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  • Richard Honnor

A New Season

Beer Albion FC have appointed Mark Rooke and Alan Potter as co-managers for the 2019/2020 season, taking over from player-manager Richard Walker who has decided to step down after being at the helm for the past four seasons writes Richard Honnor.

Richard Walker’s wealth of experience as a professional footballer at the top level has been invaluable for the club and the good news is that he will continue as a player along with his son Jamie who has shown great promise in pre-season matches.

The Club’s 1st team will continue to play in Devon and Exeter Premier Division having declined an invitation to join the newly formed Devon Football League. Meanwhile Beer Reserves have been elevated to Division Two, their third successive promotion!

As former Beer players, both Mark and Alan understand the ethos of the club and of its importance to the local village community. The pair have extensive coaching experience and knowledge of the local football scene. Notably, Mark has done a splendid job at Beer in recent times developing junior players and Alan managed Colyton 1st’s for a period. As well as their individual coaching achievements they have also previously worked together. They will be well-supported by trainer Jamie Bond (another ex-Beer player) and Reserve team managers Tom Neale and Chris Driver who is making a welcome return to the club after coaching soccer in the US.

The new management team are very optimistic about the coming season. “We are very pleased with the players at our disposal and are delighted to welcome new signings Charley Skilton, Finley Rooke and Lorcan Hankin”, says Rooke. Also Jack Prior, Jack White and Steve Howe make welcome returns to the club.

Rooke enthuses, “We have a great mixture of youth and experience in both teams along with a lot of excellent footballers. With the Reserves now in Division 2, it means that our teams are now only two leagues apart so it will be much easier for players to swap between the two sides.”

Under the watchful eye of Jamie Bond, pre-season training has gone exceptionally well and the players are looking fit and ready for the season ahead. The first team have had six very tough pre-season matches including three against Peninsula League outfits, Axminster, Bovey Tracey and Cullompton. Despite losing these encounters, the Fishermen acquitted themselves well and this helped them to achieve convincing wins in the other three warm-up matches.

As well as on-field preparations, Beer Albion’s Committee boosted by new members Emma Westlake, Becky Fowler and Karen Harding have made extensive improvements to the ground and facilities in the close season with the help of funding from The Football Foundation and from the Club’s main sponsor Eden Vale Turf (SW) Ltd.

The 1st team’s league campaign kicks off next on Saturday (17th August) with an away trip to Hatherleigh whilst the 2nds begin a week later away at Otterton.

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