13 Jan 2022 : Chairman's Update - Week 51
We continued our recent good form with a comprehensive 7-0 win over Kendal Town at the APEC on Saturday. It was a brilliant performance that was a culmination of all the hard work Calum and his team have put in over the last few months and I think you could see it coming with the performances we've put in recently.
The win put us firmly in the play-off positions and I think we'll have a good idea of where we are at the end of this month. It's certainly an exciting time to be a Linnets fan.
Next, we travel to Ellesmere Port to take on City of Liverpool and considering the thrilling 3-3 draw at home last year, it should be a cracker.
The Ladies returned to action at the APEC Taxis Stadium against Alder FC Women with a 2-2 draw. This draw ended a tough run of league defeats so hopefully is a sign that the team is heading in the right direction. I took in some of Toddy's training session this week and I was very impressed by the effort they were putting in.
Next up for the Ladies is another home game against Didsbury FC Ladies on Sunday 23rd January at 2pm.
We have appointed Dean Vian as Development Team manager for the rest of the season. Dean has a good pedigree as a coach, having worked with Chester Women and the Chester Academy and he was recommended by Calum, so there will be a good working relationship between them. Gibbo will work with Dean for a while to ensure there is a good handover period.
Gibbo is handing over a very good crop of young players and I'm excited to see what Dean can do with them.
Following the Christmas break their next game is against 1874 Northwich U21 on Sunday 16th January at Moss Farm Leisure Complex and kicks off at 4pm.
ESPFA Academy Team
The Academy team returned from their Christmas break and showed no signs of any rustiness as Ste Chaney's lads ran out 10-2 winners against Witton Albion on Thursday. That now makes it seven wins out of seven to start the league season as well as another win in the cup. It has been a remarkable start for the lads and hopefully it will continue.
Their next game is at the APEC Taxis Stadium on Thursday 20th January at 12pm against Brighouse Town. The gates will be open and anyone is welcome to attend and cheer the lads on.
Thank you for reading.
Runcorn Linnets FC - Chairman
06 Jan 2022 : Chairman's Update - Week 50
Let me begin by wishing you all a very Happy New Year, I hope you all enjoyed yourselves, I know I enjoyed New Year's Day!
On New Year's Day the lads recovered from going a goal down in the very first minute against 1874 Northwich, with a goal from Lloyd Marsh-Hughes to take us in level at half time and a late beauty from the brilliant Iwan Murray after 1874 went down to 10 men. It was a hard fought but deserved win, which took us in to the play off positions and was a great way to follow up wins over Widnes and Prescot Cables. Nine points out of nine is a tremendous return under any circumstances but given how short of players we have been and the lack of training, Calum and the lads have been amazing.
We followed up our New Year's Day win with a comprehensive 5-0 win over Winsford in the Cheshire Senior Cup. I think you can see from the team that Calum named that he is serious about the Cheshire Senior Cup, and it is a cup I would love to see us win.
After a long break, the Ladies are finally back in action when they take on Alder FC Women at the APEC Taxis Stadium on Sunday 9th January at 2pm. It's free entry for all and it would be good to see as many of you there as possible.
As you've already probably seen by now Joe Young has returned to Wolves. I think Joe has been exceptional for us in recent months and I hope that we have helped in his development. Wolves have recalled him as his initial loan expired and despite our best efforts to keep him, they have other plans for him. I would like to thank Wolves for allowing Joe to join the Linnets and trusting us to look after him.
Good luck for the future Joe.
Let me start by saying I am absolutely delighted at not only the increase in attendances but the improvement in the atmosphere both home and away. It is something we've wanted to improve for a long time, and I know Calum and the lads absolutely love the support.
That being said, I have to say I am concerned at the recent use at pyrotechnics. People may think they are harmless and help generate an atmosphere but if things go wrong, they can cause serious injury. It is quite simply illegal to take them into a football stadium and there can be serious repercussions for those who do so and for the club they support.
Anyone found with a smoke bomb, flare or any other prohibited items in the APEC Taxis Stadium will be removed from the ground and banned indefinitely.
I do not want to ban anybody from watching the Linnets, however it is my job to protect the image of this football club and that is exactly what I will do. We want the fans to create an atmosphere to cheer the lads on, but it must be done safely and be respectful of fellow fans.
02 Jan 2022 : Match Safety Statement
Our support this season, both home and away, has been incredible, thankyou. As you are most probably aware, we are seeing an increase in the use of flares / smoke bombs and fireworks (Pyrotechnics) across football, at all levels of the pyramid. Additionally, the Club have been advised that there are video's and photographs circulating online which appear to show the use of pyrotechnics at Runcorn Linnets matches.
To ensure the safety of all supporters visiting the APEC Taxis Stadium, please see some guidance below from the FA and Sports Ground Safety Agency (SGSA) regarding the use of pyrotechnics at football matches in England.
Pyrotechnics are illegal at football grounds.
Being in possession of a pyrotechnic device at a football match, or attempting to bring a pyrotechnic device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence under the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc) Act 1985. Any person committing such an offence faces arrest and can expect the Court to make a Football Banning Order.
The Club could also be fined as a result.
Thank you again for your amazing support this season and a Happy New Year.
