Match Off Waterlogged Pitch
The opening friendly of the season saw our first match at Smallbrook as we took on Premier side Baffins Milton Rovers.
An entertaining game where both sides had chances to win the match. Baffins opened the scoring in the second half and Newport equalised shortly afterwards through new signing Liam Harper.
Next up were Island League side West Wight who were missing a few players due to holidays. Although the heat of the day will have done wonders for fitness levels, the match was over by half time and ended up a 16-0 win for the Port.
Another Island League side were next, Shanklin who had reached the final of the Hampshire Intermediate Cup last year, Newport winning 2-0 , both goals coming in the first half.
On Saturday 24th July, the Port entertained East Preston of the Southern Combination Football League Premier Division, the Port winning 6-1 in a strong performance.
Don Woodford 1943 – 2021
Don was a lifelong and stalwart supporter of the Port.
His footballing involvement began by becoming the youngest linesman in the Island First Division, a role he held until the age of 20.
He also played for many island sides such as Cowes, Newport Reserves, Parkhurst, Carisbrooke, Barton to name a few.
Throughout the years he held many roles in the club including serving on the Supporters Club Committee, Ground Committee and supporters trust. He loved to take his sons Dean, David and Peter to Church Litten in what was considered the golden years of the club in the Hampshire League to watch home games. When the club moved to St Georges Park this trend continued by taking his grandson Kyle with him to watch games. This is when his involvement became more in depth. He would help on match days putting the flags out and selling stand seat tickets. He would also man the barriers at the end of the game and escort the officials off of the pitch. He then became more involved with the Supporters Club and helping at car boot sales on the field and in the buffet. Latterly after the passing of Ollie and Margaret Hamilton he undertook the hospitality side of club with his wife Hazel until ill health meant she could no longer fulfill the role. He hosted the visiting match and club officials at St. George’s Park during the Beazer Homes/Dr Martins Southern League and Premier League Campaign he also travelled to away games in an ambassadorial role. He continued this role until his health meant he was unable to travel so concentrated on all home matches including the reserves again until his detrimental health meant he was unable to do this. He still followed the fortunes of the club up until his last days.
On Saturday we entertain Wessex Premier Side, Baffins Milton Rovers, for our first friendly match of the season and our first game for over six months.
Kick off at Smallbrook is 3pm, please arrive early to ensure you get in for the start, it is cash only on the turnstiles for this game but will be back to card options from our next match here. The Car Park is large and there will be marshalls on site directing you to spaces.
We will have faces old and new on the pitch so lots to be excited about, hopefully we can get back into the rhythm we were playing in before the season was brought to an end. There are approximately 400 seats at Smallbrook so please spread out to ensure social distancing is maintained. Food bar is open for snacks and drinks. Covid19 restrictions are still in place so please check in via the NHS Covid19 App or you will need to leave contact details with the turnstile stewards.
The bar area is open before the game but after the game the indoor area is reserved for players and officials to have food. The outside seated area will be open for anyone wanting a drink after the game but seating is limited. All food and drink is by table service only.
Newport have released their list of Saturday pre -season friendlies ahead of the 2021/22 Wessex League campaign.
The first match on 10th July sees Wessex Premier side Baffins Milton Rovers visit Smallbrook.
On 17th July West Wight are the opposition at the Cowes Enterprise College 3g with a 2pm kick off.
Wednesday 21st July we are away to Shanklin at the County Ground with a 6.30pm kick off.
On 24th July we return to Smallbrook to host East Preston from the Macron Southern Combination Football League Premier Division. Kick off for this is 2pm.
Tuesday 27th July we entertain Island Division 1 Champions, Whitecroft and Barton at Smallbrook with a 6.30pm kick off.
On 31st July we take a short trip across to Portsmouth to play Paulsgrove from the Hampshire Premier League.
Other midweek friendlies against Island clubs will be added to this once they are confirmed.
We are pleased to announce that Newport Football Club have reached agreement to play the 2021/22 season at Smallbrook Stadium on the outskirts of Ryde.
As part of the agreement Newport are upgrading the floodlights at the former Wessex League ground and making other improvements that allow the ground to achieve acceptable Football Association Ground Grading .
