Swans set date for Thornhill Park renaming ceremony
Monday 30th May
Slimbridge have announced that they will be holding a formal ground renaming ceremony ahead of their Pre-Season friendly game against Forest Green Rovers on Monday 25th July (7.30pm Kick Off). The ground will be christened ‘Thornhill Park’ in recognition of the bequest of Evi Thornhill, ex-Chairman of the club who gifted the club the land that they occupy in Wisloe Road as part of his will in February 1960.
Club Spokesman Tim Blake said ‘We are delighted that we can finally confirm the date for the renaming ceremony - our club’s history for over 55 years now has been built upon the land and the legacy that Mr Thornhill bequeathed to us. We are in a very precious position of owning our own ground, something that many other clubs cannot rely on, and we greatly appreciate the extra level of security that brings to our club, and which we do and will do nothing to risk. We have been in touch with Evi Thornhill’s son, Tony, who has agreed to come along and help us out with the ceremony on the night, and I think it’s fair to say that he was very touched that the football club is recognising his father's bequest in this way.'
The Forest Green fixture is part of a full schedule of pre-season friendlies that has now been confirmed by the club ahead of their second season in the Southern League, in a campaign where the Swans will be visited by both phoenix clubs Hereford FC and Salisbury, meaning, in all likelihood, the first all ticket games the club has hosted in it’s history. Further details will be confirmed once the fixture list is released by the League.
The Swans full preseason campaign is as follows -
Saturday, 9th July - Bradford Town A (3.00pm),
Thursday 14th July - Longlevens A (7.30pm)
Saturday 16th July - Frome Town H (3.00pm)
Thursday 21st July - Brimscombe & Thrupp H (7.30pm)
Saturday 23rd July - Tytherington Rocks A (3.00pm)
Monday 25th July - Forest Green Rovers H (7.30pm)
Saturday 30th July - Westfields H (3.00pm)
Monday 1st August - Frampton United A (6.45pm)
End of Season Presentation Evening
Friday 20th May
Award winners tonight
Reserves - Most appearances - Simon Timms
Reserves - Most Improved Player - Sam Coxhead
Reserves - Player's Player - Joel Murdoch
Reserves - Manager's Player - Tom Smith
1st Team - Clubman of the Year - Malcolm Hubbard
1st Team - Manager's Player - Dean Turner
1st Team - Player's Player - Paul Fahy
1st Team - Supporter's Player - Alex Hoyle
1st Team - Top Scorer - Paul Fahy
1st Team - Special Award - Freddy Ward
1st team - Special Award - Leon Sterling
Busy times coming up
Thursday 12th May
The FA have released their provisional lineups for the League for the 2016-7 season, with both Hereford FC and Salisbury Fc playing in the Southern League South and West Division next season. This is still due to AGM ratification.
With Barnstaple Town also promoted into our division from the Western League and Paulton Rovers and Bideford dropping down from the Southern League Premier, Salisbury Manager Steve Claridge has already been quoted as saying that this will be 'the strongest South and West Division in Southern League history'.
The proposed lineup of our League next season is as follows - AFC Totton, Barnstaple Town, Bideford, Bishops Cleeve, Bridgwater Town, Didcot Town, Evesham United, Hereford, Larkhall Athletic, Mangotsfield United, North Leigh, Paulton Rovers, Salisbury, Shortwood United, Slimbridge, Swindon Supermarine, Taunton Town, Tiverton Town, Wantage Town, Wimborne Town, Winchster City, Yate Town
More reaction to follow...
And now the end is near...
Monday 9th May
We reach the final curtain of the 2015-16 season, with just two more events before we all get a couple of days off. Our AGM is on Monday 16th May in the Clubhouse, with a 7pm start, and the End of Season Presentation night on Friday 20th May, 8pm Kick Off.We look forward to welcoming everyone to these last events of the season.
Our joint venture with Slimbridge YFC on Sunday, 'The Slimbridge Festival of Football' was a great success with the clubs seeing over a thousand people through the gate over the course of the day, and a total of 41 teams battling it out at Under 10's, 11's, 13's and 14's level. Both organisations received very positive feedback from many Clubs and Managers involved, and we would like to thank all the volunteers, sponsors and teams who supported the venture, and helped make it so successful.
Swans Chairman Barry Gay looks back with pride on season
Tuesday 3rd May
Slimbridge Chairman Barry Gay had paid tribute to everyone at the club both on and off the pitch in his End of Season message, hailing the Swans first campaign at Southern League level as ‘an outstanding success story’.
'Leon Sterling and Freddy Ward have done a superb job on a limited budget compared to most clubs in our division, but the team spirit and work ethic that Leon has instilled in these boys has meant that we more than held our own against the top sides in the division. The players have been a credit to the club and I believe that with a few additions we can build on our league position next season. We will all need to work even harder on and off the field to ensure the club continues to progress. Our challenge for next season is to encourage more local spectators through the turnstiles and on that subject I must say a big thank you to those supporters who have supported us home and away in all winds and weathers, we have had some great times along the way.’
'(There has been) an incredible amount of work, dedication and financial support behind the scenes. I am not going to name individuals because everyone has played a massive part. I must thank all of our sponsors for their financial support, it is all very much appreciated.
The Chairman also discussed the relationship between the Senior setup and Slimbridge Youth Football Club, who are co-hosting a ‘Slimbridge Festival of Football’ at Wisloe Road this weekend, a ground which from now will be referred to as Thornhill Park (a formal renaming ceremony will be held next pre-season).
'The joint venture of the 5-a-side youth tournament at Thornhill Park on May 8th I am sure will be a great day out and further enhance our relationship with them which I believe is the way forward for both parties.’
