglia to Oxford two summers ago I enjoyed one of those rare moments! It was obvious from our negotiations and the way that he conducted himself that Tommo was a proper footballer. He has gone on to prove to be one of the best and fittest players I have ever worked with, at this, or the next two levels, the type of player who always gives value for money and always does extra away from the club. Obviously his goals have shown that we made a pretty shrewd investment but for me it is as much about the way he is with other players and the example he sets on and off the pitch. I have never seen a player at this level with the movement and pace that he has. Also the willingness to chase down poor ball, something few strikers relish. Obviously it’s sad that for both him and the club that his season is now over but his contribution to Witney United Football Club has been massive and deserves recognition. He has given us a return of 66 goals in 79 games since joining us from Wroxham and that at any level is truly an impressive record.”

Boost For Tonight - 18th March

Witney United have been handed a major boost with the news that Jon-Paul Mills and Andrew Younie will be available for the trip to Meadowbank to face Shortwood United in the 1st Leg of the Floodlit Cup Semi-Final tonight.

The influential midfielder has been unavailable in recent weeks but makes a timely return along with Younie as United make the trip to Gloucestershire for the crunch cup clash. One player who will definitely miss out as he was added to the injury list was Andrew Styles who limped off with a hamstring injury at Kidlington.

The Wood, similar to Witney, are currently going through a run of difficult fixtures, with tonight being their 6th match in 16 days only losing out to our run of 6 matches in 14 days. The two sides have of course got very used to each other this season with already two league matches and two cup matches with Witney holding the upper hand with two wins, one draw and one defeat. Away goals do not count in the Floodlit Cup and the 2nd Leg has now been arranged and will be played at The Polythene UK Stadium on Monday 29th March with a 7-45pm kick off.

Witney Route to Semi-Final
1st Round WITNEY UNITED 4 (Harper, Johnson, McMahon, Thompson) Carterton 3
2nd Round Milton United 0 WITNEY UNITED 3 (Bridges, Thompson, Zoldan)
Quarter-Final Old Woodstock Town 0 WITNEY UNITED 3 (Bridges, Cattell, Harper)

Shortwood Route to Semi-Final
1st Round Hungerford Res 0 SHORTWOOD UNITED 4 (Bennett, Mike Green, Mish Green, Greenough)
2nd Round Highworth Town 0 SHORTWOOD UNITED 1 (Evans)
Quarter-Final SHORTWOOD UNITED 1 (Evans) Wantage Town 0

 

Blanketmen Go To Yarnton Road - 16th March

Witney United welcome back one of their injured players for tonight's night's trip to face local rivals Kidlington in the FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier (7-45pm).


Dean Smith wasn’t fully fit on Saturday and had to make do with sitting on the bench but he is likely to return to the starting line-up at Kidlington. That’s where the good news ends though as Gary Wickens is ruled out with an ankle injury obtained against Binfield and Jack Smith is rated doubtful whilst Andrew Younie is unavailable.

Kidlington have suffered a recent blip in form suffering five defeats in the last six matches but they always produce a performance when United visit Yarnton Road and the likelihood is tomorrow will be no different. Up until that recent dip they were flying and challenging the top four but that run has seen them drop down to 7th in the table level on points with ourselves but having played two games more. The two clubs met back in early August at The Polythene UK Stadium when we ran out deserved 3-1 winners with a double from Ben Thompson and a further strike from Andrew Younie.

Last 6 Meetings Between the Clubs
Hellenic Premier WITNEY UNITED 3 (Thompson 2, Younie) Kidlington 1
Hellenic Premier WITNEY UNITED 1 (Henderson) Kidlington 2
Hellenic Premier Kidlington 2 WITNEY UNITED 3 (Thompson, Lewis, Wickens)
Floodlit Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg WITNEY UNITED 0 Kidlington 1
Floodlit Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg Kidlington 2 WITNEY UNITED 1 (Wickens)
Hellenic Premier Kidlington 2 WITNEY UNITED 2 (Marriott, Brandon)


Witney Make Bold Signing - 11th March

The Blanketmen will have at least one less headache for tonight's Bluefin Insurance Challenge Cup 2nd Round clash with Woodley Town at The Polythene UK Stadium.

hellenic league steve haleHaving been forced to start with central defender Vinny Byfield in goal on Tuesday it will be a recognised goalkeeper between the sticks for the cup clash.

Experienced keeper, former Carterton manager Steve Hale (pictured), who was Assistant Manager with Andy Lyne at Wantage Town has signed forms for United and will make his Witney debut tonight. In more recent times veteran keeper "Haler" was Assistant Manager at Thatcham Town, donning the gloves in the Southern League on occasions during his tenure at Thatcham.

Steve who runs popular goal keeper courses, has also been involved as a goal keeping coach with Forest Green Rovers and Swindon Town.


Despite being up against lower league opposition there will be no danger of United being over confident though as they come up against a side brimming with confidence currently sitting third in the table and on an impressive run of seven straight victories.

Woodley already have one Premier League scalp having knocked Carterton out 2-1 in the previous round and in this the first meeting between the two clubs they will be looking to add another.

United have already played one match in this competition when they thumped Letcombe 8-1 in an astonishing cup-tie that saw central defender Stuart Cattell score a hat-trick.

Should the scores be level after 90 minutes there will be a period of 30 minutes extra-time and a penalty shoot out if necessary to ensure a winner on the night. The winners of tonight's tie will be away at Hellenic Division One West side Slimbridge in the Quarter-Finals.

 

hellenic league john mcmahon witneyMcMahon Boost - 9th March

Witney United are boosted by the return of captain John McMahon from suspension as they begin a period of 3 games in 5 days when they entertain Flackwell Heath tonight at The Polythene UK Stadium (7-45pm).

The influential midfielder has missed a glut of games but makes his return at a vital time with the games coming thick and fast between now and the end of the season. Long term absentees Ben Thompson, Jamie Mills and Jon Okole are all ruled out whilst their is a doubt over Paul Tassell who missed the weekend win at Carterton.

The Heathens started the season on fire and although they had a dip in the middle of the season they have returned to form winning 3 of their last 5 matches and gaining a very creditable 0-0 draw at Wantage Town. In striker Riccardo Cannon they have a player who on is day is as dangerous as any other striker in the league and United know they will have to be on their game tomorrow to keep pressuring the top 4. The clubs have met already this season when we drew 1-1 at Wilkes Park after we fell behind a point was gained when Stuart Cattell glanced home a header.

All Five Previous meetings between the 2 Clubs.
Hellenic Premier Flackwell Heath 1 WITNEY UNITED 1 (Cattell)
Hellenic Premier WITNEY UNITED 3 (JP Mills, Wickens, Burnley) Flackwell Heath 0
Hellenic Premier Flackwell Heath 0 WITNEY UNITED 5 (Wickens 3, JP Mills, McMahon)
Hellenic Premier WITNEY UNITED 1 (Marriott) Flackwell Heath 1
Hellenic Premier Flackwell Heath 1 WITNEY UNITED 3 (OG, Wickens(pen), Brownhill)

 

Lyne Praises Squad Commitment - 4th March

This weekend Witney travel to neighbours Carterton whom we have met twice already this season, with Witney edging the Floodlight Cup tie and Carterton the Oxfordshire Senior Cup game.

