A RESTRUCTURE is being put into practice at Downton FC as they prepare for life in Wessex Division One, directed by a new management team.
New chairman Colin Stainer is in the process of restructuring the Wick Lane outfit, having already appointed Colin Hopkins, pictured right, as manager, following the sacking of his predecessor Jeff Softley, and Jack Brooks, a central midfielder, as his sidekick.
Mitch Blake is the club stalwart and former Whites physiotherapist Kev Bushby will take care of the medical department.
Currently, Hopkins and Brooks have signed Sam O’Hagan and Daniel Savage from rivals Bemerton Heath Harlequins and Ex-Andover New Street’s Harry Burt.
The three fresh faces will be joining custodian Charlie Aldridge, Ben Smith, Paul Gulliver, Craig T y s o n , Dan Telfer, D e c l a n McGregor and Dan Newman, a newly-appointed captain, who have resigned.
During the summer break, head groundsman Nick Illman has kept the pitch in pristine condition. And new goalposts and dugouts are being installed, the barriers and the stand are being repainted, plus the home and away changing rooms, along with the referee’s room, are being upgraded.
Hopkins said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has put so much hard work into improving Downton, and the players are very eager to ensure progress is also made on the pitch.”
The Robins, relegated from Wessex Premier last season, beat high-fliers Alresford Town in their first pre-season friendly, which saw Brooks nab a brace. On Saturday, they came from 3-0 down to grab a 4-4 draw at home to Andover Lions. Dan Telfer and Ben Rankin both scored twice.
- Downton reserves will be run by David Savage and Mike Easterbrooke.
Wessex Cup draws:
FA Vase first qualifying round (To be played on September 6):
AMESBURY TOWN V Hythe and Dibden
Swanage Town & Herston v DOWNTON
Wincanton Town v BEMERTON HEATH HARLEQUINS
FA Vase second qualifying round (to be played on October 4):
Team Solent or Cadbury Heath v RINGWOOD TOWN
Warminster Town or Longwell Green Sports v AMESBURY TOWN or Hythe and Dibden
Wincanton Town or BEMERTON HEATH HARLEQUINS v Moneyfields or Brockenhurst
VERWOOD TOWN v Roman St George or Devizes Town
Winchester City v LAVERSTOCK & FORD
Swanage Town & Herston or DOWNTON v US Portsmouth
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round (to be played on August 16):
BEMERTON HEATH HARLEQUINS v Totton and Eling
Folland Sports v DOWNTON
Bournemouth V VERWOOD TOWN
FA Cup Preliminary Round (to be played on August 30):
BEMERTON HEATH HARLEQUINS or Totton and Eling v Bournemouth or VERWOOD TOWN AFC
Portchester or Fawley V Folland Sports or DOWNTON