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Tough Encounter Expected Against Abingdon - 23 February

Fairford manager Jody Bevan anticipates a tough home encounter against a sharp Abingdon United side at this weekend.

Following a confidence boosting 2-1 win at home to North Leigh United in the Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup on Wednesday, Bevan’s men return to Uhlsport Hellenic Premier League action tomorrow, against a side who are six places and sixteen points above Fairford.

Though Wednesday’s fixture came as a nuisance for Fairford, Bevan insists an injury-time winner left his side in high spirits. He said in the Swindon Advertiser: “Some players I wanted to rest did play 90 minutes which isn’t ideal. But the result was a good one, and to get a late winner is always pleasing. Abingdon are a side to be mindful of. We lost to them earlier in the season and they shocked everyone when they beat Highworth. We know they’re a capable team. I understand they have one or two players from Oxford United in their ranks so we can expect plenty of passing and sharp football - an area we’ve let ourselves down in this season. The win was a good confidence boost for us though.”

Shaun Bryan is out for a couple of weeks after picking up a knock on Wednesday, Martin Hall is sidelined until April and Nathan Hawkins is unavailable “We’re trying to keep a clean bill of health,” said Bevan. “It’s important the lads that miss this weekend do not switch off too. We’ll be using the depth of our team. It will be another tough game. Abingdon have had a good season and Sam Prior has done a fantastic job. They beat us earlier in the season and we want revenge. As a team we’ve come a long way since that loss.”


Can Win Signal Change Of Fortune? -16 February

Jody Bevan hopes a comprehensive midweek victory over Royal Wootton Bassett Town will signal a change of fortune for his Fairford Town troops, writes Neil Beck in the Swindon Advertiser.

The 4-0 success on a sodden Cinder Lane playing surface was Fairford’s first in nine matches and lifted them out of the Hellenic Premier Division’s bottom four. Boss Bevan knows there is plenty of work still to do if his side are to banish the spectre of relegation, however, and wants to see the standard maintained in tomorrow’s testing fixture at third-placed Wantage Town.

“Wednesday night was much-needed and a good performance all round,” said Bevan. “It means we can go to Wantage with confidence and I want to see the same levels of desire and determination. We have shown we are capable. Earlier in the season, the likes of Highworth and Thatcham were battering us but when we played those two teams recently, we put up a fight, as we did when we drew with Flackwell Heath. There has been a change in mindset and we don’t go into matches expecting to be on the end of defeats any more. We’ve had a huge turnaround in players this season and while we’re still a work-in-progress, there seems to be a real togetherness about the group. We’ve had some horrendous luck too and, although I don’t want to tempt fate, I’m hoping that might be starting to change for us now.”

On-loan striker Conor Lynch continued his good form with a double against Bassett, while ex-Hungerford team-mate, left-back Kallum Thomas, helped earn a clean sheet on his debut. Bevan said: “Conor is doing really well. He’s young, enthusiastic and eager to learn. The Hellenic Premier is a good breeding ground as he looks to learn the men’s game and it’s a win-win situation for him, Hungerford and us.”


Three Sportsmen, Three Sports, One Cause - 9 February

Rugby, cricket and football will be represented in the shape of guest speakers Nick Wood, Mark Alleyne and Paul Bodin at a special charity fundraiser at Fairford Town Football Club next month.

All the money raised from the evening on Friday 16th March will go towards the Movember Foundation, a global charity committed to men living happier, healthier and longer lives.

The evening has been organised by Chris Tanner, who is running the London Marathon on Sunday 22nd April to raise funds for the same cause. “It should be a great evening,” said 35-year-old Tanner, who will be taking part in his first ever marathon. “All three guys are giving their time for nothing. It will be a Q&A with three people who have achieved an awful lot in sport.”

chris tanner movember fund raisingThey certainly have. Wood made his name as a prop with Gloucester, making a club record 278 competitive appearances for the Cherry and Whites. Alleyne was the mastermind behind Gloucestershire’s remarkable run of success in one-day cricket in the late 90s and early to mid-noughties, and was good enough to play white ball cricket for England as well. Welshman Bodin, meanwhile, was a cultured left-back in the 80s and 90s who served time with clubs such as Cardiff and Swindon among many others and was capped 24 times by his country.