Andy Lyne comments."They have had a change of manager recently and I’m sure that the players will be keen to impress their new boss, so that only serves to make a local derby even more difficult. Irrespective of league positions games like this are all about “on the day”,so hopefully we will be back to something like a full squad."

hellenic league andrew younie witney united"Non-league players are invariably heavily criticised for their supposed greed, so it’s nice to be able to report something different. Yesterday Andy Younie (left)played for his Portsmouth University team in the afternoon and then rushed back to help out our depleted squad at Ascot in the evening. That typifies the spirit that exists amongst this squad, who have a unity I have rarely seen over the years. Its easy to put on that United front when you are sitting at the top of the league and winning every week but its at times like this when the chips are down that the real measure of players as men, comes to the surface. In a similar vein Chris Harper, who is a personal trainer, could have run his Wednesday class and made a decent wedge for the night but instead he decided to stand up and be counted. We also had three lads involved at Ascot who had played the night before for the Reserves at Witney, Dan Walker, Chris Zoldan and Will Bridgewater. They are also down to play tonight for our youth team. That’s a total nonsense having to put them in that position and it doesn’t auger well for any club, who like us, have adopted a proper development programme that sees our youth team play as a reserve team also."

"It goes without saying that I have tremendous respect for all my player’s, otherwise they wouldn’t be with me. You can argue about the ability of players all day long but this group are a decent bunch of human beings and in this day and age that’s just as rewarding."

"As anyone will tell you a win away anywhere in midweek is a good result. Accepted that Ascot, like us, weren’t at full strength, they still had a very competitive side out on the park and we had to graft for the win. It was a game that had a 0-0 look about it and certainly we felt at half time that one goal might win it. We probably should have done better from our possession when the game opened up but it was another clean sheet. We defended well and once again Paul Tassell, although having little to do, pulled out a real worldie to protect our lead."

. . . . . And It's Ten to Three At Witney United

No Witney haven’t switched their Kick-Off times but are offering Home supporters a ‘Weekly’ Season ticket for their series of games next week.

With the bad weather causing havoc with fixtures The Blanketmen face a run of three home games in just five days.

To reward their fans the Club are offering a, discounted, week-long season ticket that will cover next Tuesday’s game against Flackwell Heather, the Challenge Cup match versus Woodley Town, (Thursday) and Saturday’s clash with Binfield.

The tickets are priced at £10 (£7 for concessions).

The initiative was suggested by Match Secretary Adrian Bircher. His rationale was to try to counter the ‘match fatigue’ that can occur during such a concentrated run of home games. Adrian says ‘We have a very loyal set of fans that follow us through thick and thin but 3 games in 5 days is challenge that needs rewarding, we hope that we get a good few taking up this option on Tuesday night’.


Blanketmen Sign A Hobgoblin - 1st March

Witney United Football Club (WUFC) is pleased to announce a further local partnership with Wychwood Brewery now becoming their supplier of choice.

The Company, which is based in Witney, will now supply the club with a full range of lagers, beers and bottled real ales.

Steve Lake (WUFC Chairman) stated ‘The link with Wychwood Brewery is something we have looked to do for a while now. Our previous supplier had little or no interest in a, relatively, small volume sporting outlet whereas Marston (Wychwood’s parent company) seem to be well tuned into how to support football and other sports clubs – which is a totally refreshing approach.’

As part of the switch Witney will be have a few special offers available over the bar on forthcoming match days.

Other Witney based companies that support, sponsor and supply the Club include Polythene UK, the Fabulous ‘Bakin Boys, and Philip Dennis….to name but a few.

hellenic league wychwood brewery  witney

The Wychwood Brewery
Named after the ancient medieval forest of The Wych Wood, our Brewery produces an award winning range of traditional craft-brewed beers full of character. We are one of the UK’s leading producers of Organic Beers.
Wychwood blends traditional methods of production, including the famous Brakspear ‘Double-Drop’, with an innovative approach to beer flavour to produce around 50,000 barrels a year of flavour-packed traditional cask ales and bottled beers. See the art of brewing in our superb video guide to craft brewing.


Brewery Store Open 10am – 5pm Monday to Saturday
The Brewery Store is open from 10 till 5 Monday to Saturday; come and enjoy a warm welcome and buy bottled and cask conditioned beer, as well as our wide range of gifts direct from the Brewery door. Great gifts, great beer!
Can't make it? Then shop online! www.wychwood.com


Brewery Tours - free for Cask Ale Week
To celebrate cask ale week (March 29 - April 5 2010) all our tours are free of charge on 27th and 28th March, and 3rd April. Numbers are limited, so book yours now to avoid disappointment!
We welcome visitors to the brewery for tours on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year; if you are able to come and see us, and if you’re really lucky, you never know you may even catch a glimpse in person of The Hobgoblin, The Green Goblin or the Black Wych.

 

ben thompson hellenic leagueThompson Out Long Term? - 26th February

Prolific striker Ben Thompson is ruled out of Witney United’s trip to Premier Division leaders Reading Town on Saturday after suffering a nasty knee injury.


Thompson, who has scored 17 goals this season, picked up the injury in a reserve team match last week, and is likely to be out long-term.


JP Mills, Dan Szczukiewicz and Lee Henderson are unavailable, while John McMahon is still suspended.Dan Walker gets a call up from the reserves.

 

Blanketmen Get A ‘Guiding Hand’ - 23rd February


On Sunday Witney United’s car park was full to overflowing as 300+ Rainbow/Brownies/Guides descended on The Polythene UK stadium to celebrate 100 years of Guiding. The young ladies sang songs, danced and presented sketches on what was a great community day. Unfortunately the wet weather restricted the event to the hard standing areas but everybody seemed to enjoy the day.

Steve Lake (WUFC Chairman) stated ‘OK we didn’t sell too many pints of lager but it was great to see the facility packed out for such an event – and although lager sales may have been down we served up quite a few cups of tea, coffee, soup and chocolate!! – sometimes it’s a bonus that it is so cold and windy at the Stadium’ ‘What was even more pleasing was the girls cleared and cleaned out the stands afterwards so well that you wouldn’t have known that there had been anyone there – so a big well done to them, they will be more than welcome when they return for another function in the autumn’.

 

Witney United  Lose 8-12 to Clanfield!!! - 22nd February

In the first of Witney United’s ‘Pub Game Challenge’ they managed to lose out to Clanfield by the margin of 8 points to 12.

The home side lost 4-6 in the darts competition and also went down by a similar score in the Pool matches.

Witney Chairman Steve Lake (who failed to score a point in the darts or pool round!) stated ‘We were gutted! But the best team won on the night. It was a really entertaining evening and everybody is up to get revenge at Clanfield in a week or two’s time’.

‘We have had a few other Hellenic sides who seem interested in taking us on and if it takes off we will turn it into a league competition next year’.

Anyone that wants to take the ‘Hellenic pub game challenge’ should contact WUFC Secretary Ady Bircher email adrian1.bircher@ntlworld.com Mobile Number 07824 999119

Witney are hoping that the Hellenic League management team may consider trying their luck by fielding a side!!!!

