Manager Steve Claridge spoke today of his satisfaction in acquiring 2 new players both of whom according to the manager were desperate to come after the loss of Luke Holmes “Really pleased to welcome Alex to the club a young man that I’ve heard lots of good things about and will help to give us some balance on the left-hand side.”
Claridge also spoke of his delight in welcoming back a familiar face in Bay Downing. “unfortunately for Bay things haven’t worked out for him at Chippenham and we were only too happy to dual register him in preparation for what is always a really busy time of the season. Both will give us real competition for places and offer something different to what we’ve got especially as Wellard and Bentley are away for this fixture.”
Claridge also spoke of the injuries that still blight the team and also of his relief in persuading Arsenal to loan Tom Smith for another month.
Shaq will have a late fitness test although it looks unlikely he will be fit, however, Elliot wheeler, Jake Wannell and Marks Beauchamp are still a little way off but Gerrard Benfield will hopefully be back soon.
Obviously so far this season at home we have an unblemished record, although we all know this is going to be a really difficult match we are unbeaten in 6 games and you get the feeling players are starting to believe in each other. At this stage, it feels quite positive and we want to keep that mood for as long as we can. Here’s hoping for another big crowd to see us through because the support this season has been a huge help to the players.
The Whites’ run of being drawn away from home in every cup competition so far this season continued when, in the Southern League Challenge Cup First Round, they were handed a tie at Paulton Rovers.
Our game with them will take place on Tuesday 1 October. Please note that kick-off time is 7-30 pm, not 7-45 pm.
Following the departure of ex-Wimborne Luke Holmes, the Whites are pleased to announce the signing of left-sided 19 year old Alex Lafleur from Gosport Borough.
Lafleur, who joined Gosport last season, started his career in the Watford youth setup before joining Luton Town. He then moved to Wealdstone, during which time he enjoyed loan spells at Harrow Borough and Chalfont St Peter.
He will be available for Saturday’s home game with Met Police (KO 3pm).
The Whites have been drawn away to Sydenhams Wessex League Portland United in the Second Qualifying Round on 21 September (KO 3 pm)
Manager Steve Claridge commented: “On paper, a draw in the Cup against a team at a lower level is usually a good one, but we will have to be at our best against the Blues to go through, especially as we are away from home.
At this stage, the National League North and South sides enter the competition, and our game was sandwiched in the draw between the Hereford and Truro game and that between Havant and Taunton, so we have to be pleased with the draw we’ve been given.”
Winners of the tie receive £6750, and losers £2250 from the FA Prize fund.
Wiltshire FA have resurrected the Wiltshire Premier Shield.
In the First Round, to be played on Tuesday 8 October, the Whites make the short trip to Amesbury Town (KO 7-45pm).
The other First Round tie sees Royal Wootton Bassett Town visit Westbury United on the following evening.
Six clubs have received byes, and these are Bradford Town, Chippenham Town, Highworth Town, Melksham Town, Swindon Supermarine, and Swindon Town.
Quarter Final ties are scheduled to take place on 2 December.
Manager Steve Claridge spoke today about the upcoming Emirates FA Cup game against Thatcham Town FC and the release of Luke Holmes.
"I went to watch Thatcham on Tuesday night and they were excellent, they won three-nil and it could have been more. We will need to be at our very best to get something from the game. It looked like a really difficult surface to get the ball down and pass on but they played it very well, getting the ball forward very early and relying on the two front players, who work very hard to get hold of the ball and play from there. They’re well organised and we will have to make sure that we’re ready to match them all over the pitch if we’re to get a result.
"Unfortunately, one player who won’t be part of the team is Luke Holmes who has decided that the environment with regard to the expectation and pressure he found himself in meant he felt he wasn’t strong enough to deal with that. I’m disappointed but Luke has reiterated that it’s nothing to do with us as a football club, more that he doesn’t feel mentally strong enough for this sort of challenge. The club and I wish him all the best."
The funeral of Ros Phillips will take place at Salisbury Crematorium at 1pm on the 16th September.
As part of BBC Sport giving prominence to the Emirates FA Cup, they are giving live coverage at every stage of the competition.
Our game at Thatcham has been selected, and can be seen via the BBC Sport website, and therefore available to watch on tablet, phone, and desktop.
Travelling supporters in particular should note that in order to accommodate this, the kick off time has been changed to 12-30pm rather than the original, 3pm.
Speaking to Manager Steve Claridge, he commented: “It’s good that this coverage goes from start to finish of the competition all the way up to the Final.
At this stage it gives teams at our level a chance to showcase themselves. It should be a good game as I know Thatcham to be a good side, so hopefully the coverage will be a good advert for the Non League game.”
We are saddened to learn that in the past few days, Ros, ex Chairman Dave Phillips’ wife, has passed away after a short illness. David, who served the Club in his role for over two years and was one of five people who was involved in the formation of Salisbury FC in 2015 was, and still is, a very popular figure amongst fans.
The Club sends its sincere condolences to the family
YOUTH: A big week for the under 18’s
After a satisfying pre-season for the under 18’s youth side, they now enter competitive football.
Nothing could be seen as more ‘straight in at the deep end’ with next Wednesday’s FA Youth Cup Extra Preliminary round tie. Last years competition was won by Liverpool on pens over Manchester City. (revenge for the EPL?)
The Whites would probably have hoped for a lesser opponent than Sparsholt colleges ‘elite’ squad that enter this prestigious competition under the Andover banner. However, you just have to get on and play your own game irrespective of the opposition. Mark Winter, manager of Salisbury’s Saturday side comments that we know Sparsholt run a very well-respected Football program over there, indeed 4 of our own squad are going to the college for the next two seasons. They have some 48 players to chose from I am told, which in normal years you would think would be an immediate advantage. However, while we don’t have 48 lads to call on, we do have two U18 squads this season. One in the South West Counties League, the other in the Hampshire Youth League. This does mean we have around 35 lads in the Pool. So, at the very least we can’t complain that we can’t raise a team.
While neither side will realistically expect to be there taking on the premier league academy sides in the final rounds, some supporters will remember two seasons back when Rich Rendall’s lads including the likes of Josh Sommerton took Swindon Town right to the wire in a nail-biting 3 v 2 defeat in the 2nd round proper. Rich, who is now one of this groups lead coaches will be hoping to progress past the first hurdle.
The Andover side went one better when they made it to the 3rd round last year before going down to Ipswich Town 3 v 0 at Portman road. Neil and our own Lewis Benson whom run the Sparsholt set up will no doubt be hoping to get close to that stage of the competition again.
The young Whites, thanks to the board of the club have a final chance to get used to the Ray Mac pitch this Saturday morning (31/8) when they take on Tadley Calleva U18’s in their final pre-season outing. Match is a 10:30 K.O.
FA Youth Cup match details
Wed 4th September
Gates open 6:30pm
Bar and tea hut 1 will be open.
Adults / concessions £3
Children 11-16 £1.50