29 Jul 2021 : Chairman's Update - Week 27
Men's Pre Season Games
The Men's team continued their pre-season programme with a comfortable 3-0 win at Burscough. The game was locked at 0-0 at half time but Calum stuck with the team that finished the half and he was rewarded with a much improved second half performance.
Dapo opened the scoring with a composed finish after being put through on goal by Iwan Murray. Iwan then added a couple of goals to his assist. The first being a lovely little lob from the edge of the box and the second he rounded the keeper after bursting through the Burscough back line.
It was another good performance from the Linnets and hopefully the lads will be full of confidence heading into our final home friendly against Witton on Saturday 31st July at 3pm.
Ladies Pre Season Games
The Ladies made their return to the Linnets stadium against Cheadle Stingers and although the 5-2 defeat wasn't what we would have wanted, hopefully Toddy got some useful information from the game.
It was good to see the Ladies back at the Linnets and even better to see so many fans come out to watch them for a pre-season friendly. They play all their competitive home games at the Linnets so hopefully they can get some good crowds in the season ahead.
Men's Development Team
The Men's Development Team also made their return to the Linnets Stadium and although they lost 2-1 to Irlam Under 21s it was a very good performance considering the limited amount of training sessions Gibbo has had with players.
I'm sure Gibbo will have gotten a lot out of the game and I was certainly impressed with the performance and I am looking forward to watching the team develop.
Runcorn Linnets 200 Club
The 200 club has been difficult to manage since the pandemic started, as draws used to be done in the clubhouse and we had a lot of cash payers who have not been able to pay through no fault of their own as we have not had games and not everyone attended games when we were able to host them.
When I became Chairman one of the things I wanted to do, was to get it back to how it once was. To be completely honest, I have failed and for that I apologise deeply. Draws have been late, results haven't been published promptly on the website and there has been an unacceptable delay in informing and paying winners.
I take full responsibility for all these issues. I felt I could manage the 200 Club but I simply haven't had time with a full time job, family responsibilities and my other duties as Chairman. However, there is no excuse, as I could and should have delegated it to someone else when I felt I was struggling to meet these obligations.
I am still learning my role as Chairman; I will make mistakes and this is one. All records are up to date and I have started contacting those who have won prizes to arrange payment of their winnings and I will hand over the administration of the 200 Club to the Commercial Team.
Thank you for reading and I'll see you soon.
Runcorn Linnets FC - Chairman
23 Jul 2021 : ESPFA Academy Trials
Academy Pre-season Trials
With pre-season underway for our first team, the Academy is set to follow suit in August.
Runcorn Linnets FC are partners with the Education and Semi-Professional Football Academy
(ESPFA) who provide education and football study programmes at non-league clubs across the UK for 16-18 year olds as an alternative to traditional college education.
Together with Witton Albion FC, the programme forms part of ESPFA Cheshire, one of 12 regions in the national programme.
Based at the football club, students joining the full-time programme will study for a BTEC in Sport Level 3 Extended Diploma, train three times a week with UEFA qualified coaches and represent Runcorn Linnets FC in the ESPFA league and cup competitions with all games being filmed and taking place at the main stadia of all clubs involved.
Students also have the opportunity to experience the world of sport with coaching, teaching, photography, filming, media editing, business, hospitality, journalism, physiotherapy and podcasting with the football club and the ESPFA.
There are a number of pathways available on the football side with 63 ESPFA students having made their first team debut since 2014 and over 200 ESPFA students graduating to higher education such as university, us scholarship and the programme's own bespoke degree course.
There are a LIMITED number of places left for school leavers (Year 11) or first year college students who have just finished (Year 12) and a number of trials are taking place over pre-season ready for the September 2021 start.
Wednesday 4th August | 10am - 12pm
Wednesday 11th August | 10am - 12pm
Wednesday 18th August | 10am - 12pm
Wednesday 25th August | 10am - 12pm
at Runcorn Linnets FC, Linnets Stadium, Runcorn, WA7 6GJ
Interested applicants should register their details at ESPFA Register
and attend one of the sessions listed.
Below are a number of information videos on what the ESPFA programme is about.
ESPFA Awards Show 2021
ESPFA Pre-season 2021
STUDY at the ESPFA
TRAIN at the ESPFA
PLAY at the ESPFA
MEDIA EXPERIENCE at the ESPFA
For more information on the ESPFA programme, please follow the following links:
22 Jul 2021 : Chairman's Update - Week 26
Whilst the result was obviously not what we wanted, it was great to see nearly 500 people at the Linnets for a pre-season game and gives me great hope for the season ahead. The result also can't change the fact that we took the lead against a League side. A lot of people had some very kind words to say about the club and the ground and I got to meet Joe Parkinson, so it wasn't all that bad!
It was also great to see nearly 200 people at the Linnets for a midweek pre-season friendly and the number of kids there was really heartening. One of the things I knew we needed to do when I became Chairman was attract the next generation of Linnets fans, so I am glad to see that is already bearing fruit. The performance and result against Pilkington was very encouraging, it does not matter who you are playing, an 8-0 win is always great and there were some really well worked goals in there as well. It was good to see Ryan Brooke continue his goal scoring form in pre-season with a first half hat trick and it was great to see local lad Eden Gumbs getting a brace.
We just have one more home pre-season friendly before the league starts and our games against Witton are always entertaining, hopefully we can continue the trend of good crowds. The game is on Saturday 31st July at 3pm.
