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Fans could be in for a ball at last
A NEW season is about to dawn for Worcester City – one that will be greeted with anticipation and trepidation in equal measure.
This, after all, will be City’s last campaign at St George’s Lane.
After 108 years of history, it will all come crashing down with the Careys New Homes bulldozers next June.
It is sure to be emotional but wouldn’t it be fitting, almost poetic, if the team provided the perfect send-off for the old place by finally winning promotion to non-league’s top table?
That’s not to put undue pressure on Carl Heeley’s men but the prospect has to be considered. There’s your anticipation.
It’s the trepidation that, quite rightly, won’t be sitting well with directors and fans alike as the clock ticks down on more than a century of memories.
For what happens next? Whatever City may or may not achieve over the coming nine months, post June 2013 looms large.
They will be technically homeless, although Kidderminster Harriers’ Aggborough ground looks set to be their temporary base at least for a season. After that, who knows? The club cannot afford to move to Nunnery Way, yet it is legally bound to tow the St Modwen line until 2017.
Planning permission has been approved but if nothing is seen to be built on the site by December 2013, a capital gains tax bill will likely take them under.
That’s not scaremongering, it could very well become a reality and City chairman Anthony Hampson has said as much.
It is sadly ironic that such a juncture for the club should fall at a time when it has one of the best teams it has had for some time. So, for now at least, let’s try and cheer ourselves up by looking forward to what will hopefully be a successful Blue Square Bet North adventure.
It is easy to view City through rose-tinted spectacles but few will argue that manager Heeley, along with the efforts of assistant Matt Gardiner, have assembled a fine squad.
The acquisition of Danny Glover was both a statement of intent and a feather in the cap for the management team’s negotiating skills. If he and Mike Symons hit it off as a strike pairing, City will have a threat to rival the likes of Guiseley, Altrincham, Halifax and Chester.
Midfield has seen the most work with exciting prospects Charlie Reece and Matt Breeze joining Tom Thorley, along with Jay Denny, since the departure of Kevin O’Connor, which will no doubt have helped fund some of the new recruits.
Defensively, not a lot has changed after the hard work to retain Tyler Weir and Ellis Deeney. However, along with Glover, it is the arrival of goalkeeper Glyn Thompson that could prove the most crucial.
It is fair to say City had not even considered a change in this area until James Dormand’s decision to focus on his coaching business. That one of non-league’s most respected custodians was available was very timely indeed.
Here’s hoping it all slots into place to make the last season at the Lane also the most memorable.