Wiltshire Publications

Westbury United: Excitement builds for next season with high profile pre-season games planned

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 4th, 2017 at 12:30 pm.

WITHthe start of the 2017/18 football season just around the corner, Westbury United have secured two high profile pre-season matches at Meadow Lane.

On 15th July, United host Swindon Town Reserve side, Wiltshire’s biggest team.

The game is expected to raise the profile of the club and should be quite a spectacle for the fans.

Chairman, Matt Bright said, “I’m really impressed with Swindon on this as they are helping to reach out to grass roots football and supporting teams in their county.”

The next pre-season game is the inaugural Alliance Shield competition on the 29th July, between Westbury United and Trowbridge Town.

Matt said, “This annual shield will be the curtain raiser to our season, much like the professional game’s Community Shield.  Each year we will alternate the fixture home and away with Trowbridge and we expect to bring in good crowds to watch the local derby.”

Club secretary, Greg Coulson said, “We suggested a game against a local rival to give the fans of the teams a game that they would want to see. Trowbridge Town FC was the logical choice; they are the closest club geographically to us and it’s a fixture that we haven’t seen enough of over the years.

“Trowbridge Town FC have a good group of officers who are working hard. They have been given the go ahead to upgrade Woodmarsh and install floodlights, so this means that they will be eligible for promotion to the league that we are currently in. We believe that all non-league clubs are in it together off the pitch and rivals on the pitch. This relationship with Trowbridge Town FC will grow in the future as we alternate this fixture each season to help give the fans a great kick start to the season, starting with the 2017/18 one.”

The future looks bright for Westbury United with the club having three teams playing next season.

Greg said, “For the first time in more than five years there will be three teams donning the Westbury United badge on their chest most Saturdays.

“The new set up will see the development team ply their trade in the Trowbridge and District League, the reserves in the Wiltshire Senior League and the first team in Division One of the Toolstation Western League. This is another piece of the jigsaw that helps to keep the club on target to grow and meet the ambitions of its officers and committee members.

“The club realised last season that the gap between the reserve team and the first team was too big for players coming up through the ranks. There was a step missing from the system, so the committee approached the leagues to see if they could enter a team in the Wiltshire Senior League.

“The development team will be led by goalscoring legend Marc Lanfear and joining him for his first taste of management will be Charlie Heydon. Charlie and Marc bring good recent knowledge of the game and we’re delighted to hand them a very talented group of young players to work with and develop.

“The reserve team hot seat will be taken up by Chris Carr. Chris has come with some good recommendations and he has experience of working with Neil Kirkpatrick at Larkhall Athletic in the same roles.

“Neil and Joe Kirkpatrick continue the excellent job they started last season, complemented by Barry Crease and Luke Smith. The squad is strong and the club now have the structure and a clear pathway for youth players to develop and challenge the first team, to make sure the club continues to move upwards.

“The club would like to thank everyone at the Trowbridge and District League for their help in making this happen. The club has had a great relationship with the Trowbridge and District League and this decision has shown that they support their member clubs and will help them in any way they can. Also, the club would like to thank Adam Greaney from the Wilshire County Football Association and the Jim Thorn from the Wiltshire Senior League.

“Everyone can see what Westbury is trying to achieve and with the help of the two leagues and the Wiltshire County FA, they are now another step in the right direction.”