Well the winter continued where the summer left off, plenty of rain to dampen our ground but not the spirit at TSJ. We can reflect upon a season where we broke new ground by introducing sponsored players and also the fact that we gained promotion. Whilst we brought in three new players we were hampered by Doc, George and Rick only managing 15 games between them. Bret, Ryan and Haguey were great additions and settled in with the rest of the lads to create a competitive team environment. Dee and Katie were a breath of fresh air in the second team and we have massive expectations of these two for the coming season.

There is no doubt that the position on the ground will test our club. This is a time for us to keep together for a season where we will be playing away every week. The first will be settled in at Radcliffe who have kindly permitted us to use their ground all season. The seconds however will be travelling around the district using the facilities of whichever club will be gracious enough to permit us to play. Whilst this is going to be challenging I believe that it will galvanise us and will make the return to Beryl Avenue all the sweeter next year.

I have no doubt that both teams will be competitive. We have managed to secure the services of Danny Hornby from Greenmount and Iím sure that many of the local clubs will be looking at this with envy. Paul Schofield is bringing is own brand of humour to our seconds and will captain the team which we are truly grateful for. Kev and Ben have joined us from Elton Vale and have shown at the indoor nets that they will be great additions to the squad.

Attendance to the pre-season nets has been excellent and I hope that this will continue in the coming months. The outdoor nets will be on Wednesday nights and it will be good for the club if we can use these nights to put some money behind the bar. We have an inter club game organised at Radcliffe on the 7th April starting as close to 12 pm as possible, Radcliffe have kindly put a Curry on for us which we can eat whilst watching the Manchester derby. Lets turn up and show out hosts that we will be a great addition to their club for twelve months. The season starts on the 21st April and we will use Whatsapp to notify people about team selection. However, if everybody turns up to nets on Wednesday then they will find out there.

Bret Collins is multi tasking this year combining his work as Ladies team manager with being the first team captain. I wish him all the best for the season.

Have a brilliant season everybody. Keep the faith as the club will be stronger for the challenges we will encounter this year.

I Will if You Will Biffaward

Beryl Avenue, Tottington, Bury, BL8 3NF
Twitter: @TottyStJohnsCC