Witney United also host their Big Quiz Night 2 on the 9th April where teams of 4-6 can scope a top prize of £75. The last night was very well attended as 12 or so teams fought their way through 10 or so rounds of general knowledge.

£10 a team gets you a table on the night when hot food will also be available.

 

Vowed To Stay - 5th February

Witney United boss Andy Lyne has vowed to stay on despite a second budget cut at the Polythene UK Stadium.


Although frustrated by the decision, Lyne said: “The players’ commitment has been superb. They agreed to the budget cut in the summer, and now we’ve had another cut to basic expenses. A lot of time and effort goes into building a successful team. When things like this occur, that puts that at risk. But I have been pleased by the players’ response. They believe that we are capable of winning something. It’s because of the players’ response, and loyalty to them and the supporters that I want to stay and finish the job.”

Before Tuesday night's home clash with Abingdon Town two Witney players were awarded trophies for passing an appearance milestone with the club.

Dean Smith and Gary Wickens both passed 100 starting appearances for the club in recent weeks taking the tally of players who have now passed this milestone for the club to seven.

The other five players to complete 100 starting appearances for Witney United since its formation are John McMahon (now passed 200), Paul Tassell, Tom Butler, Lee Keyes and Mark McMeeking.

 

Witney Budget Statement - 30th January

hellenic league steve lake chairman witney unitedDue to rumours circulating on internet chat sites Witney United Football Club have issued the following statement through chairman Steve Lake (pictured) with regards the playing budget.

"With rumours currently circulating I felt it only right to put our loyal supporters and everybody connected with Witney United Football Club in the picture over the tough decision we have had to make regarding the playing budget for the current season. Due to rising overheads, a downturn in function room bookings and home attendances we as a club for the second time this season have had to take this decision. Our manager Andy Lyne and his team have worked tirelessly over the last two years to provide top class football and entertainment for the Witney football public and we are fully aware that this decision will have made his job even harder. At this time more than ever I would urge all United supporters to back the club more than ever by attending home matches and supporting all club events. Our priorities remain the same which is to bring Southern League Football back to the town of Witney and whilst this maybe a backward step the forward aim remains the same"

 

‘Blanketmen’ Looking Forward To New Mills - 20th January

League Officer, and noted local football journalist, Kieren Bushnell, writes in the Oxfordshire Media;
Witney United boss Andy Lyne has called on his players to seize their big chance when they travel to Derbyshire to take on New Mills in the delayed FA Vase 4th round on Saturday. Victory for Witney would put them in the last 16 for the first time and earn a home tie with either Northern League side Norton & Stockton Ancients or North West Counties League outfit Bootle.

Witney reached this stage last season, only to lose out 1-0 to eventual semi-finalists Lowestoft in a game that they dominated. And Lyne, whose team have not played for more than a month after the big freeze, is determined to go at least one better this time around. He said: “All teams at our level have struggled to train properly during the enforced break, so match fitness, or rather the lack of it, will be the same for everyone. “Obviously our midweek game against Highworth takes on even greater significance as it gives us the opportunity to get a game under our belts.”

Witney will be without John McMahon (suspended) and Jack Smith (ineligible) for the trip north, but other than that, they will be at full strength. Lyne added: “We had our best-ever run in the FA Cup this season and made some decent money from it and we have done likewise in the Vase. For us to reach the last 32 of this prestigious competition for two years in a row is a great achievement for such a young club.
Like all clubs at our level, we are struggling financially, and would benefit greatly from staying in the competition as long as we can.”

Although Lyne knows little about New Mills, he has had his scouts out in Derbyshire before Christmas. “I had them watched,” he said. “They are a strong and physical side and being the home side, they will obviously start as massive favourites. But we have done well away from home over the last three seasons and the long trip up there is a great team-spirit booster. When you get to this stage of a national competition we know there are no easy games and things can be decided on the merest moment, as we found out at Lowestoft last season. That defeat has made the lads even more determined not to have to face the same disappointment again. I don't know if New Mills have had us watched, but if they have they wont have learned an awful lot. We have three patterns of play that we can easily adjust to given the circumstances.”

 

Schools Offer - 15th January

Witney have decided to launch an offer to 30 local schools for three league matches between now and the end of the season which will see local school children gain free entry to one match along with two other offers.

The idea is the brainchild of Community Liaison Officer Andrew Magnay who gave his thoughts on the offer.

"It is something we have run in previous seasons and it has been a major success. We first tried it four seasons ago and we were rewarded with a bumper crowd of 236 when we met Bishops Cleeve and hopefully these offers will generate the same interest and get youngsters interested in their local club"

The offer starts with the Ascot United match on Saturday 20th February when Under 16's will be admitted free of charge with the voucher. Then on the 13th March when we entertain Binfield they can get in half price for just 50p and lastly the clash with Reading Town on Saturday 3rd April they can go into a draw to have £15 to spend in the United club shop.

If you would like your school to be in involved please contact Witney United

 

Trilogists! - 15th December

Witney United will complete the trilogy on tonight when they face Almondsbury Town in the FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier Division action at The Polythene UK Stadium for the third time in 20 days.

The two sides met in the league at the back end of November when Witney fought out a 1-1 draw down in Bristol with Andrew Styles grabbing United a deserved equaliser. Then on the 5th December the teams came together in the FA Vase and it was United who produced a storming display to overpower the Almonds winning 4-0 and clinching a place in the last 32.

On Tuesday night though The Almonds will return as favourites as they defend their unbeaten league record looking to keep the pressure on leaders Reading Town as United seek to keep adding to their points tally and pushing closer to the top four. Following the defeat in the Vase there was an immediate response from Almondsbury on Saturday when they triumphed 2-1 over West Oxon neighbours Carterton to keep their promotion campaign on track. For United it will be a case of looking to continue the excellent run of home form which has seen them win their last eight matches at The Polythene UK Stadium smashing in 35 goals in the process. On the team news front the squad is likely to remain unchanged from Saturday's win over Hook Norton with Stuart Cattell (suspension) the only definite absentee and goalkeeper John Okole is still a doubt.

 

helleni league paul tassell witney unitedTassell Returns - 11th December

Witney United have re-signed goalkeeper Paul Tassell (pictured) ahead of tomorrow's home clash with Hook Norton.


Tassell will compete with John Okole, after Richard Barrett joined Shortwood United. JP Mills, Jack Smith and Okole return to the squad, though Stuart Cattell is suspended.

Confident Says Lyne - 4th December

Witney United boss Andy Lyne says his side are full of confidence ahead of tomorrows FA Carlsberg Vase third round home tie with fellow Hellenic League side Almondsbury Town.

Witney reached the last 32 last season, only to go out 1-0 to eventual finalists Lowestoft Town. After a 5-1 victory in the last round against Erith & Belvedere, Witney have lost once in their last 13 games, and Lyne believes they have a good chance of success. He said: “We have won ten of those 13 games, so we are in reasonable form. But we know what a massive challenge it will be to overcome Almondsbury. They are a top team packed with quality and experience.”

Striker Ben Thompson returns after injury, while Andrew Younie, Anaclet Odhiambo and Dan Szczukiewicz are also back. However, young defender Jack Smith is unavailable to play in the Vase as he is a loan player.

