A Note From The Manager
Once again it gives me great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to all spectators, officials, and everyone associated with our Barclays Premiership opponents, Queens Park Rangers, for this evening’s prestigious pre-season friendly.
It was several years ago Neil kindly agreed to the request of his friend and our late Chairman Robin Fenner, to bring his then Sheffield United side to Tavistock. This evening will be the fifth time he has brought his team to Langsford Park and we do not take his generosity for granted and appreciate the support he has given us over a number of seasons.
Last year I mentioned in my programme notes that, in general, Neil’s pre-season ventures to the West Country had resulted in much success for his sides in those seasons, with promotion to the Premiership and reaching both FA Cup and League Cup semi-finals. Once again last year’s pre-season tour to the West Country was followed up with promotion to the Premiership. So with all the good omens, we hope you QPR fans will not be too disappointed that, for the second year running, you are on a pre-season-tour of the South West and success will follow you. We do hope you have an enjoyable stay in the best part of our country and a safe journey home.
We expect to face a QPR side that is very similar to the one we faced last season, but we will be expecting to give you a much sterner test this time around.
Last year we had spent most of the pre-season rebuilding our first team squad, but this time around we have had a quiet close season period with no transfers out and three new signings. The first of the new signings in our camp is 24-year old John Wyatt, the highly rated right back from Ivybridge Town. His signing was followed by the capture of 19-year old goalkeeper Dean Smith from Elburton Villa, who is a very promising prospect and he will be hoping to establish himself as our number one ‘keeper ahead of Andy Meeds and Jamie Castle. The last of our new signings is 26-year old Kofi Gyasi, an attacking right-sided midfielder who is a team mate of Lambs favourite Kojo Ofori in the British Army side. I would like to welcome all of our new players to Langsford Park and I hope that you will have a long and enjoyable stay at Tavistock AFC.
I would also like to remind our supporters that on Friday the 29th July Peter Reid will be bringing a Plymouth Argyle side to Langsford Park for Andy Meeds’ Testimonial Match. ‘Meedo’ is now close to reaching the remarkable milestone of having played 750 games for the Lambs. Andy has shown great loyalty to the Club and has enjoyed many good times as well as some very tough times. I hope this evening will be a fitting occasion for us to show our appreciation to Andy, for everything he has done at this Club and many of you will be here for the occasion.
Whilst tonight will hopefully be a great occasion, there will be a tinge of sadness as many of us will be missing the familiar face of Mike Halfyard, who sadly passed away in June. Mike leaves behind two sons, Kevin and former Lambs favourite Darren, and our thoughts are very much with them and his close friends, in particular Eric, at this difficult time. Mike was an absolute gem of a bloke and will be missed by many.
On behalf of all my management team, I would like to thank you all for your continued support and I hope that you enjoy this evening’s game and the season ahead.