Tudors’ busy pre-season is now set

Hemel Town's over-50s walking football side. Back row, from left: S Hatchett, M Mannell, T Smith, N Morrisson and J Holmes. Bottom row: M Parkes (captain), S Buckey, A Turner and P Church.
Hemel Town's over-50s walking football side. Back row, from left: S Hatchett, M Mannell, T Smith, N Morrisson and J Holmes. Bottom row: M Parkes (captain), S Buckey, A Turner and P Church.

Hemel Town have announced their pre-season fixtures for the upcoming 2018/19 season.

The Tudors will have a busy period of friendlies, with eight games and a tournament in a 22-day period.

The pre-season campaign opens on Saturday, July 7, with a trip to face recently-crowned Herts Senior Premier League champions Bovingdon away at Green Lane (2pm kick-off).

Three days later on Tuesday, July 10, Hemel travel to Isthmian League South Central Division side Hayes & Yeading United (7.30pm).

They then have two games in one day on Saturday, July 14, which will allow boss Dean Brennan to give chances to a breadth of squad members.

One squad travels to Broadwater to face Berkhamsted FC (3pm), who recently earned promotion to the Southern League (East) Division, while a separate side visits Gaywood Park to take on Kings Langley at the same time.

Just two days later on Monday, July 16, Hemel face Southern League Premier Central team Hitchin Town in the rescheduled 2017/18 Herts Charity Cup final at 7.45pm.

The game, at Bishop’s Stortford’s ground, was originally set for April 10.

The action continues on Wednesday, July 18, when The Tudors travel to Biggleswade Town (7.45pm).

The team will then be taking part in the two-day Brighouse Tournament on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21.

The club’s first home friendly then arrives on Tuesday, July 24, when Premier League outfit Watford bring their under-23s side to Vauxhall Road (7.45pm).

The final friendly then takes place on Saturday, July 28, when National League side Dagenham & Redbridge visit Vauxhall Road at 3pm.

The National League South season then gets underway on Saturday, August 4.

In other fixtures news, the draw was completed this week for the 2018/19 Herts Charity Cup. Hemel have been drawn away in the first round against Isthmian League Premier Division club Potters Bar Town.

The fixture is due to be played in October.

The four winners of the first-round matches go through to the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, the club’s veterans’ walking football sides have been making strides over the summer.

As The Tudors’ walking football programme develops, they are starting to enter more competitions and set up friendlies against other clubs.

On Sunday, May 20, the over-60s side were drawn at home in their first 60+ competition, the National Cup, against a vastly more experienced side from Bexley.

Bexley started strongly, hitting the woodwork three times in the first seven minutes, before they made the breakthrough, but Town levelled via Brian Kemp.

Bexley score twice more in the first-half to lead 3-1 but it was Hemel who finished the half on a high, scoring four more, three through the impressive Kemp and an individual goal by Alan Cutter to lead 5-3 at half time.

That was as good as it got for Hemel as Bexley scored three unanswered goals in the second-half, scoring the winner 75 seconds from the end.

The Hemel squad comprised of: A Cutter, L Hardwicke (captain), P Jerram, B Kemp, P Rickett, A Roads, N Schramm, P Smith and G Turner.

On Thursday, May 24, the over-50s team travelled to play Aylesbury in their age group of the National Cup.

Again, The Tudors were playing a more experienced side, but this time it was Hemel who started the stronger, scoring after two minutes through skipper Mike Parkes.

Hemel were clearly the dominant side and scored again, this time from distance with a shot across the keeper that arrowed into the far corner.

Hemel had three goals disallowed before half-time, two through striker Jimmy Holmes and another from Parkes.

Aylesbury re-organised after the break, replacing their keeper.

They were much more competitive but Hemel were still comfortable, although their net man Tony Smith, who had no saves to make in the first-half, made several good saves in the second period to preserve the victory.