Canaries back in training hoping to find same form they had before lockdown

PUBLISHED: 15:48 29 July 2020

Hitchin Town returned to training hoping to build on the form shown just before lockdown. Picture: PETER ELSE

Hitchin Town returned to training hoping to build on the form shown just before lockdown. Picture: PETER ELSE

Hitchin Town are back in training as they plan for a September start.

Mark Burke’s men arrived at the Arena for day one of pre-season last week and the boss was delighted with the turnout, with the majority of last season’s squad attending together with a number of new faces.

The Southern League Premier Division Central club had climbed to 17th when the season was declared null and void in March thanks to a upsurge in form which saw the Canaries average two points a game from January.

That run included impressive away wins at promotion-chasing Peterborough Sports and Coalville Town and Burke was keen to retain the core of that squad.

A further session is planned for tonight (Thursday) before they implement three sessions a week.

The Southern League have been given the green light to commence league fixtures from September 19 but the club are still waiting on actual confirmation of that.

An announcement on Monday from the National League above them said they wouldn’t begin again until October 3, with the intention being to allow crowds back in then albeit with a potentially reduced capacity.

Anthony Smith, chairman of National League South Concord Rangers expected that to be capped at “round 50 or 60 per cent” which would mean Top Field would be able to allow in roughly 1,600 spectators maximum.

No fans are currently allowed to attend any pre-season fixtures with the club saying they will announce details of their games “in due course”.

Hitchin do know one date where they will be playing with the FA Cup first qualifying round set for Tuesday, September 22.

Off the field they are attempting to supplement their income after it was hit by the lockdown.

One of those is with branded face masks although you may have to be quick.

A spokesman said: “Online is the only way to buy one of these masks, so if you would like to indulge and support your club in this venture, please go to our website.

“Delivery will take between seven and 14 days from placing the order.

“The masks have proved very popular and we have already sold out our first batch and have had to re-order so please do not delay.”

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