All three are only too happy to support Tanner (pictured), who is Website and Social Media manager at Marlborough College. It is through his current job that Tanner got to know Alleyne, who is cricket professional at the school. It is also through work that he got to know Bodin, who was part of the coaching team at Swindon during Tanner’s 11-and-a-half year stint as press officer at The County Ground.

Tanner, who is in his 18th season of playing rugby for Fairford, has known Wood the longest of the three. “We were at school together and we’ve kept in touch,” he said. “We were both at Oakley Hall Prep School in Cirencester and played in the front row together. Our rugby careers took different paths after that!”

Tanner, who is also press officer for Fairford Town Football Club, is hoping to sell 80 tickets for the event which will start at 7.30pm.

Tickets are priced at £20, including food. To book, call 07815 579784.

The Movember Foundation is a cause very close to Tanner’s heart. His dad Mike, who is president of Fairford Town Football Club, was diagnosed with prostate cancer a couple of years ago. “Thankfully, he’s okay now,” said his son. “The Movember Foundation is a very good charity.”

You can follow Chris on Twitter @CMT82


Change Of Fortunes? - 19 January

Jody Bevan is hoping for a change in luck as he bids to steer Fairford Town away from danger in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division.

The Swindon Advertiser reports fourth-from-bottom Fairford are now winless in six matches after having Steve Hall sent off in a 3-1 defeat at home to Oxford City Nomads last Saturday. After their scheduled midweek trip to Brimscombe & Thrupp was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, Fairford are due to return to action with an away game against another side in the bottom half of the table, Brackley Town Saints, tomorrow afternoon.

Manager Bevan said: “We had a good training session after the game was called off and looked as sharp and as bright as we’ve been all season, so hopefully we can take that forward. It’s all about avoiding relegation now. You never know with the Hellenic League how many will go down. It’s unlikely to be four but it could be, so we have got to finish fifth from bottom minimum. I’ve probably got more faith in the players’ ability than they have at times. I think we are potentially a top-10 team and we’ll need to show top-10 form for the last 12 matches to dig ourselves out of this position.”

Bevan has been unable to field a settled side in recent weeks and the theme continues this weekend, with Hall, Shaun Brian and Josh Gregory all missing and Dave Hemmings, Matt Boucher and Dan Gardner available again. “We just need some good fortune on that front to help us gain momentum,” said Bevan. I’d love to get to the stage where we could name the same 14 or 15 players every week but the luck we’ve had behind the scenes has been staggering.”


jody bevan hellenic league90 Minute Performance Sought - 29 December

Jody Bevan has called on his Fairford Town side to deliver a 90-minute performance in tomorrow’s crunch encounter with fellow Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division strugglers Burnham at Cinder Lane.

Although Fairford go into the clash with their second-from-bottom visitors on the back of three straight defeats, they went close to picking up a point in their most recent outing – a 3-2 defeat at sixth-placed Binfield on Saturday. And after Wednesday night’s home fixture with Abingdon United was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, manager Bevan is eager to see his troops pick up from where they left off last time out.

“The Binfield game summed up our season,” said Bevan in the Swindon Advertiser. “We didn’t play well at all in the first half and the players had a talking-to at half-time. In the second 45 minutes we were outstanding and I’d say it’s the best half of football we’ve produced since I’ve been at the club. We need to see that for the whole game, although it feels like I’ve been saying that for a long time. It did show that we are not a million miles away from being a good side in this league.”

Three of Fairford’s four recent signings – centre back Shaun Brian, defender Lee Worgan and attacker Dan Gardner – are set to face a Burnham outfit beaten 3-1 when the sides last met on November 11. Connor Lynch, who netted on his debut against Binfield, is unavailable.


dean saunders hellenic footballAn Evening with Dean Saunders - 21 November

Tickets are now on sale for ‘An Evening with Dean Saunders’ at Fairford Town FC on Friday 2nd February 2018.

The former Welsh international made his name in the Premier League with the likes of Liverpool and Aston Villa, scoring 185 goals in 600 appearances. He was capped 75 times for his country and is now a well-known media pundit, and is a regular on TalkSport.

ady williams fooball hellenic leagueIndividual tickets are now available priced at £35 inc. VAT including a three-course meal, or reserve a table of eight at £280. Event sponsorship, including a table of eight, meet and greet, a signed canvas, branding and more, is £480.

