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Bloaters' stalwart stands down

PUBLISHED: 11:20 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:15 03 July 2010

GREAT Yarmouth Town FC is looking for a new club secretary.

Former referee Brian Smith, who has been in the post for the past 15 years, has retired, writes Gerry Brown.

GREAT Yarmouth Town FC is looking for a new club secretary.

Former referee Brian Smith, who has been in the post for the past 15 years, has retired, writes Gerry Brown.

He said at the club's annual meeting on Monday: “I'm getting a bit long in the tooth now, and it's time to give way to a younger man - though it breaks my heart to finish.”

Tributes were paid to Mr Smith, particularly by first-team manager Paul Tong who appreciated what the club means to the dedicated and committed supporter that Mr Smith is.

Anyone interested in taking on the secretary's role for the Bloaters, or wanting further information, should contact, in the first instance, Lynda Hards by telephoning 01502 733791 (home) or 07776 301665.

In his final annual report, Mr Smith thanked all the many helpers who had come to the aid of the club this past season, and he paid tribute in particular to two hard-working members who had passed away

during the season, Chris Musk and David Needham.

Mr Smith reported that the club had won for a second time the Ridgeons League Integrity Award, worth £1,250, but due to an unfortunate combination of circumstances the club had not been represented at the league dinner at which the presentation was to have been made. League rules meant the cash award was thus forfeited and donated by the league to charity instead.

Chairman Steve Brierley, looking forward to an exciting season, reported he wished to strengthen the committee and brought forward a number of candidates who were duly elected.

Ian Griffin, Stewart Griffin and Wayne Hunter joined from the football side while Ross Allen, Simon Clarke, Tony Lewis and Lynda Hards join the committee from the business world.

Supporter John Storey also became a committee member, and there may yet be others.

Offers of help on match days have been forthcoming but there is room for more who wish to get involved - contact Lynda Hards.

Paul Tong reported on playing matters and commented that while all the players had intimated they would be re-signing for the coming season, nothing was certain until the signature was on the registration form: “I am also hoping to sign certain additions to the squad I have in mind as we try to be successful,” he said.

“Trevor Harrison, who worked with the Reserves last season, will be my assistant,” continued Tong, “and the Reserves this year will be in the capable hands of Mark Brooks, a former professional player.”

The Reserves take a step up this year as they make the switch to the Ridgeons Reserve League North Division where they will compete with the likes of Gorleston and Lowestoft, to give four more local derbies, while Diss, Leiston and Dereham are also amongst the North Division opposition.

Ian Griffin and Mark Scales will again take the Youth U18, Wayne Hunter will continue with the boys' U10 team and there may well be a further expansion of the youth set-up.

Training restarted on Monday at the Wellesley ground and continues on Wednesdays and Mondays at 6.45pm. All players, both new and returning, are welcome.

The first pre-season friendly is set for Saturday, July 11, with a first-ever visit from Sutton Town (Abacus Lighting Central Midlands League Premier).

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