31 Dec 2021 : Chairman's Update - Week 49
We entertained Prescot Cables at the APEC Taxis Stadium on Monday for our festive derby fixture. Unfortunately, I had to listen on Linnets Live as I was unwell with Covid symptoms but thankfully three tests have come up negative.
It wasn't the best of games by all accounts but considering the number of players we were missing, which was highlighted by us only being able to name three subs and two of those being a player just back from injury and a player signed that morning, getting a result was all that mattered. The lads battled to a 2-1 win courtesy of an own goal and a second half goal from James Steele.
It was another great attendance to finish the year off and a great atmosphere from what I could hear. The atmosphere is something the management team and players have all commented about.
I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any delays in gaining entry to the ground on Monday, there was an issue with opening the second turnstile and it was a higher than average attendance.
There were also issues with Covid isolations hitting our volunteers (myself included), which adding in the increased attendances resulted in there being excessive queues for both the bar and the tea bar. I would like to thank our fans for their patience and also thank our volunteers for working flat out to clear the queues.
I would say that crowds of around 900 are just about our limit with our permanent infrastructure when we have a full complement of volunteers and with volunteers missing, we are always going to struggle. That is something we are going to look at improving for the future, as it looks like these kinds of attendances could become the norm.
Thank you to Ste Lomax and Karen Chaney for helping to reduce the queue by letting fans in through the main entrance, this helped us get everyone in the ground by 3.10.
What a year it has been for the Linnets, a year in which we didn't play our first game of football until 3rd July. I became Chairman at the start of January and then we took advantage of the extended break by making sure the club was in the best shape possible by the time we were able to host football matches again. Thanks to our amazing Maintenance Team, we completely transformed the ground and turned it into a welcoming place people will want to return to.
We honoured all 2020/21 season tickets for 2021/22 and launched our Footy for a Fiver initiative with adult season tickets priced at £95 and this resulted in us having 118 season ticket holders. Our league campaign started with over 700 fans attending for the visit of Halton rivals Widnes and the crowds have stayed high since, with our average being over 600.
We have broken our attendance record when 1078 attended the FC United game and our Ladies got in on the act when 282 fans watched them win their first ever Women's FA Cup match which was the highest attendance in the 1st Qualifying Round in the entire country. Not only have we increased our attendances but we've also managed to attract younger fans to the Linnets, something which we have been trying to do for years and it is great to see so many young people enjoying watching the Linnets and making so much noise.
Commercially we have signed two massive new deals which saw Complete Security Systems become our new front of shirt sponsor and APEC Taxis become our new stadium sponsor.
Ground improvements have also included moving the bar into the old Juniors kitchen, which allowed us to improve the seating in the clubhouse, improved signage, and additional cover down the bottom end.
There is plenty more to come in 2022, so I will end 2021 by saying a massive thank you to all our volunteers, fans, players, and management team for making 2021 such a good year for the Linnets.
Thank you all for reading and I'll see you all next year.
Runcorn Linnets FC - Chairman
23 Dec 2021 : A Christmas Message From The Manager
On behalf of all the staff and players at Runcorn Linnets, I would like to take the opportunity to wish each and every one of our supporters a very Merry Christmas and thank them for their incredible support so far this season.
We have a group of players and staff that are very proud to represent this club. We were so pleased to be able to give the travelling support at Widnes an early Christmas present with three points in the Halton derby last week. I cannot put into words how simply stunning the support we received last Saturday was. There were hundreds upon hundreds of travelling Linnets fans and they made themselves heard for 90 minutes. The reception they gave our players at full-time was incredible and I know how appreciative the lads were of that level of backing. Those type of numbers and that type of support just doesn't happen in the eighth tier of English football, it highlights once again how unique this football club is and how passionate it's supporters are.
It felt like a really important moment for our team last Saturday. For our management team, it was our 40th game in charge of this club and it felt as if the connection between this group of players and the supporters was there for all to see. That is really genuine. I get to know these lads inside out and they are immensely committed to one another, the group and the club. They are really proud of what they are trying to build here and I can't praise them enough.
I wanted to take the opportunity to thank each and every one of our supporters and volunteers who have played their part so far this season. The numbers that have followed us around the North of England are incredible. They have spent their time and money supporting our team and we are so grateful for that. Equally, they have turned out in force at home, sealing a record home attendance in our FA Trophy tie against FC United earlier this season. I am so pleased that these home attendances have made the work of an incredible team of volunteers worthwhile. From the moment I arrived at the club, I have been simply stunned at the volume and commitment from an army of volunteers that keep this club operating. Their work through the week, on a match day and behind the scenes is phenomenal and without them there is no football team to support each Saturday. As a football team we are immensely appreciative of those in the tea bar, those working around the ground and every single person that makes this football club what it is week in and week out. We head into this Christmas period so pleased with the start we have made on the pitch, but it doesn't happen without those that have supported us so unconditionally.
That togetherness around a football club is the most important thing. Those that clean the changing rooms, those that come and watch us and those that play in yellow and green are all part of the same team. To each of our supporters and volunteers, we thank you for your efforts and your support and wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas. You really deserve it.
I can't promise that everything will always be perfect, but I can promise we won't stop trying to be.
Happy Christmas - I can't wait to see you on the 27th.
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