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Ascot Make Changes After Ending On A High - 23 May

As the curtain came down on the season at the end of April, Ascot United announced that manager Neil Richards will re-join the board at Ascot United in the role of Director of Football. Neil will be responsible for all football development at the club.

His first job was to appoint a new first team manager and he was delighted to announce that Jamie Tompkins accepted the role for the 2018/19 season. Talking about the appointment Neil said “Jamie has shown incredible commitment to Ascot United over the last 18 months in both his role as Development team manager and head coach of the first team. He has the complete respect of the current squad and the full support of the board. I am confident that Jamie will set new standards and drive the senior section forward over the next few years in what is an exciting and transformational period for the club”.

Mike Harrison said that “on behalf of everyone at the club we are very grateful to Neil, Jamie and of course the players for what they a have achieved after a difficult start to the season and [at the time of writing] we still have [had] a cup semi-final to play. We can look forward with real optimism to next season in the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division, with Jamie at the helm, a young and improving squad, and Neil leading football development throughout the whole club.

Shortly afterwards, incoming manager Tompkins announced his new management team. “I am delighted to announce that Aaron Steadman and Dan Masters will be joining our management team for the 2018/19 season. Aaron and Dan both join us after overseeing a successful spell at Maidenhead United’s U23, U18 and U16 Development teams. During their tenure at Maidenhead they consistently won trophies and, more importantly, developed players to reach their full potential. They will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the club, which matches our long-term ambitions. Alexia Sawdon and Bjorn Dunkley will continue at the club as physiotherapist and assistant coach.
Finally, I would like to thank Neil and the board for the opportunity to step up to the position of first team manager during an exciting time for Ascot United F.C., and I look forward to the club’s continued progression.”

The Yellamen’s season ended after the cup semi-final noted above, although that defeat [at Flackwell Heath] couldn’t overshadow a remarkable upturn in form that saw them win five out of six matches in all competitions leading up to that semi-final, to finish 11 points above the drop zone in 14th place. Even more remarkable was the fact they were bottom of the table half way through the season after two dismal winless streaks. However, the squad remained committed to the cause and determined to dig themselves out of trouble – which they duly did in style.

The Racecourse faithful are now excited at the prospect of their new management team and players carrying their form into 2018-19.

 

No Half Measures For Likeable Locky In Charity Run - 14 May

Popular Ascot United defender George Lock switched his football boots for running trainers in aid of a local charity last weekend. “Locky”, as he is known to the local footballing fraternity, ran the Bracknell Half Marathon on Sunday 13th May in aid of Sebastian’s Action Trust.

However, whilst Lock completed the undulating course in a stunning one hour, 36 minutes and 57 seconds, finishing 73rd out of almost 1000 finishers, his motivation to run was borne out of tragic illness to his “exceptionally close” friend Josh Gowers.

Sebastian’s Action Trust provides provides respite, holidays and vital support to seriously-ill children and their families, and Lock vowed to meet Josh - bravely battling cancer for the third time - at the end of the race on Sunday. Sadly, Josh was too unwell to get to the finish line to watch the 19-year old race home, but Josh’s mother was on hand to celebrate his achievement.

Turning to social media (https://twitter.com/GeorgeLock28) after the event, Lock joked on Twitter “maybe I’ll train next year”, prompting new Ascot United manager Jamie Tompkins to reply “very well done, I’ll join you next year”; a statement he may yet come to regret!

At the time of writing, Lock is just shy of his £1000 fundraising target, but with the help and support of everyone and anyone reading this, we will all help Josh – and others like him both today and tomorrow – be stronger in the fight against cancer.

So, please visit George’s page (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/george-lock28) and donate today. This is a special player who undertook a special act in support of a special friend.

 

FA Chairman Visits Ascot United - 11 December

Ascot United were delighted to welcome FA Chairman Greg Clarke to The Racecourse Ground on Saturday afternoon.

Greg joined some of the directors for a buffet lunch and met a number of our volunteers including AGCs and Team Managers. He also spent time with the Fairford Town Chairman and officials and met the match officials and team managers after the game.

It was a really good afternoon seeing a rejuvenated Ascot team beating Fairford 4-2 in a hard fought but very entertaining match.

Image L/R: Doug Page, Mike Harrison, Greg Clarke and Neal Jeffs. Not often you see two Leicester City supporters at the club!!!

 

"Age is just a number" - 4 December

Ascot United match reporter and programme editor Neal Jeffs is hoping is running exploits will continue to show others than age is no barrier to success.

The 42-year old has enjoyed something of a purple patch in competitions this year. In May, he won the veteran 40+ category in the Bracknell half marathon, before winning a 5k whilst in the U.S and then finishing fourth overall in the Henley half marathon in October when he came close to his personal best. And, as recently as two weeks ago, he ran alone at the front to break 3 hours in a low-key midweek full marathon in Walton on Thames – before going to work in the afternoon!

“I have to work hard to stay in shape but I also think there is more to come. I’m inspired by players such as Barry Hayles who is still knocking the goals in for Windsor at 45. I remember going with my Dad to see him play for Stevenage against Woking when I was a teenager, and that was before I even started running seriously. Here he is still going strong. I want to shake his hand next time I see him. I read all this stuff about “veteran goalkeepers” at 31 years of age and it makes me laugh. So what? If you’ve still got the desire and appetite for it and you look after yourself then it’s just a number. Even our former boss Jeff Lamb who is now at Bracknell was turning out for us regularly, and I think everyone had lost count of his age!”

 

neil richards ascot united manager hellenic elagueConfident Of Improved Results - 30 November

Ascot United manager Neil Richards remains confident his side can haul themselves out of trouble in the Uhlsport Hellenic League.

The Yellamen are joint bottom of the Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division with more than half their fixtures completed following their 2-0 reverse at Longlevens on Saturday and on current form, it's not looking bright for a club more used to being in the top six.

However, Richards remains optimistic about the rest of the season, particularly as he has started to strengthen his squad. Last week he signed Trevor Muerto, previously with league rivals Highmoor Ibis and a product of Reading FC's Academy, having earlier brought in experienced striker Ben Harris and seen Matt Jones return after a long lay-off with a knee injury.

Richards said: "Our performances over the last few weeks have been getting better and with Matt back and Ben now here, we should have the cutting edge that's been lacking. I am absolutely confident we can get out of trouble and climb the table. Just a couple of wins or so will take us up. We are looking more solid at the back these days and not losing heavily. When we get players back from injury and the new players settle in then I think we will be in good shape."

The Yellamen certainly gave an encouraging display against a Milton Keynes Dons side containing six professionals when losing 2-0 in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup on Wednesday of last week. "I was really pleased with our performance," added Richards. "The lads acquitted themselves very well and I was pleased with their effort. We were unlucky not to have got a goal or two back. There were some really good quality in their team, so it was a good test for our lads to go up against players like that."

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