The event will be held at Cinder Lane, the home of Fairford Town FC and will be hosted by former Welsh international Ady Williams, of BBC Berkshire.

To book tickets please call event organiser Chris Tanner on 07815 579784 or email cmt115@hotmail.com


dan bailey hellenic leagueBailey Makes Reds' Return - 31 October

With over 220 games in the red and white of Fairford Town under his belt, midfielder Dan Bailey is back for more.

The 29-year old central playmaker (pictured) has returned to Cinder Lane, signing from Royal Wootton Bassett where he made almost 150 first team appearances and scoring over 30 goals.

He was a consistent starter during a five-year stint at Fairford, amassing over 220 first team outings and he scored at least ten goals in each of his last three seasons in Gloucestershire. And now manager Jody Bevan is pleased to have secured the midfielder’s services – and experience – as the Hellenic Premier Division campaign continues at a pace.

“I was keen to get Dan on board as soon as I heard about his availability,” Bevan said. “He can play in a number of positions across the midfield and has an eye for goal. He will come straight into the squad for Wednesday’s game at Longlevens.”


will steadman hellenic leagueFirst Win Of Season - 29 September

Fairford assistant manager Will Steadman is hoping his side have now turned a corner after registering their first win of the campaign.

The Cinder Lane side secured a dramatic last-minute victory over Tuffley Rovers on Wednesday night when Lee Smith struck in the final minute after new signing Jamie Reid had his early opener cancelled out by Brett James.

And while Fairford have had to wait for 12 matches for their first success, Steadman (pictured) believes that the side are now beginning to gel. “The dressing room was a good place to be on Wednesday, we all stuck together and it was a good performance to get us the win,” said the assistant manager. “This is a really tough league and I think Jody is finally getting his stamp on the team and we are getting there.”

“We’ve managed to bring in some experience, although we are not sure how long we are going to be without Lyndon Tomkins as he has been told to rest his back for a while. Apart from the top three or four teams, who are already starting to pull away, I think the teams are all very similar.”

The Cinder Lane side, however, are facing a tough test to register their second league win of the campaign as they head to third-placed Thatcham Town tomorrow. “After that, our next league game is against Highworth (on October 14) so it is going to be a tough couple of matches for us,” Steadman added.


An Evening With Andy Powell - 19 September

Tickets are now on sale for an evening at Fairford Town with former Wales Rugby international and after dinner speaker, Andy Powell.

The event is a fundraiser for Fairford Rugby’s 2018 Belgium Tour and will be held at Fairford Town FC, Friday 20 October (7pm for 7.45pm start).

Individual tickets are priced at £25 and will include a two-course meal with a relaxed dress code in place. Bookings can also be made for a table of eight at £200. There will be a talk from the 23-cap Welshman, as well as the opportunity for a Q&A, an auction and Golden Ticket Raffle.

To book tickets for this event please text 07815 579784 or email Chris Tanner via cmt115@hotmail.com

Still Seeking First Victory - 15 September

Fairford Town boss Jody Bevan is determined not to let his side’s winless start to the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division campaign become an albatross around their necks.

The Cinder Lane men chalked up an eighth match without success in midweek, although they did claim a third point of the season and the manager is convinced the 1-1 draw at Longlevens was more proof his men are on the right track.

Mid-table Binfield are the visitors tomorrow afternoon and Bevan is focused on process rather then outcome as Town chase that elusive first triumph.

“It was much improved” he said in the Swindon Advertiser of the Longlevens result. “We were very good in the first half and probably deserved to be more than the one goal up but I think we ran out of steam a bit. We had a load of players carrying niggles and it was a battle to get through to the end so it was a well-earned point. Any win at the moment would be good but I think we’re on the right path. I don’t want it to become some kind of anxiousness in our play. The performance and the team spirit is improving and everything is starting to point in the right direction. It’s starting to feel more like my team.”

Town could be without Ben Saunders (ankle), but have Evesham United forward James Campbell on dual registration forms.