Lyne added: “Almondsbury will be tough, but going forward, we are as good as any team in the league, so we will approach the game confidently.”

Witney United: from Okole, D Smith, Henderson, Cattell, Byfield, Butler, Szcz-ukiewicz, Harper, JP Mills, McMahon, Styles, Odhiambo, Younie, Wickens, Bridges, Thompson, Zoldan.

 

Looking To Secure Semi Place - 2nd December

Witney will be looking to clinch a place in the Semi-Finals of the A & M Print and Copy Floodlit Cup when they travel tonight to face Old Woodstock Town in the Quarter-Finals (7-45).

Having disposed of Carterton and Milton United in the previous two rounds The Blanketmen will be looking to get past another local rival with the carrot of that last four place up for grabs.

Woodstock themselves will feel exactly the same though having knocked out North Leigh Reervess and Ardley United to book their place in the last eight.

The sides have met this season once already in the league, when Witney ran in 4-1 winners at The Polythene UK Stadium, with Ben Thompson (3) and Ricky Johnson getting the goals.

Witney may have to do without top scorer Thompson who had a slight re-occurrence of an injury, with the FA Vase game on Saturday he may not be risked.

Two others definitely missing will be Andrew Younie (unavailable) and Anaclet Odihambo who is cup tied having played for Abingdon United Res earlier in the competition. There is however some positive news on the team front with the return from suspension of Jack Smith and also the return to fitness of defender Lee Henderson.


Witney Want To Avoid Shock - 28th November

Witney will have to make do without defender Jack Smith for the visit of Letcombe in todays Bluefin Insurance Challenge Cup 1st Round clash at the Polythene UK Stadium.

The youngster sits out a one match suspension having collected five yellow cards but his absence is offset by the return to the squad of Andrew Younie, Dean Smith, Vinny Byfield and Ricky Bridges all of whom missed the midweek draw at Almondsbury Town.

It will of course be a quick renewal of rivalries between the two sides having met in the Jim Newman Cup Final only last week but it is likely to be a very different United side that lines up from that which gained the 3-2 victory at Clanfield.

The two sides have met once before in this competition two seasons ago when Witney were the victims of a cup shock going down to a 1-0 defeat, a result they will be keen to avoid on this occassion.

Letcombe currently lie in 7th position in Division One West and there is no doubting that they miss the striking prowess of Richard Claydon who moved to Wantage Town in the summer.

One name familiar to United fans may well be Pete Horswell, who had two seasons with United's youngsters and Reserves, and this season has notched an impressive 6 goals in 10 league games for Letcombe. They have had a recent upturn in form as well winning five out of six matches before going down to a 3-2 defeat at Headington Amateurs last week.


ben thompson hellenic leagueWitney Boost - 25th November

Witney United have been handed a massive boost ahead of the trip to Almondsbury Town this evening with the news that top scorer Ben Thompson has recovered from injury.

Thompson (pictured) has missed the last three matches with an injury suffered in the victory over Milton United in the Floodlit Cup and his return will be the perfect tonic following the defeat at Pegasus on Saturday. His return also coincides with the return of influential midfielder Jon-Paul Mills who missed the game on Saturday as he sat out a one match suspension. Jack Smith is also available after it was thought he would miss the game as Oxford United had wanted to use him but they have allowed him to play at Almondsbury.

Tests of course dont come much tougher than the trip to Bristol against a side who are again amongst the favourites for promotion and that is backed up by the fact that they are currently unbeaten in the league after 16 matches. However the last time they defended an unbeaten league record against United the visitors overcame the odds to beat them although that game was at Witney. The only team to collect any points from Almondsbury this season were Kidlington who collected a 2-2 draw whilst every other side has been sent home with no points to show for their efforts.

Last season Witney collected one point from their two league matches as they fought back from 2-0 down with five minutes remaining to draw 2-2 at home but went down to a 4-2 defeat in the return in an ill tempered match that saw both sides having men sent off. Tomorrow night's match will also see United's players, officials and supporters complete a tough travelling schedule. They will have completed 266 miles in the space of four days following the trip to Hereford on Saturday and then the journey to Almondsbury on Wednesday evening.

 

hellenic league witney united jimnewman cupJim Newman Cup Winners - 21st November

Witney United ended their long wait for a trophy since their formation when their young side captured the Jim Newman Cup with a 3-2 win over Letcombe at Clanfield FC.

On Wednesday night, wiith six of the team part of the Under 18's squad for this season it was an unfamiliar United line up that took to the field and the game remained goal-less at the break. Witney took the lead just a minute after the break when Jack Smith reacted quickest after a corner was not cleared properly. Six minutes later and the lead was doubled when some slick passing released Andrew Styles who finished well giving the Letcombe keeper no chance. Midway through the second half and United went 3-0 up when Ricky Bridges hit home an excellent half volley to surely kill the tie. Letcombe kept battling and two goals in the last five minutes gave United a fright but the job was completed and United lifted the Jim Newman Cup.

 

Wickens Comes Back From Injury - 18th November

hellenic league gary wickens witneyWitney United striker Gary Wickens will make his first start following a knee injury when United make the trip to Clanfield to face Letcombe in the Jim Newman Cup Final tonight (7-30pm). The popular front man was a surprise inclusion on the bench on Saturday and tonight will see another step in his rehabilitation.


It will be very much a mixed squad that travels to Clanfield as United take the opportunity to look at a few squad players but also rest a few who are in desperate need of it. Jack Smith will be included after missing the FA Vase game at the weekend and Andy Lyne takes the opportunity to look at some of the younger players as he includes six players that are part of this season's Under 18 squad.

This final of course has been held over since pre-season when heavy rain back in August saw the postponement of the tie and ironically the two clubs will now meet twice in two weeks as we meet in the Challenge Cup a week on Saturday. United made their way through to the final with a 4-1 win over Faringdon Town and a penalty shoot out victory over Clanfield following a 1-1 draw. If the scores are level after 90 minutes there will be no extra-time and the match will go straight to a penalty shoot out.

In the A & M Print and Copy Floodlit Cup United have been handed a tricky local derby away against Old Woodstock Town in the Quarter-Finals of the competition. Having knocked out Carterton and Milton United the draw for the last eight sees them pitched against their fellow FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier League opponents. The match will be played at Bicester Town FC and it is scheduled to be played on Wednesday 3rd.

Andy Lyne commentedon the draw.“ Above all else I'm pleased that we do not have to travel to far in the week we are due to play the next round of the F A Vase. I'm sure that Old Woodstock Town like ourselves, will consider it a winnable tie, with the incentive of a semi final place at stake. Almost certainly we will have to consider carefully the mix of the team that we field”

Harper Boosts Squad - 13th November

Witney United boss Andy Lyne has boosted his squad with the permanent signing of Chris Harper from Didcot Town.
Harper, who has had several loan spells at Witney, goes straight into the squad for tomorrow's second round tie at home to Kent League side Erith & Belvedere.


