Whitby Town Community Cup to act as Blues trials for local hot-shots
The Whitby Town Community Cup gets underway on Wednesday June 30 (kick-off 7:30pm) - with Whitby Town taking on Whitby Fisherman's Society in the opening match, before Fishburn Park and Sleights FC face off the following evening.
The final of the tournament will take place on Saturday, 3rd July (kick-off 3pm) at the Towbar Express Stadium at the Turnbull Ground.
The clash with Fisherman's will be Town's first outing ahead of the 2021/22 PitchingIn Northern Premier League Premier Division season and their first match since November 2020 so the inaugural Community Cup will get some much-needed game time into the legs of the Blues' players whilst also giving local footballers a chance to shine in front of what is hoped to be a healthy audience.
Speaking to The Whitby Gazette the club's Vice President Eddie McNamee said: "It's a great opportunity for ourselves and all of the other local sides to get some minutes into their legs.
"It will be the start of pre-season for most of the clubs so it's crucial that they get minutes under their belts.
"We're also bringing the local community together as well which is another huge bonus."
In his many years with Whitby Town McNamee has drawn strong links between the football club and the local community and the Community Cup will go a long way to continuing this trend.
Local footballing talent has often struggled to be recognised with opportunities limited in the area, but he believes that the four-team competition can change that with the Seasiders' joint-managers Lee Bullock and Nathan Haslam set to watch on with interest.
"This is a great opportunity for local players to impress," he explained. "Players should essentially view this as a pre-season trial.
"In the past we've often made players travel to Billingham where we train if they want to have a trial with the club so this saves them having to do that travelling.
"This is right on the doorstep for most players and it also gives Bully and Nathan a chance to have a good look at people and the players will be given the stage to shine."
After a disruptive period since March 2020 where virtually no football has been played at non-league and grassroots levels due to the pandemic, tournaments such as the Whitby Town Community Cup will also provide supporters of local football teams the opportunity to enjoy some action as it happens.
Asked to describe the importance of having supporters at games again, the Town Vice-President replied: "The last year or so has been horrific to deal with.
"It's been well over a year now since we've been able to have games without having to plan for the obstacles thrown in the way due to restrictions.
"It's not just been on match days where it's been a pain as the general running of the club has also been a nightmare in terms of our ability to function.
"Our work in the community over the last year has allowed us to strike a balance with supporting local causes, as well as the club."
Tickets for the Community Cup are now available via whitbytownfc.com. Supporters of all four competing sides are asked to purchase their tickets before attending the event.”