24 September 2020
Hartley awarded funding to help return of fans
Hartley were delighted to learn that they will be receiving funding from the Premier League to help them with the costs involved in preparing for the restart of football and the safe return of supporters to their Green Lane Memorial ground. The Matchday Support Fund grant will help the Row - whose first competitive home game of the season attracted a crowd of 299 in the FA Cup - continue with the measures needed to make their ground safer for the 2020/21 season given the challenges caused by COVID-19.
Extra stewards offering guidance to fans, physical precautions put in place around the ground and in the Clubhouse, signage and the cost of the various sanitisation products needed, are just a few examples of what the grant will be used for, along with a dedicated sanitisation room for all training and match day equipment.
The Matchday Support Fund is managed by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), which is financed by the Premier League and supports non-league and Women's Football Pyramid clubs with the cost of improvements to their grounds.
The Matchday Support Fund follows the recent Pitch and Club Preparation Funds - which saw £8.7m in grants awarded by the Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation - to prepare the country's playing surfaces and facilities for the return of football.
Club Chairman, Luke Mullen, said: "This grant, amongst the other support received, is crucial in allowing the club to survive the current situation by contributing towards the various costs. It's near impossible to put a price on the time devoted by the volunteers at the club to get us as safe as we can be, and without them we couldn't survive, but the Matchday Support Fund grant makes a big difference to us being able to stage football at all, since without the supporters through the gates it just couldn't happen."
PHOTO: Happy supporters at Hartley Wintney's first competitive home fixture of the 2020/21 season in the FA Cup on 12th September [photo by Josie Shipman]
4 September 2020
BOSS Backing The Row Home and Away
BOSS Professional Services' name to appear on Hartley Wintney's First Team Home and Away kits in 2020/21
We are into September and oddly still awaiting the start of the new Southern League season on the 19th, but Hartley Wintney Football Club received a huge lift with the news that London-based ERP consulting and recruitment company, BOSS Professional Services, will be the Row's main sponsor, thus extending their sponsorship of the North Hampshire club into a third season.
BOSS Professional, a market leader in their business sector, became the club's home shirt sponsor for the 2018/19 season and renewed their support in 2019/20. For the next campaign they have agreed to sponsor the Row's now very familiar orange home kit and also their much loved blue away kit.
The company have their offices in Kennington Park, London, and specialise in the sourcing of high level permanent and contract resources into the SAP, Dynamics and Oracle space. The BOSS Recruitment brand continues to be one of the fastest growing recruitment companies in the UK, with over 30 years of senior management experience and a pool of talented experts able to provide unrivalled services to several diverse business sectors.
The distinctive BOSS company logo will appear on the 1st team shirt in all competitions including the Southern League Premier, FA Cup and FA Trophy. Commenting on the sponsorship, Club Chairman Luke Mullen said,
"We are of course delighted that BOSS Professional Services have chosen to renew and extend their sponsorship with us. As our main sponsor over the past couple of seasons they have hugely influenced what we've been able to achieve as a club on and off the pitch. Everyone here works hard to keep us playing at the highest level we can, but without the help of our sponsors it wouldn't be possible. And especially in these current times of economic uncertainty, for BOSS to have stepped forward and offered their continuing support is something we are immensely grateful for."
BOSS Professional Services - Kennington Park, London, SW9 6DE. (info@BOSSprofessional.com)
3 September 2020
LEAGUE NEWS: Introducing 'PITCHING IN' - New Partner of the Southern League
GVC is delighted to announce that the new sponsor of the Northern Premier League, Isthmian and Southern Leagues is 'Pitching In', a new Grassroots Sports Investment Programme launched today by GVC, the multi-national sports-betting and gaming group which owns Ladbrokes and Coral.
The partnership covers all three leagues that make up Steps 3 & 4 of the National Leagues System, who market themselves collectively as the Trident Leagues.
England footballing legend Stuart Pearce, who played for Wealdstone FC for five years at the start of his long and illustrious career, has been appointed as the official 'Pitching In' ambassador.
"I am delighted to be taking up the role of ambassador for Pitching In," said Stuart Pearce during the launch of the new sponsorship programme, "as I'm passionate about the importance of investing in grassroots sports and in developing young talent. I started out playing for Wealdstone before joining Coventry City, so I understand how important funding is to the non-league game.
"Grassroots football is facing huge challenges at the moment and many clubs are struggling to stay afloat. GVC's Pitching In investment will help make a big difference to hundreds of clubs and thousands of players across the country."
'Pitching In' has been set up with the objective of supporting, protecting and encouraging grassroots sports in the UK through a range of initiatives. In addition to financial support, a key focus of the partnership will be to facilitate and encourage members of the community to become volunteers and do some pitching in of their own. A 'Pitching In' volunteering scheme will be established to link GVC's Ladbrokes and Coral shop colleagues with their local clubs.
In the weeks ahead, 'Pitching In' and the Trident Leagues will be announcing further initiatives to provide financial support and opportunities for all of the 226 clubs (rising to 240 in 2021).
For more information on 'Pitching In', please visit www.gvc-plc.com/pitchingin
20 July 2020
New Era for Hartley Wintney's Development Team
Andy Hunt and Ross Weatherstone to take over the reigns in 2020/21 of what is to become Hartley Wintney's U23 Development team
Hartley Wintney FC have fielded a Reserve team playing in the Suburban League for many seasons, but now a change of management and a change of approach will see the Row's second team structured as an Under 23 Development side.