The Tournament is now completely full, and will see 41 teams contest at Under 10s, Under 11s, Under 13s and Under 14s level. The day runs from 8.30am-6.30pm. Free parking is available, with admission by Programme priced at £2 per family. With the main pitch being divided into four to host four games simultaneously, there will be plenty to keep visitors busy. There will be stalls within the ground, a bouncy castle, hot food and a licensed bar will be available, with a Tombola and Raffle.
Everyone is welcome to attend and support local youth football.
Bishops Cleeve 3-0 Slimbridge
Thursday 28th April
The Mitres’ gained revenge for their League defeat at Kayte Lane last weekend with a victory that sees them potentially go to the New Lawn on May 9th to face Forest Green Rovers in the GFA Senior Challenge Cup Final, if this venue and date is confirmed by the GFA.
After bossing the first half, the Swans fell behind to a freak goal from Jack Watts, who then proceeded to play a crucial part in securing the home side’s victory with two interventions in the final ten minutes, firstly gaining a penalty which was converted by Elliott Kennedy, and then turning in his second with five minutes remaining to seal the tie.
The Swans had much the better of the first period, and could have had at least two penalties awarded on another day before Watts tried his luck from 35 yards out with five minutes remaining in the half. The ball took a wicked bounce around the penalty spot, and lifted over George Burton in the Swans goal to put the home side ahead.
The second period was a much more even affair, and the game was in the balance until ten minutes from time, when Watts was felled in the box by Swans’ skipper Alex Hoyle, and Kennedy sent Burton the wrong way to double the advantage.
Four minutes later, it was game over as Watts notched his second of the night to send the home side through, and gain some payback for the defeat which prevented Cleeve from registering their highest ever League position a few days earlier.
Team: Burton, Turl, Ry Thwaite, Hoyle, Rich Thwaite, Ward (Brown 71), Lawson (Brad Martin 64), Twyman, Fahy, Jamie Martin (Turner 60), Mace
Supporters Man of the Match: Sam Turl
Change of date for the Presentation Night
Tuesday 26th April
Our End of Season Presentation Night will now take place on Friday May 20th in the Clubhouse, 8pm start.
Bishops Cleeve 0-1 Slimbridge
Saturday 23rd April
The Swans completed their first Southern League season just as they had started it at Wantage in August - a 1-0 win on the road with an Adam Mace goal securing the points. The victory took the Swans above their 40 point target for the season, and set them up nicely for Wednesday night, when they travel back to Kayte Lane to meet Cleeve again, this time in the GFA Senior Challenge Trophy Semi Final.
Reflecting on the season after the game, Swans’ Chairman Barry Gay paid tribute to the team on the pitch as well as the backroom staff. ‘I’m delighted with what we have achieved, and very proud of the football club - We didn’t know at the start of the season how we would fare at this level, but to average a point a game, and taking at least a point from more games than not, it was a massive effort by Leon (Sterling), Freddy (Ward) and all the players that they have given us a solid foundation to build on at this higher level.
I must also mention everyone who has worked so hard behind the scenes, taking on the extra responsibilities and financial commitments required to compete at this level. We can all look forward to another season in the Southern League in August. It’s been a great achievement for us.'
The blustery conditions made things difficult for both sides, and it took a while for the sides to settle. The first 20 minutes saw the better chances fall to the visitors, with Mace, Paul Fahy and Sean Lawson all having good efforts.
Cleeve nearly took the lead on 21 minutes, when Leroy Odiero’s header from Aaron Drake’s free kick eluded everyone in the box, but it rebounded to safely off George Burton’s far post.
The Swans went down the other end, and Mace’s cross set up Lawson in space, but he was ruled offside and the chance was lost.
Cleeve thought they had broken the deadlock on 25 minutes, but Shane Bumphrey’s header was ruled out for another offside decision.
Five minutes later though, the visitors took the lead - Cleeve failed to clear their lines during a goalmouth scramble, and the ball fell to Mace in the six yard box, and he drove the ball past Mitres’ Keeper Mat Wieczorek to put the Swans ahead.
Momentum swung to Slimbridge and they had some good effort to increase the advantage - Brad Martin’s neat turn and shot brought a save from Wieczorek, Lawson made a probing run which resulted in his effort going too high, and Mace had another good effort saved, leaving the Swans ahead at the break.
Cleeve came out of the block for the second period, and Drake’s long range effort brought an acrobatic save from Burton as the home side pressed.
Slimbridge had another opportunity to increase their lead on 52 minutes, when a Wieczorek miscue found Mace, who set up Paul Fahy, but Fahy dragged his effort wide.
Having ridden out the storm, the Swans continued to create opportunities - Freddy Ward’s header was wide, Brad Martin had another header drift the wrong side of the post, and then Alex Hoyle saw his effort too high.
Jamie Martin’s cross on 74 minutes caught the wind and very nearly drifted in at the far post, as the home side began to become frustrated.
With four minutes remaining, Liam Orchard tried his luck with a dipping volley from long range, and was unlucky to see his effort just drift over the bar.
On 88 minutes, Kirk Layton, who had been booked in the first half for handball, came in late on Sam Turl, and was given his marching orders by Referee Craig Taylor for a second yellow card.
The Swans played out the remaining time to hold on for a comfortable victory and pick up their final League points of a successful first season at Southern League level, which saw them end in 18th place in the table, 18 points above the relegation zone.
Team: Burton, Turl, Ry Thwaite (Brown 53), Hoyle, Rich Thwaite, Ward, Mace, Twyman, Fahy (Orchard 76), Brad Martin (Jamie Martin 60), Lawson
Supporters Man of the Match: Adam Mace