The Peacocks will face League opposition in the space of two days next month when they begin their pre-season schedule of friendly games. Two days after the visit of Bristol Rovers, we are pleased to announce that Exeter City will be coming to the Viridor Stadium on Thursday 20th July, kick-off 7.45pm. The Grecians will be sending their first team squad to take on Town who have also arranged three other friendlies to date. Southern Premier Weymouth come to the Viridor on Tuesday 25th July, ko 7.45pm, while three days later the Peacocks make the short trip to Western League side Willand Rovers, ko 7.30pm. The final warm-up match will be at Peninsula League team Bovey Tracey on Tuesday 8th August (ko tbc), four days before the start of the Southern League campaign. Two more pre-season matches are in the pipeline and these will be announced in due course. The arrangement of the Exeter game means that the club's AGM due to take place that evening will be rescheduled and the new date will be confirmed soon.
As part of the club’s newly launched youth football development programme in partnership with Bridgwater and Taunton College, an Under 12’s side will be formed for the new season to compete in the Junior Premier League. A trial is being held at Bishop Fox’s School on Friday 16th June from 7.00pm to 8.30pm and to register a place at the trials or for more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org . Trials have already been held for Under 13’s up to Under 16’s and two welcome evenings for all selected players and their parents from each age group will be held at the Viridor Stadium next month. Under 12’s and 13’s are invited on Thursday 6th July while Under 14’s, 15’s and 16’s will be welcomed on Thursday 27th July, both evenings commencing at 7.00pm.
We would also be pleased to hear from players at Under 14, 15 or 16 level who have not yet been in contact but would like to register for this exciting venture. To clear up any possible misconceptions, any player who is recruited to play for Taunton Town in the Junior Premier League will also still be able to continue playing for their local youth team and the Taunton and District Schools side if so desired. Any player who would like to become involved please email email@example.com with your details.
The curtain was finally closed on the 2016-17 season with our Presentation Evening held at the Cooper Associates County Ground last Thursday evening (1st June). Excellently hosted by BBC Somerset’s Claire Carter and Jack Murley, the highly enjoyable evening included a three course dinner, a Q&A session and a video review of our epic FA Cup campaign as well as a number of awards being presented. Lloyd Irish (pictured) was the main beneficiary of the evening, winning both the Supporters’ Player of the Year and the Player’s Player of the Year accolades in addition to a number of smaller awards while striker Jordan Rogers also netted two trophies and Josh Searle received the Ernie Price Memorial Cup. The departing Ed Palmer won the Goal of the Season award for his free kick strike at Barrow while on the club front, Huw Davies was named Clubman of the Year and kitman and Assistant Groundsman Simon Best received the Chairman’s Award. Photos from the evening taken by club photographer Tim Norbury can be viewed HERE and a full list of the award winners can be found HERE. Many thanks to all those who attended and thank you to our hosts Somerset CCC for looking after us so well.
The Peacocks have made their fifth capture of the close season with the acquisition of centre half Arran Pugh. As reported on our Twitter account yesterday (3rd June), the 27 year old who stands 6’ 6” tall has joined Town from Truro City where he was captain last season. The main part of his career to date has been spent at Truro where he has had two lengthy terms interspersed with a spell at Dorchester Town.
The arrival of Pugh (pictured) comes hot on the heels of four new faces who were announced on Friday including three former Truro teammates in Ryan Brett, Ben Adelsbury and Les Afful along with the returning Chris McGrath from Bideford. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” We’re really happy with the five signings we’ve made so far. Naturally the ex-Truro lads come with a higher level experience which we were looking for and for them they are coming into a dressing room where they already know people in Wrighty and Shane, have had success playing with those players and that added to our excellent set-up means it makes sense for both parties. Chris McGrath is an ideal replacement for Ed Palmer as they are pretty similar. He had a great year at Bideford, was outstanding against us in April and knows plenty of people around the place so he’ll fit in nicely. I’m sure the fans will enjoy watching these new lads in action when July comes around as I know they are all chomping at the bit to get started with us in pre-season.”
As revealed on the club’s Twitter account earlier today, we are pleased to announce that four new players have been added to the Peacocks’ squad for the 2017-18 season. Returning to the Viridor Stadium is centre half Chris McGrath who appeared 93 times for Town in his first spell at the club from February 2010 until his departure in 2012 when he went on to play for Bridgwater Town, Tiverton Town and Frome Town. A former Republic of Ireland youth international, 32 year old McGrath has signed from Bideford where he won both the Supporters and Manager’s Player of the Year awards last season.
Also joining up with the Peacocks are three players who were with National League South side Truro City last term. Left sided defender/midfielder Ryan Brett began his career at Plymouth Argyle before spending three seasons at Salisbury City, helping them win promotion to the Conference Premier. The 26 year old then signed for Truro in the summer of 2014 and was part of the side that gained National League South status in 2016. Another former Salisbury man who has come on board at the Viridor is 26 year old midfielder Ben Adelsbury who was on the books of Swansea City as a youngster. He then went on to spend two and a half years with Salisbury from 2009 before going on to play for Eastbourne Borough and Bath City. Completing the trio is experienced 33 year old winger Les Afful who featured in over 250 games for Truro. Starting off as a trainee at Exeter City, he went on to play 78 games for the League side until switching to Forest Green Rovers in 2006 where he also totted up more than 100 appearances and played for the English National Game XI.
We welcome all four players to the club and in more good news, goalkeeper Lloyd Irish has agreed terms for next season. Irish picked up both the Supporters’ and Player’s Player of the Year awards at the presentation dinner yesterday evening (1st June) held at Somerset County Cricket Club. A full review of the evening will be available soon.
Further player news will be announced over the coming days.