Lee Henderson returns from injury, while Andy Younie and Anaclet Odhiambo, both of whom missed the midweek win at Milton, are back in the squad. Youth team striker Chris Zoldan retains his place, but leading goalscorer Ben Thompson is unlikely to be fit after damaging ankle ligaments at Milton. Ricky Johnson and Jack Smith are both unavailable.


Witney United (v Erith & Belvedere, home): from Okole, D Smith, Henderson, Cattell, Szczukiewicz, Younie, JP Mills, McMahon, Butler, Odhiambo, Zoldan, Byfield, Bridges, Styles, Thompson.

 

Partnership For Witney - 9th November

Witney United are delighted to announce an exciting commercial partnership with Witney based company Pure Media as they continue to strengthen their off the field team.

One of the club’s main aspirations when it was formed as well as being a part of the community was to forge a number of close links with local businesses that would bring a benefit to both parties.

Vice Chairman Mark Reid explained how the link up came about and also how he envisaged the link up working “For a number of years now we have been rather weak on the commercial aspect of the football club purely selling the occasional sponsorship package but we wanted to branch out more with local companies. We wanted them to become working partners with us where both parties get a real benefit from the town’s football club. Garry Kelly is well know to a vast majority of the United personnel and we are delighted to have him and his young company on board and I am sure this will be the beginning of a successful venture”

Pure media was founded in 2005 by Garry Kelly, a keen follower of Witney Town FC since 1978 when arriving in the town and since the demise, a loyal supporter of Witney United.

Pure media has since grown to one of the regions fastest growing full service media agencies representing a number of local, regional and national clients. Pure media is a full service marketing agency offering a truly multi-media background including TV, Radio, Outdoor, press and direct mail and graphic design media services, and is keen to further support the aspirations of Witney United by supporting it through it's local media contacts and clients alike via sponsorship and PR opportunities.
hellenic league witnet pure media
Managing Director Garry Kelly said "I have been a follower of the town's football club since I was a young boy and continue to support local boys football initiatives as a business through a number of ventures. I am delighted to be working with Witney United as official commercial partner. I have seen the club grow in confidence and hope to be part of helping them achieve their dream of promotion to the Southern League. Our objectives as a business are to see that the club has the commercial and professional attributes that it deserves, bringing our expertise to the table. As an accredited media agency with a reputation that bites, we are committed to raising the awareness of the clubs profile and revenue opportunities.

 

New Signing Makes Mark - 30th Octoberhellenic league anaclet odhiambo

Witney United boss Andy Lyne has hailed the capture of Anaclet Odhiambo.


Signed from Zamaretto League Abingdon United, Odhiambo scored twice on his debut in the 4-0 midweek win against Malmesbury Victoria. “We are very happy to have Ani on board,” said Lyne, whose side host Bicester Town tonight. “He is lively, quick and has a good goalscoring record at this level and above.”

The game against Bicester Town tonight will now be known officially as "Fabulous Friday" and as an added boost to proceedings the first 100 spectators through the turnstiles will receive a free Fabulous Bakin Boys product. Jack Smith and Ben Thompson are expected to return , but Vinny Byfield is unavailable.

 

Lyner Confident - 23rd October

Andy Lyne is confident that they have turned the corner after a poor run of results was ended with last weekend’s 3-0 win at Fairford.


Witney had suffered three successive Premier Division defeats which has dampened their title hopes. But Lyne said: “We’ve played well in our last three games and had no real luck or break of the ball. But on Saturday all the hard work bore dividends. We've now got one or two of our key players back from injury and it’s making a massive difference.”


Lyne names an unchanged squad for the home game against Shrivenham.

 

hellenic league fabulous bakin boysWitney United are delighted to announce that they have secured a tie up with local company The Fabulous Bakin Boys for their first ever Friday league fixture.

The game against Bicester Town on Friday 30th October will now be known officially as "Fabulous Friday" and as an added boost to proceedings the first 100 spectators through the turnstiles will receive a free Fabulous Bakin Boys product.

The Fabulous Bakin' Boys, create delicious muffins, flapjacks and much more delivered to your door. For full details of their products and services visit www.bakinboys.co.uk 

 

Milestones For McMahon - 19th October

hellenic league john mcmahon witneyIt has been an excellent couple of weeks as far as personal milestones go for FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier Witney United's captain John McMahon.

At Binfield a couple of weeks ago the combative midfielder passed through the 200 starting appearances for the club and then followed that up with another milestone on Saturday. His looping header in the 3-0 win at Fairford Town was his 50th goal for the club meaning an almost one goal in four game ratio for a player who has filled so many positions for United since signing.

McMahon made his debut for United on Saturday 21st August 2004 when they entertained Didcot Town in a Hellenic Premier League clash that saw Witney lose 1-0. Despite his excellent goal tally for the club he did have to wait almost two months for his first goal which came on Tuesday 12th October 2004 in a 1-0 victory over Ardley United. In his five and a half years with the club he has also picked up Website Player of the Year twice, Managers Player of the Year and Supporters Player of the Year.

 

Friday Football For Witney! - 16th October


Witney United will break new ground on Friday 30th October when they entertain Bicester Town at The Polythene UK Stadium in the FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier Division in the club’s first ever Friday evening fixture. With the club hosting the annual Curbridge Sports and Social Club Firework evening on the Saturday the club grabbed an opportunity to trial a Friday night fixture.

Vice-Chairman Mark Reid gave his thoughts on why the club chose to do it; "Basically we ran a poll on the website in the Summer asking whether supporters would be interested in seeing United trial a Friday fixture and 75% of those who voted gave an overwhelming yes. When the fixture coincided with the firework event we contacted Bicester and are delighted and grateful that they agreed to the switch. We are hoping that not only will the Witney public support this fixture but also that other supporters of football choose to take in a Friday night game and make it a success"

With the club hoping for a bigger than usual crowd for the game there are still some outstanding sponsorship opportunities available for the game and any interested parties should contact Adrian Bircher on 07824 999119.

 

Harper Loaned & Blossom Signed - 2nd October


Witney United have moved to sign former player Chris Harper on a month’s loan from Didcot Town as they look to cover their short tern injury problems.


Commenting on the signing Manager Andy Lyne said “ Again my thanks to Stuart Peace for agreeing to this loan. The relationship between our two clubs is a very good one and I’ve been able to help Stuart on a few occasions in return. ‘Harps’ has the sort of pace that unsettles defenders and he can play wide or up top. He needs games at a time when we have injuries, so it’s a win-win situation.”


Harper who started his career at Abingdon Town, before subsequent spells at Oxford City and Brackley Town is no stranger to Witney supporters, having had a couple of previous short spells with the club. He has previously made 9 starts for the club during his two spells scoring once during the 3-0 win over Hungerford Town last season.
Harper will not be involved at Binfield tomorrow but may come into the managers thinking for the midweek Floodlit Cup clash with Carterton.

Witney United have further strengthened their squad by completing the signing of Wayne Blossom from Zamaretto Premier League side Brackley Town. 29 year old Blossom is an extremely versatile player, who is comfortable in a number of positions. Prior to playing for The Saints he spent six seasons at Banbury United where he made around 300 appearances. Manager Andy Lyne said “ Everyone knows the qualities that Wayne brings to the table but above all else he has a great enthusiasm for the game and just loves and wants to play football. Blossom made his debut in United colours Wednesday night in the victory over Hook Norton.


jordan tabor didcot townLoan Player For Witney - 29th September

Witney United have added to their FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier squad by signing 19 years old Jordan Tabor on loan from Zamaretto Premier Division Didcot Town.

