It is a highly unusual situation when a football manager takes the reins mid-season, but yet still hasn’t seen any of his players kick a ball in earnest nearly three months later. But because of the Covid lockdown that is exactly the situation City manager Paul Barnes finds himself in. It’s not as if the players are strangers though. After a series of zoom meetings and online fitness sessions the manager has a good idea of who is who, and who has some fitness or not. But seeing the players in action on the field is another matter.
For this reason, Guildford City are one of the 23 clubs from across both CCL divisions (and including Fleet Town from the Wessex League) committed to playing in the end of season CCL Fripp-Smith Trophy competition. Participation at least in the group stage with four other clubs will allow Paul and his management team to cast their eyes over the squad, and also importantly the promising youngster coming through from the Under 18s. It is simply a unique opportunity to make early preparations for next season.
Aside from the Fripp-Smith Trophy Guildford are still involved in the FA Vase, and we shall be entertaining Walton & Hersham in that competition at the Spectrum on Saturday 10 April. Similarly, we entertain AFC Hayes in the CCL League Cup competition on Wednesday 21 April.
Sadly, spectators are currently unable to attend matches which we do understand is very frustrating. If this changes during this group of matches we will of course make arrangements for attendance at matches.
Guildford City’s end of season fixtures are as follows:
Sat 3 April Redhill (A) (Friendly)
Sat 10 April Walton & Hersham (H) (FA Vase 3rd Round)
Sat 17 April Badshot Lea (H) (Fripp-Smith Trophy)
Wed 21 April AFC Hayes (H) (CCL League Cup 3rd Round)
Sat 24 April Farnham Town (H) (Fripp-Smith Trophy)
Sat 1 May Godalming Town (A) (Fripp-Smith Trophy)
Mon 3 May Sheerwater (A) (Fripp-Smith Trophy)