Hartley Wintney U23 Development will be steered by experienced non-league manager and coach, Andy Hunt, alongside ex-Oxford United and Boston United pro, Ross Weatherstone. As part of the agreement between themselves and the club, Andy and Ross will also be running their Academy from the recently improved facilities at Hartley Wintney FC.
Andy (pictured on the left) is a well respected coach in local and non-league football. He is a UEFA B Licence Coach and has worked full time in football for the last 10 years, where he has been involved in Football Education programmes with Southampton FC and other domestic Academy Programmes. He also served as 1st Team Manager at Godalming Town and Fleet Town at Step 4, having started his managerial career at Fleet Spurs FC.
In recent years Ross Weatherstone has managed and coached at Bracknell Town, Binfield FC and Woodcote FC. During his time at Binfield, Ross managed the team that went on to win the Suburban League Cup. He has a proven record of coaching and developing young players. In his playing days, Ross was a professional with Oxford United, Boston United, Nuneaton, Farnborough Town and Stevenage Borough, playing over 100 games in the Championship, Leagues 1 and 2, and in the National Conference, helping to win the National League Championship with Boston United in 2002.
Speaking of their appointments, Andy Hunt said, "Having previously played at Hartley Wintney FC and seen the progress of the club over the last few years, I'm delighted to return and begin to look at how we can all work together to provide a fantastic player pathway from the youth section all the way to the 1st team."
11 April 2020
Millers on the Season That Never Was
Firstly, I hope everyone is well and keeping safe during these difficult and strange times. I don’t think anyone could have envisioned the situation we find ourselves in would be the outcome of our season, but needs must and I fully back the FA's stance on this.
With a number of teams left with a good amount of games to play, somebody was always going to feel aggrieved with any decision that was made, and I feel for those who were almost over the line. I’m sure, if the shoe was on the other foot, perhaps I’d be singing from another hymn sheet, but as we were not going to go up, nor in any danger of relegation after we enjoy our break (if one can 'enjoy' staring at the same 4 walls day in, day out) we will simply prepare for another season at step 3!
There is obvious disappointment surrounding the termination of our season. From a playing point it was fairly obvious we had the team/squad we wanted and were preparing for another end-of-season assault on the form guide. Having won 4 from our last 5, including a few decent scalps along the way, we had every right to feel optimism going into the last 16 games. We had gone from a very dogged, defensively resolute, well organised team at the start of the season, that stayed in games by any means necessary, to a very fluid, exciting attack-minded team, and I have no doubts which team the supporters preferred!
Both the players and coaching staff would like to thank you all for the support you showed at all stages this season. I realise at times our football wasn’t overly pleasing on the eye, but at all times I felt we showed a good spirit and commitment to the cause. I also think the players deserve a great deal of praise: it’s not easy getting yourself up for games in which you know, regardless of how you play, it’s going to be a tight affair. How many games were won or lost by a small margin or single goal at periods of the season - something that had clearly been sorted come our last 5 games or so!
On a personal note, looking back at where we were a year ago and the fans' forum, with Nathan and I, we read too much into our great end-of-season form and some of the great days out we had. Finishing strongly is sometimes false, as many teams have 'downed tools', cut budgets etc., so games aren’t as competitive as they are in the early months. I could never sit in front of you and tell you that if we finished 4th bottom, that would be a creditable finish with the resources that we have available. Privately I obviously wanted more, but I would have taken survival in order to build something sustainable for the long term. I would never set the bar low and make that public, as it sends out completely the wrong message to players and supporters alike. But far bigger clubs than us, with far greater aspirations, have suffered worse fates.
We have learnt a lot in our second season and I am truly grateful for the experience. We’ve had some good days, some frustratingly agonising days where we deserved far more than we got, and we had a few days in which we had nobody to blame but ourselves. Throughout it all, though, I only feel like we were truly outclassed once: 45 mins at home to Hayes. But even then, we rallied and showed our spirit in what for them could have been a very embarrassing 2nd half. Our goal as always was to be competitive in every match, and I think that was achieved.
Although we’ve still got a number of weeks until the official closure date of our season, we have started the process of informal discussions with our players, and every one of them is positive about next season and their intentions to be in orange. Obviously that’s a long way off and a lot can change in football. However, they recognise what we had before play was stopped.
Already this is a very tightly knit group, and it became apparent early on that not only did they enjoy playing together, they also liked being around each other, which is worth points by way of spirit. It’s been mooted that it is the best team we’ve had, and without being detrimental to anyone who has pulled on the orange, this season or seasons gone by, with a few exceptions I would agree. Player for player, in every position throughout the squad there was quality... and a good person as well.
I hope they all stay. Likewise the players out on loan and who have all played a part, to whom the door is rarely shut.
We’ve got a lot to be positive about going forward, and even if there will be no external records for this season, it’s fairly safe to say we’ve survived 'second season syndrome' and can now truly look to establish ourselves for the longterm at step 3.
I’d like to thank everybody that has been involved this season, as you’ve all contributed in some way. From the players staying positive, those many volunteers working so hard to make the club a great place to be, and to all you loyal supporters who have watched through all conditions both home and away (some games very far away!). The coaching staff have again been brilliant behind the scenes, preparing the players and supporting myself, sometimes to the detriment of their wallets as they gave their time for free.
I look forward to seeing you all at some stage in the near future, once we are back into the swing of a regular routine, and please don’t forget to check the website as we will be looking to host a number of events in the near future to support the club. Enjoy your summer.
[photo: Josie Shipman, HWFC]
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