Tabor (pictured) who can play at left back or in midfield had been at Chelsea for the last four seasons, playing in both the Youth and Reserve teams. He started this season with Cheltenham Town, where he made several first team appearances including a start in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Manager Andy Lyne said “ With the injuries we have at the moment we badly needed to get someone in and I’m grateful to Stuart Peace at Didcot for making this happen.” Tabor is expected to go straight into the squad for the trip to Hook Norton on Wednesday. The story has a great family link as his grandad Ricky Tabor will be remembered by old Witney fans having played for Town.

 

Get "Baa-hind" The Blanketmen - 25th September

Witneys' new mascot Blanky the Lamb is urging the people of Witney to get up to the Polythene UK Stadium on Saturday hellenic league witney blank the lambeand roar the boys on.

Eastleigh will be the visitors to the stadium in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup as United look to pull off a major shock. With Eastleigh competing in the Blue Square Conference South they currently sit two clear levels above us and will have all the pressure on them. Blanky insists that not only can United win but the supporters can play a major part in any success.


"Our supporters are without doubt the noisiest in the FTL Futbol Hellenic League and now we require them to up their game and help the players with this tough challenge. If we all pull together we could be celebrating a major shock on Saturday night and looking forward to another round of the greatest cup competition in the world. To all those supporters coming to the ground on Saturday please get behind the lads from 2.55 right through until the boys have left the field knowing you have given your all for United. Remember "COME ON YOU YELLOWS!!!"

Boss Andy Lyne wants his Witney underdogs to enjoy the big stage in their biggest game since the club formed from the ashes of Witney Town in 2002, a win would take Witney’s Cup earnings to £9,000. Eastleigh, who boast Warren Goodhind – who made four starts for Oxford United in 2006 – among their line-up, have never beaten a side from Hellenic League level in eight attempts.


“We need to forget all the hype and psychology that people try to apply to these games,” said Lyne. “Our aim is to play to the best of our ability and with maximum commitment and effort. I want the players to relax and enjoy the day. For most of them, it will be the biggest game they are ever likely to play in.”


Jamie Mills (groin) and Tom Butler (hip) miss out while JP Mills (groin) and Jack Smith (ankle) are doubts, while Dan Szczukiewicz is away.

 

Work Experience At Witney - 7th September

hellenic league jack smith witney unitedWitney United have reached agreement with Oxford United to take 19 years old defender Jack Smith on work experience until December.

Smith had a successful spell at Witney towards the end of last season when he made five appearances as right back as the team challenged for the FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier League title.

Manager Andy Lyne was delighted to get Smith back for a second spell with the Blanketmen. “ Jack has a first class attitude and both parties will benefit from this arrangement. We get ourselves another good defender onboard and Jack gets some more senior football experience in his quest to achieve a professional career in the game”


Smith has also been given permission by Oxford United to play for Witney in the FA Cup and as such is available for next week's trip to Shortwood United.

 

Blanketmen Hero Re-joins The "U's" - 2nd September

Ex Witney United star player Jamie Cook has re-joined Conference leaders Oxford United from Crawley Town for an hellenic league jamie cook witney unitedundisclosed fee.

Cook joined Crawley in the summer of 2007 as one of manager Steve Evans’ summer recruits. Cook, who can play on both wings and up front, has experience of over 100 League games for Oxford United and Boston United.

He started his career with Oxford where he made ninety-two league appearances, scoring seven goals before joining Boston in February 2000. He was a part of the Boston squad led by Steve Evans that piped Dagenham & Redbridge to the title that season. Cook joined Stevenage Borough in 2002 before joining Bath City, re-launching his career with FTL Futbol Hellenic League Premier Division side Witney United.

Cook scored more than thirty goals for the Blanketmen in the 2005/06 campaign before Rushden & Diamonds gave him the chance to return to professional football at the beginning of 2007.

He started last season playing on the wing, but from mid-December has played up front and scored an amazing tally of goals, including hat tricks against Diamonds and Droylsden.He scored seven times in January, and was deservedly award the Blue Square Premier Player of the Month. The 30-year-old striker, comes back to the U's with the fans helping to fund his transfer and wages through their Twelfth Man scheme.

Cook should make his return for the U`s in Saturday's clash at Stonebridge Road against Ebbsfleet United.

 

hellenic league justin merrittWitney Snap Up Merritt - 20th August


FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier side Witney United have moved quickly to secure the signing of Justin Merritt who has recently left his position as Manager at Zamaretto Premier Division Oxford City. Merritt is no stranger to Witney having played under Andy Lyne for the Town in their Southern League days. Merritt started his career on YTS with Watford before having successful spells at Thame United, Aylesbury United and Brackley Town.

Manager Andy Lyne said “ Justin and I go way back and he has always done a good job for me both as a player and more recently assistant manager at Oxford City, where we enjoyed great success together. He is still young in playing terms and will bring experience and knowledge to our young and emerging team

 

Striker Boost - 12th August

FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier club Witney United gave the squad a huge boost on the eve of the new season with the news that striker Ricky Johnson has joined the club having previously been with Premier Division rivals Hook Norton.

Johnson who completed every league match last season for Hooky netted 32 league goals and was 3rd in the Golden Boots stakes behind Witney's Ben Thompson and Ian Concannon. The previous season he was with Easington Sports where he netted 44 goals and in Hellenic League terms is one of the most prolific strikers in recent seasons.
Witney Assistant Manager Howard Cowley gave his thoughts on the new capture. "Lyner and I are delighted that Ricky has decided to join us at Witney and there is no doubting he will be a quality addition to the squad. He brings height, pace and power as well as a proven goalscoring record at this level which will complement the strengths we already possess. He was a handful on the occasions we came up against Hook Norton last season."

Though it was Shortwood who claimed the points last night, James Singh scored the only goal of the game, in the 90th minute!.


hellenic league Paul Dyer Witney SeacoastBlanketmen International 2 - 6th August

Witney United have boosted their squad for the forthcoming FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier League season by completing the signing of American Paul Dyer.

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Dyer (pictured) who has been on trial at Oxford United has come to England in the hope of embarking on a professional career. The 21 year old Berwick, Maine born midfielder arrives from Seacoast United, where he played for 4 years for the New Hampshire based club. He was captain of state, regional and national champions in the USL Super Y and Super-20 League. He also played a year of college in Rhode Island where he was rookie of the year.


Manager Andy Lyne said “ Paul did well against us for Oxford in pre-season, scoring twice and we are more than happy to give him the opportunity to get games under his belt. He can play in midfield or as a striker so he will give us good options. He has sold many of his possessions and saved money in the past year to come and play football in England, so he is here chasing his dream”

 

Blanketmen International - 2nd Augusthellenic league Dan Szczukiewicz

FTL Futbol Hellenic Football League Witney United have completed the signing of defender Dan Szczukiewicz from Hook Norton following a short trial spell.


