As preseason ends and the season awaits, we’ve a roundup of preseason, some new faces at Blyth Town as well as the work that’s going on both on and off the pitch. Whilst the summer is a usually a quiet time, much work has been ongoing off the field in preparation for the upcoming season, manager Michael Connor gives his thoughts on a busy summer at Gateway Park.
“I don’t think myself or Gav could have asked for a better pre-season. On the training front the lads have been brilliant, with three sessions a week from early June, the effort has been first class and we’ve not left a stone left unturned when it comes to the quality of the sessions delivered by Dave Patterson and Paul Milligan, to the effort from the lads!“
“After fourteen years at Blyth, I can gauge how the season will go from how preseason goes, and our results speak for themselves. The result against a very good North Shields side was superb, coming away with a 4-2 win – but never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted the follow up victory against Blyth Spartans, coming away with a 4-0 win, with the players showing what they can do in front of a record crowd of over 1400. That result raised expectations and our performance in the 3-0 victory at home to Percy Main was maybe, as the saying goes, “after the lord mayors show”. Next was a 1-0 defeat against a very good Heaton Stannington, but I believe a draw would have been a fairer result.”
“We then had a game cancelled the following Saturday, we made the most of a free weekend with a training session and a night away in Wakefield for a team bonding session.”
“We concluded our preseason with a 4-1 win away to Seaton Delaval on a wet Tuesday night and can now finally gather our thoughts on what has been a hectic, but wonderful, few months.”
“Whilst preseason has been a success, we must also thank Doug Thorburn for the use of his facility at Stakeford”.
Not only has it been a busy summer on the pitch, we’ve been busy off it as well, Michael gives his thoughts on the new arrivals at Gateway Park and the areas in which the club have looked to strengthen.
“The process began in early May and all I can say is it couldn’t have gone better, Lewis Baker joined us to strengthen our goalkeeping department, we then added a certain Robbie Dale, Lewis Brannan and Harry Sawyer to complete a reshuffle at the back. We went on to add Luke Heppell and Lucas Cooper to the midfield and finally in attack, we wanted to a physical centre forward and we’ve managed to convince Dan Wilson to come to Blyth Town. As well as many new faces, we’ve also resigned Adam Johnson who has returned to the club from Ashington to give us a bit of balance on the left.”
Michael also gives his overall thoughts for preseason and hope for the coming season,
“So, all in all for it being our (Michael and assistant Gavin Fell’s) first full preseason together, it’s been nothing short of sensational. After two seasons of steady progress, the prospect of promotion isn’t far from our thoughts.”
As well as the busy preseason for the first team, there have also been changes both on and off the pitch, with work on the main pitch being carried out over the summer and work to strengthen the first team off the pitch, Michael concludes
“We must thank our long-suffering groundsman, Jeff Orr, for the superb condition of the pitch.”
“The addition off the field of our new Chairman, Scott Douglas, has been a revelation, with his energy and professionalism. He’s a great addition to our dedicated back-room team.”
Finally, we must thank our sponsors – existing and new – Welcome to our journey.
Photography by David Mellstrom Photography