Elusive Win - 1 September

Jody Bevan is hoping it’s sixth time lucky for Fairford as they bid for their first Premier Division win of the season at home to Brackley Town Saints.

Following a run of three defeats and two draws since the start of the season, the Fairford boss admits he would like to get that win on the board as soon as possible.

“We want to get the three points quickly, the main thing from my point of view is I have seen an improvement in the last two weeks,” he told the Swindon Advertiser website. “There has almost been a coming together in the squad over the last two games, it feels like we are on the right track now. I’ve gone on record a few times and said I thought we were three weeks behind when we started the season. When we had a good performance in the first game I think it gave me a false sense of where we were, but it was always going to take a little bit of time. I’m in a position now where I know the strengths and weaknesses of all the players and what positions they can so play, so now all we need is that first win.”


jody bevan hellenic leaguePicture Incomplete - 25 August

Jody Bevan doesn’t believe early-season results paint the full picture of his side’s efforts as they chase a first Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division win of the season.

The Cinder Lane side have only registered a point from their first three matches, coming in the opener against Tuffley Rovers, and were bashed 6-2 in successive home matches by Flackwell Heath and Longlevens last week.

Longlevens also ousted them from the FA Cup after a replay, adding up to a first month of struggle for last season’s Division One West champions. But new boss Bevan, who takes his men to Windsor tomorrow before hitting the road for Abingdon United on Bank Holiday Monday, says no one should lose heart.

“We’re disappointed with the results so far - they look terrible,’’ he admitted in the Swindon Advertiser. “But the reality is probably somewhat different. There has been promise in every game we’ve played. As soon as we’ve scored a goal, we’ve conceded one and that’s knocked the confidence. It’s a bit of a problem we’re trying to solve. The Tuffley game probably gave me a false sense of where we were, but I always knew the first month was going to be a struggle for us and hopefully a couple of wins will help us build that confidence.”


Swindon Town Ladies Back At Fairford - 3 August

Swindon Town Ladies have announced a move back to Uhlsport Hellenic league Fairford Town FC’s Cinder Lane ground. 

Fairford is familiar territory for Swindon Town Ladies – who played at Cinder Lane from 2012 until 2015. STLFC have now returned to Fairford and will make use of a number of improved facilities both on and off the pitch, as well as off-field support. 

The FA Women's Premier League South fixture list includes the likes of Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers and West Ham Ladies with an exciting season in prospect.  Martin Wheeler, Chairman of Swindon Town LFC, commented: “We are delighted to be heading back to Fairford Town FC with our First Team and also our Development Team who will also be based at Cinder Lane next season following their promotion to the Regional Team. With a new manager in place and a return to Cinder Lane the season is shaping up to be an exciting one. We would also like to put our sincere thanks on record to both Shrivenham FC & Lambourn FC for hosting STLFC over the past few seasons.” 

Stuart Pike, Chairman of Fairford Town FC, added: “We look forward to renewing our successful partnership with Swindon Town Ladies FC this season and welcome them and their supporters back to Cinder Lane.” 

The new season begins on Sunday 20th August with a home fixture against Coventry City Ladies with a 2pm KO at Cinder Lane. Entry prices are £3 Adults and U16s go free. Season Tickets are on sale for £20 via email stfcladies@hotmail.com


sam ockwell hellenic league footballOckwell On Board - 25 July

Sam Ockwell has completed registration forms to remain with Fairford Town for the new 2017/18 season.

The defender made 39 appearances last season, 30 of them as captain, as the Reds stormed to the Division One West title.

Ockwell was the first summer signing of 2016, joining from Toolstation Western League side Corsham. He also lists Royal Wootton Bassett amongst his former clubs, but has now to pen to paper to remain a Red.

Pre-season continues with a trip to face Roman Glass, managed by former Swindon defender Andy Gurney, this Wednesday night at Almondsbury.


dan reynolds fairford hellenic football leagueReynolds Signs - 22 July

Dan Reynolds has become the latest player to commit to Fairford Town for the 2017/18 season.

The 20-year old joined the club midway through last season and soon got into his stride, adding a physical presence to the heart of the midfield.

Signed from Highworth Town’s reserves, Reynolds has shown much promise and ended the 2016/17 season with 16 Fairford appearances to his name.