Szczukiewicz previously played in the Polish Fourth Division for Prochowiczanka Prochowice and for Banbury United in the Southern League. Manager Andy Lyne said “ Dan is a left sided player and they are few and far between in this area. He has good experience and character, can play in a number of positions and comes highly recommended by people I respect within the game”

Szczukiewicz came on as a second half substitute against Oxford United on Wednesday and played in a Witney United XI against Brize Norton in the Jim Newman Cup yesterday.

 

Youth Players Sign On The Line - 24th July

Witney United have added to their squad by signing Alex Welch, Dean Mays, Sam McNally, Will Bridgewater and Sam Wright for the forthcoming season in the FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier League.

Midfielder Welch was on the fringe of first team football last season and had loan spells at Bicester and Wantage. He is currently under the club’s rehabilitation programme following treatment to an injury sustained late last season. Mays has joined the club from Witney and District Football, having previously played in the Hellenic League at Old Woodstock Town. McNally, Bridgewater and Wright have all come through the youth ranks under the expert guidance of Darren Teggart, who has installed good habits into them all.

Manager Andy Lyne said “ Alex has a good pedigree, having been on several school of excellence programmes at pro clubs. He has the touch and commitment that show he’s been well coached from a very young age. With regards to Dean he has a freshness and rawness about him that might just come to fruition this season. He is very quick, he’s trained hard and well and is very competitive. I am very keen to give the opportunity to local players to step up from Witney and District football, if they are prepared to work hard and commit themselves. The two Sam’s and Will all impressed me when I saw them in the youth/reserve teams towards the end of last season. Sam Mac is a big lad who has a good engine, so he’s physically well equipped for the rigours of football at this level.
Will and the other Sam meanwhile, both show great promise and have applied themselves well to the clubs pre- season training programme”

 

hellenic league andy stylesBlanketman Styles - 23rd July

Witney United have re-signed all action midfielder Andy Styles from fellow FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier League side Kidlington.


Twenty years old Styles started last season at the Polythene UK Stadium before going out on loan to Milton United and subsequently joining Kidlington on a permanent basis.


Styles spent the early stages of his career with Oxford United and Swindon Town on their school of excellence programmes.
Manager Andy Lyne was very happy to get Styles back to Witney when he commented on his latest capture.
"Stylo is a good athlete and gets from box to box well. He has a decent shot on him and gets his fair share of goals. I didn’t want him to leave last season so I’m pleased that he has decided to give it another go with us”

Styles made 1 starting appearance in the local derby at Carterton last season and 3 substitute appearances and came back to haunt when he scored the winner against us when we lost 2-1 to Kidlington. He was back in a yellow shirt at the weekend against Buckingham Athletic before putting pen to paper last night.

 

hellenic league jp millsMills Brothers Commit - 21st July

One of the final pieces in Andy Lyne’s team building plans has come together with the Mills brothers (Jamie and Jon-Paul) agreeing to stay with FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier League Witney United for the forthcoming season.

hellenic league jamie millsManager Andy Lyne said, “There has been significant interest in the Mills boys this summer so all the players, staff and supporters at Witney United are delighted that they’ve chosen to stay with us. These lads have done brilliantly for me down the years, going back to our championship winning season at Wantage. You know what you are going to get from them week in week out, which is all a manager can ask for. I’m really pleased with the loyalty shown by all the players in response to the budget cut-they have been positive and realistic and are staying together because they firmly believe we can go even closer to winning the title this season.

Jon-Paul (pictured left) signed for the club from Swindon Supermarine and has since made 61 starting appearances for the club scoring 12 goals and has been the creator of many more. Although less eye-catching brother Jamie is no less crucial to United making the "Makelele" role his own during his 55 appearances since moving from Hungerford Town but still awaits his first goal for the club.

 

Further Signings - 19th July

hellenic league john okolehellenic league ricky bridgesWitney United have added two more players to their squad as they continue to build for the forthcoming season.

Keeper John Okole (left) has joined from Hook Norton and striker Ricky Bridges (right) has re-signed from last season. Bridges was with Oxford United as a junior before joining Ardley United and made his debut last season at Harrow Hill.

Manager Andy Lyne was pleased to get the two committed to the club. “ John has done well against us in the past and he comes highly recommended by former Witney boss Ian Feaver.(Whom Okole played for prior to moving to Hooky)If we are to mount another serious challenge this season then we will need two good keepers and in Rich Barrett and John we now have that.

Ricky is still only 18 years old and has great potential. He had an impressive scoring record in the reserves last season and on merit forced himself into first team reckoning during the last month or so.

 

Hellenic League Gary Wickens More Additions For Witney - 13th July

FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier League side Witney United are delighted to announce that they have retained the signatures of Gary Wickens (pictured), Dean Smith and youngster Conor Allmond. Prolific striker Wickens has signed up for a third season for the Blanketmen where he will be looking to add to his amazing goal tally of 73 goals in 95 matches.


Last season his partnership with Ben Thompson was probably the best balanced in the division and their combined goal return fired Witney into third place and was the envy of many. Commenting on getting Wickens committed to paper once again, Manager Andy Lyne said “ You can take nothing for granted in this game, so I am pleased that we have been able to tie Gary down for another season. He has done superbly for me since I brought him to the club. He’s scored some memorable and vital goals for us over the passed two seasons and his touch and ability to play others in remains quality for the level. Everyone at the football club is delighted that he remains onboard”

Defender Smith has also put pen to paper again and will be looking to add to the 71 appearances he has made for The Blanketmen since signing from Bicester Town during which time he has been a model of consistency. Manager Andy Lyne said “ Deano is one of the quickest defenders in the league and for me the best right back. He has great recovery pace and I have yet to see him taken apart by any wide man. Obviously I’m delighted he’s signed again he’s a good lad who trains well and maintains a high level of performance week in week out” Youngster Allmond has also signed forms for United having been a member of the squad towards the end of last season when he made 8 substitute appearances for the club.

United have also announced that they will travel to Hellenic Division One side Launton Sports on Wednesday 5th August with a 6-45pm kick off.

 

Hellenic League Tommy LewisBlanketmen Sign Midfielder - 9th July

Witney United have added to their squad further with the signing of midfielder Tommy Lewis from Welwyn Garden City.

Lewis was a member of the successful Hillingdon Borough squad in recent years and has subsequently played for Oxhey Jets, Harefield United, Northwood, Leyton Town and Edgware.

Manager Andy Lyne said “ We’ve been looking to strengthen our midfield and Howard Cowley suggested Tommy who I remembered from my time with Oxford City in the Spartan South Midlands League. He has played with good, successful clubs in both the Spartan South Midlands League and the Ryman League and we feel that he will add pace and quality to our midfield. He can pick a pass and we expect that he will also weigh in with his share of goals”

 

Lee HendersonHenderson and Cattell Sign For Season 2009 - 8th July

Witney have further added to the squad for the forthcoming season with the news that highly rated defender Lee Henderson has signed a new contract with the club, and is joined by Stuart Cattell.

Hendo (left) moved from Bicester Town in the close season last year and became a mainstay of the United back line making 43 starting appearances and scoring 3 goals.