Men's League Fixtures
The Men's First Team league fixtures were finally released and what a way to start, with a home derby against Widnes, that promises to be a really good game in the summer sun and hopefully we can look to start breaking some league attendance records with our returning and newly found fans.
As the saying goes you play every team home and away, so does it really matter what order you play them in, however I am overall pretty happy with how they have fallen for us and we have avoided a midweek trip to Workington (fingers crossed there is no postponement!).
We have kept our bank holiday derby games against Cables as we always enjoy playing those games and we are delighted to have added bank holiday games against our old friends at 1874 Northwich.
I really cannot wait to get going now, bring on Widnes!
The Linnets Ladies have already started their pre-season games with a 6-1 win against FC St Helens Women and a hard fought 3-2 victory against local rivals Runcorn Sports Women.
They play their first pre-season game back on the hallowed turf of the Linnets Stadium on Sunday 25th July as they take on Cheadle Town Stingers. It is free entry and the tea bar and bar will be open, so why not come down to show the Linnets Ladies some support?
Thank you to everyone who has purchased a season ticket so far, the response has been quite overwhelming. A few people have asked if we will be sending them out, so I thought it would be easier to give you all a little update here.
Once we have the tickets back from the printers, we will contact everyone who has purchased one and arrange for them to be collected or delivered.
If you have not yet purchased a season ticket but would like to, then please see the link below. Thank you once again for all your great support.
Purchase Season Tickets
15 Jul 2021 : Chairman's Update - Week 25
After so long it was great to finally welcome you all back to the Linnets. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of people who came to the game against Euxton. Even though the game was free admission to get over 400 fans for a pre-season game was amazing. To then follow that with over 300 fans for a midweek friendly was equally impressive. I am really looking forward to seeing how many fans are in attendance for the Hartlepool game, the tickets are selling well.
The games themselves were very entertaining with goals from Joe Lynch and Ryan Brooke securing a 2-0 win against Euxton and that man Brooke again grabbing the only Linnets goal in a narrow 2-1 defeat against Southport. Both games produced good performances for the Linnets and I certainly did not think it looked like there were two divisions between us and Southport.
Now onto Hartlepool and what an occasion that promises to be. The opportunity for a club at our level to pit themselves against a league club does not come along very often. I would also like to add that we are not playing just a league club XI, it will be as close to a full strength starting 11 that Dave Challinor can put out.
It promises to be a great occasion and if you would like to be there, you can secure your tickets using the link below.
Kops n Kids Tournament
The weekend just gone was the final weekend of the Kops N Kids tournament. I was actually involved as a coach with my son Jack's team and although they did not progress through to the finals, all the players really enjoyed themselves and I was really impressed with the organisation of the tournament.
On the Sunday I got to watch a few of the games and a couple of the knockout games prepared me for what was to come for with the England game, as I watched a couple of tense penalty shoot-outs. I also watched one of our Linnets teams narrowly lose in their final and I have to say I found it as tense and exciting as any of the Men's first team games.
A massive well done to everyone involved in the tournament, we will definitely do it again next year.
Water Plus Update
We have finally had a breakthrough dealing with Water Plus. They sent an agent out to speak to us and although I was not there at the time, I was able to speak to him over the phone later on. He fully agreed with our position that the chargeable area on the outstanding invoice was incorrect. I agreed to make a payment based on a more accurate chargeable area until we can get a revaluation survey done.
We have never disputed that we needed to make a payment for the wastewater that drains into a public drain and we wanted to make a payment, we just needed them to listen to reason in regard to the chargeable area being wrong.
It is not completely resolved yet but at least we are headed in the right direction.
I am going to be honest; we are struggling for volunteers in certain areas. We have lots of people offering help in capacities where they still get to watch the games but we are struggling with roles like in the Tea Bar and Bar where you don't get to see the game. I completely understand why, I like to watch the game too and you are fans of the club so want to see your team play.
If you know of anyone who may not necessarily be a football fan but is interested in doing some volunteer work, then please send them our way.
Request to volunteer
Thank you for reading, see you Saturday.
09 Jul 2021 : New man in charge of Development team at Runcorn Linnets
Runcorn Linnets can confirm a managerial change in our rebranded men's Development set-up.
Formerly known as the club's Under 21s, the Development team competes in the West Division of the North West U21s Development League.
Despite the 2020-21 league season not being completed due to the effects of the Covid pandemic, the players enjoyed a fine run in the League Cup, ultimately exiting away to Premier Division outfit, Chorley.
Assuming control of team affairs this time around will be Robbie Gibbons.
Robbie was manager of last season's champion Under 18s side and is looking to continue working with many of his title winners at the higher age group.
Robbie succeeds Ste Chaney, who had been in charge of the Under 21s team throughout its debut season.
Club chairman, Dave Jones said: "The Development team is an important part of our structure and our future ambitions as can be seen from the landmark promotion of Eden Gumbs from last season's U21s to our senior men's squad for the coming season.
"We thank Ste Chaney for his contribution to that initial success and we are sure that Robbie will keep up his excellent work at U18s level with the Development team.
"We wish him and the squad well for the 2021-22 campaign."
The club has meanwhile announced a slight change to arrangements released earlier regarding Development team trials.
These will still take place on Sunday, July 11th but on the Halton Sports pitches surrounding the Linnets Stadium and at the later time of 3pm.
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