He featured in Thursday night’s home friendly with Cirencester Town and acquitted himself well against higher division opposition. Fairford Town host Oxford United’s Development side this afternoon, 3pm KO and free entry for all supporters.

ben saunders fairford hellenic leagueSaunders Signs Up - 13 July

Ben Saunders has become the latest player to commit to Fairford Town for the 2017/18 season.

Saunders, brought up in Fairford, made a big impression last term in what was something of a breakthrough season for the youngster.

The left-footed defender scored nine goals in 35 first team appearances as the Reds stormed to the Division One West title. And the 23-year old will now step up a level as Fairford return to the Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division after a five-year absence. The son of former Fairford defender Mark, Ben has made a bright start to life in the red and white.

Fairford Town host Cirencester Town in a pre-season friendly at Cinder Lane on Thursday 20th July (7.45pm with free entry for all supporters.


jody bevan hellenic leagueA First Glimpse - 12 July

Jody Bevan is itching for the new Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division season to start – but knows there is plenty to work on as pre-season continues at a pace.

The 38-year old brings a wealth of experience to the manager’s role – a task he shares with the experienced Chris Smith. Bevan played over 600 games and scored over 250 goals and won four promotions during a stellar Southern League career, serving the likes of Cinderford Town, Weston-Super-Mare, Gloucester City, Shortwood United and Cirencester Town.

Bevan and Smith got their first glimpse of Fairford Town match action last Friday night for the 1-1 draw with Shortwood United. “Once we get the lads signed on then roll on the start of August and the start of the season,” he said, speaking to Severn Sport after the pre-season opener. Smudge and I have got involved because this is a very ambitious club. We spoke to Stuart (Pike) and the rest of the committee and these are exciting times. The club have plenty of ideas on and off the pitch and Chris and I want to embrace that and move forward. Hopefully we can make steady progression and we want the players that come here to buy into that ethos and be a part of things.”

Bevan was pleased with what he saw at the Shortwood game, as preparations continue ahead of Saturday’s trip to Ardley United before home warm-up fixtures against Cirencester Town (Thurs 20 July) and Oxford United (Sat 22 July).

“We were fairly pleased with the way Friday went. We used the ball well but there are plenty of things for us to work on. Really it was the first opportunity for Chris and I to see the players in action. The first half was pretty much the majority of last season’s side and in the second half, we gave a few other players a go to have a look at them. Before the game we didn’t give the lads the lads too many instructions as we wanted to see how they coped and what they did. There were a lot of good signs and we have a run of games now to take a look at things further.lee smith hellenic league

The Reds have made their marquee signing of the summer by bringing prolific goal scorer Lee Smith to the club. Smith, not to be confused with player of the same name who turned out for the club last season, played alongside Fairford's new joint-manager Jody Bevan in the Southern League-winning side of Cirencester Town in 2013/14.

Lee moved to Cirencester on loan from Worcester City in January 2012 and then re-joined for the 2013-14 season and helped the Club win the Southern League South & West Division title - scoring 40 goals along the way.

Since then he has played for Hungerford Town and Cinderford Town and helping the Foresters win the South & West title.


Fairford Free For All - 5 July

A FREE night out for football fans in Fairford beckons this Friday, as Fairford Town kick-off their pre-season campaign with the visit of Shortwood United.

The Reds, winners of Division One West last season, have a tough line-up of fixtures as they prepare for life in the Premier Division. 

Entry to all pre-season home games is FREE for all supporters, with the bar, kitchen and clubhouse open too.

Friday 7 July – SHORTWOOD UNITED – 7.30pm – Cinder Lane
Thursday 20th July – CIRENCESTER TOWN – 7.45pm – Cinder Lane
Saturday 22nd July – OXFORD UNITED (DEVELOPMENT) – 3pm – Cinder Lane


Fairford Training - 7 June

Fairford Town pre-season training will get underway on Tuesday 27th June at Cinder Lane.

The Reds’ squad will gather at Cinder Lane for the first training session under new management of Chris Smith and Jody Bevan.

Players old and new are welcome at the session, with players asked to arrive at 6.30pm ahead of a prompt 7pm start.

Training will take place each Thursday and Tuesday thereafter with a series of pre-season fixtures to be announced shortly.

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