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 Post subject: BUGLE NO 6
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:23 pm
Posts: 90
FRIENDLY FIRE

Are Northern League clubs shooting themselves in the foot? Or could it be a case of collective indifference? I’m talking about the time of year all players dread, and in some cases, the managers too - pre-season! Clubs do things differently - some attempt high profile fixtures with the benefit of gate receipts - some play teams of a lower level to gain confidence. But wouldn’t it be better, from a fans perspective, if some of these games were a little more competitive? In recent seasons, there has been mini tournaments around Hebburn/Jarrow/Jarrow Roofing area where the local teams play each other. Points are earned whether win, lose or draw plus extra points for goals scored. By all accounts, the tournaments are popular amongst those fore mentioned clubs with the chance of added finances via clubhouse revenue. How would it work? For arguments sake it could look like this.

Venue: Bedford Terrace Saturday/Sunday: Town, Thornaby, Synthonia, Stockton
Town v Synners and Thornaby v Stockton on the Saturday.

Winners of said matches play each other in the final on Sunday. 3rd & 4th place game to be played before the final: All teams win prize money, depending on position (Sponsor required)

A week or two later - a second tournament at Town but against teams known for good support.

Venue: Bedford Terrace Saturday/Sunday: Town, Northallerton, Marske, Guisborough.
Town v Northallerton and Marske v Guisborough on the Saturday. Again same format as the previous tournament.

The question would be timing, availability and the chance to still capture high profile fixtures. For Town, it has been against Hartlepool United and that type of fixture would still be the priority of the club. The obvious time to hold the tournaments would be at the end of June or beginning of July - ideally in July to give the players the chance to train beforehand. The benefits behind the tournaments are manifold - competitive fixtures for the fans, local opposition bringing supporters, income from clubhouse and the ability to drink inside the ground, prize money, and silverware at the end of it not to mention bragging rights after Town stuff Synners etc! I know last season’s home friendlies against Whitby and Spennymoor brought income at the gate but it was like watching paint dry! Maybe such an undertaking would need a lot of planning - but wouldn’t it be great, especially if we had an Indian summer? Families could camp out on the training pitch behind the goal - Barry Oliver could tell stories to the kids over the camp fire, Paul Beddow could cook on a barbecue, Neil Martin and Kev McCabe in the stocks while I will bring my music/Dj skills....ok....maybe not the latter! Surely, in these difficult times, clubs need to treat the summer as an ally - because this winter did nothing for most clubs unless your team played on an artificial surface!

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