Stuart Cattell Hellenic LeagueHis excellent season was topped off when he received the Managers Player of the Year Award for Season 2008/9.

Central defender Stuart Cattel (right)l ended last season at Kidlington after making one substitute appearance for Witney. Cattell started his career with Wycombe Wanderers, where he came through the youth ranks to win a professional contract. He subsequently has had spells in the Southern League with Oxford City and Aylesbury United.

Manager Andy Lyne was pleased to get his man " I believe that the partnership between Stuart and young Lee Henderson will prove a strong one-arguably one of the best in the division" Lee is improving every year and Stuart's experience will hopefully hasten his progression"

Fixture & Training - 2nd July


Witney United are looking for another fixture to complete the pre-season build up and are looking for a away game on Tuesday 21st or Wednesday 22nd July.

Any clubs interested who are not in the FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier League should contact Adrian Bircher on 07824 999119.

Meanwhile the First Team return to training tonight (Thursday 2nd July) with a prompt 7-00pm start at The Polythene UK Stadium. All old players and any new ones are welcome.

 

Oxford Visit Witney - 1st July

Witney are delighted to confirm they will be hosting Conference Premier side Oxford United at The Polythene UK Stadium on Wednesday 29th July with a 7-30pm kick off.

Although Oxford are likely to use the match for a lot of their youngsters it is also highly likely that a few squad players will be included along with any triallists that the club have at the time.

Witney are very grateful to Oxford for taking this fixture. The side met the season before last when Oxford ran out 2-0 winners in a mid season friendly.

Admission prices will remain the same for this fixture with Adults £5, Senior Citizens £3-50, Under 16's £1.

Any companies willing to sponsor this match should get in touch with Mark Reid via email on markreid@witneyunited.co.uk or call on 07826 430612.

Seeking Friendlies - 29th June

Witney United's Reserves and Under 18's are actively seeking pre-season friendlies from Saturday July 25th onwards.
Ideally they would be away friendlies and any clubs interested should contact Gary Walter on 07986 032772. The club is also looking to appoint Match Secretaries to look after the Match Administration of the club's Reserve & Youth Team, again, contact Gary Walter for further info if interested.

Gatecrashers At Witney - 26th June

Whilst all is quiet on the playing field and players are beginning the signing on process United have housed a whole new group of individuals since the season closed.

Since the final match in May at the Stadium a family of swallows have descended on the turnstile hut and decided to set up nest and make it their new home.They can regularly be seen swooping in and out of their new home although gatemen Andy Trowbridge did comment that come August "They would not be gaining entry on the cheep!"

 

johm mcmahonThree More Commit To Witney - 25th June

Following quickly on the heels of commitments from Ben Thompson and Andy Younie, three more of last season’s squad have put pen to paper, as Manager Andy Lyne continues his team building for the new season.

Club skipper and longest serving player John McMahon (pictured) is joined by keeper Richard Barrett and crowd favourite Vinny Byfield.Manager Andy Lyne said “ Whilst it is always important to introduce fresh faces at the start of every season, and we will be, it is equally important to retain the spine and spirit of your team. Macca is recognised by most within the league as being one of its most talented and skilful players. He has though added a maturity to his play over the last couple of seasons and proved himself a good leader. Rich is right up there amongst the best keepers in the league and indeed in the county. He’s fast about his box and is a good shot stopper and communicator. Quite what you can say about Vinny that hasn’t already been said I don’t know! Everyone loves him for his wholehearted approach to every game and his enthusiasm lifts all those around him”

Byfield and McMahon are both on the verge of personal milestones at United as well with Byfield needing 33 starts to reach 100 and McMahon needing just 12 starts to reach an incredible 200 starting appearances for The Blanketmen.

ben thompson hellenic leagueThompson Puts Pen To Paper - 24th June

Witney United have extended the contract of The FTL Futbol Hellenic League Golden boot striker Ben Thompson.

Thompson scored 39 goals last season in 47 appearances as Witney enjoyed a good FA Vase run and finished in third place in the League , the highest ever in their short history. Manager Andy Lyne was obviously very happy to retain the services of the former Norwich City front man and commented. “ We worked hard to get Ben to come to Witney in the first place, following his move down from East Anglia and so I am more than pleased that we have been able to retain his services in the face of stiff competition. Football at this level is all about contacts both locally and nationally and you build upon those down the years-that is what started the negotiation process with him last season. Thus we were not going to let him slip through our fingers. If we are to challenge again this season the retention of his services was essential. He is a managers dream, a fit, dedicated and quality player who has terrific application and high set self standards and with him in your side you go in to every game knowing you have a chance of winning”.

andy younie helllenic leagueYounie Signs Before Uni Tournament - 23rd June

With much speculation regarding players leaving Witney United one of the first player's to post his intentions to stay with the FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier League side for the forthcoming season was big crowd favourite Andy Younie.

The skilful striker will be missing from the first few training sessions but for a very good reason though! Andy is studying at Portsmouth University and he leaves the UK in late June to play in a World University Tournament in America. This will be a great experience for “Youns” and hopefully he will return fit and ready for the start of the pre-season programme. Younie had a very stop start season last year making 12 starts and 21 substitute appearances managing 5 goals but still has an impressive career record for United with 24 goals for The Blanketmen.

Lyne Confirms With Witney - 1st June

Witney United are pleased to announce that manager Andy Lyne has committed to the club for the 2009-10 season for his third year in charge. Lyne led the club to its highest ever league finish last season and following discussions with Steve Lake the Chairman is delighted to confirm his continuation in the job.

He has also confirmed that Howard Cowley will remain in his role as Assistant Manager and an old face returns with Andy Leach returning as Coach. "Both Howard and myself are pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement with the chairman for next season. We accept that it will be even harder this time around, with clubs at all levels fighting to survive the credit crunch and we realise that we are not immune from that. Hopefully we will be able to retain most of the playing squad from last season and build upon our steady improvement. Like all managers we have a few irons in the fire but we know that this season will be very competitive in Oxfordshire in terms of the Hellenic league. We all chase pretty much the same group of players as it is, so i will need to start digging deep into my little black book to try and give us an edge!"

Lyne then went on to discuss the roles that Cowley and Leach will play within the management structure for the coming season. “ Howard Cowley proved every bit as good an acquisition as I hoped he would when I appointed him. He has been a terrific foil and support for me and some of his motivational ideas have been like a breath of fresh air. Many were new to me, despite all my years in the game-which just goes to show you never stop learning in football! Leachy is quite simply a footballing legend in Witney and he has got great leadership qualities and I want him to look after the fitness and coaching throughout the club. With him back on board, alongside me, Howard, Vinny Byfield and Darren Teggart, the club now has a wealth of experience upon which to draw. Each of us will compliment the other well and we will all bring differing qualities to the set up. I felt we needed to strengthen the coaching side, because Vinny Byfield is going to have to give more time to playing this season. Vinny did well when he stepped into his new role at an important stage last season and I am keen for him to continue to develop his coaching skills when the opportunities present themselves. I’m delighted also that Teggy has decided to stay on in his role as Youth and Reserve team Manager. He was revelation in both last season and has brought several youngsters through to the verge of first team football.”

 
 
 
 
 
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