Announcing the agreement, Newport FC Chairman, Tony Wake said “We would like to thank Island Speedway and Ryde Saints for their assistance in agreeing this groundshare which will mean more use is made of an excellent local facility.”
“While we are looking forward to the new season at Smallbrook, our long-term future clearly involves a return to our own ground, and we are fully committed to creating a new home for Newport at a community sports facility hopefully to be opened in 2022.
“Our default position remains a move to a site off the Racecourse with work starting in the Autumn. There has been local support for the idea of an alternative site at Seaclose and while that does indeed have advantages – not least being closer to the town – decisions will have to be made very quickly by the local authority which owns the land if that is to remain an option.
“It the meantime, we are already making preparations for next season and look forward to welcoming our fans to Smallbrook and its facilities.”
Photo from left to right: Sarah Green IW Speedway Smallbrook Stadium Manager, Stewart Shepherd Newport FC, Andy Brown Ryde Saints Manager, Steve Brougham Newport FC.
Everyone at Newport Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing this week of long term volunteer, committee member and supporter, Arthur Downer.
Arthur was more than a volunteer for the club, he was friend and companion to everyone.
In volunteering, he never flinched from a task set before him – in fact he would often be the first in line, whether it be heavy lifting, fence work or simply trailing a mower around – whatever the task, Arthur would be off doing the job before anyone else even had time to think about it.
But Arthur’s input to the club was far more than this. At meetings and debates, he would often be at the forefront with ideas and suggestions to promote the club. At no matter what level of importance or otherwise of the debate, Arthur’s views were always taken with the respect that they deserved; especially at his senior status after so many years at the club.
So we have lost a dear friend, one of the central cogs of the workings of Newport (IW) FC; and to Arthur’s family we offer our most sincere condolences at your sad loss and can only say thank you for allowing us a share of his time.
Island Saturday League football returned last week and Newport Football Club is represented through our A team.
The youngsters have found the Island League Division 2 tough as many of them played their first season of mens football. The enforced break because of lockdown has seen a resurgence as the team have gained their first points in the league. Last Saturday a 2-2 draw away to Yarmouth and Calbourne was followed up midweek with a 3-0 win at home to Wroxall.
On Saturday, the A team continue with a home match against Seaview at Northwood Rec, kick off at 2.00pm. Hopefully we shall all be able to watch a game soon.
Other Newport players have signed Island League forms to play for clubs for the rest of the season. Joe Craig, Martin McDonough, Ryan Hughes and Jake Wright have all signed for Whitecroft and Barton. Connor Kelly has signed for Ryde Saints. Ventnor have signed Neo Lamb and Harrison Yates, others have gone to Carisbrooke United, Niton, Pan Sports and Brading.
Isle of Wight Councillor for Newport North – Matt Price – is seeking public feedback on a new proposal to rehome the County Town’s football club at a rejuvenated Seaclose Park
Under the scheme, Newport FC would return to the parish of Newport, rather than move to its approved new stadium at the Racecourse as part of a series of recreational improvements to Seaclose aimed at encouraging greater community use of the park.These enhancements would include the marking out of football and cricket pitches in other areas of the park, the introduction of new removable sports equipment and upgraded walking and cycling routes.
The centrepiece of the plan is a new football ground with a grandstand, clubhouse, floodlights and the latest all-weather pitch – in the south-western corner of the park – that would be available for organised community use, while providing a new home for Newport FC who are currently hosted by footballing rivals East Cowes Vics.
Matt said the Seaclose idea came about last year during discussions about the relocation of Newport FC as part of plans for a retail park at the club’s former home at St George’s Park. Though the developer has permission for a new ground at the Racecourse at Whippingham, Matt believes the Seaclose alternative should be revisited as it had the potential to provide much wider community benefit. Crucially for Newport FC fans, the new location – just a short, walk or cycle from the town centre – would bring the 130-year-old club much closer to the heart of Newport than the consented Racecourse alternative.
The new ground – to the south of the planning offices and to the west of the bowling green – would continue to be owned by the IW Council. Newport FC would pay a peppercorn rent (as anchor tenant), with a condition that other community uses – including women’s football, youth football and also sport for those with disabilities – should take place at the venue.
Cllr Price said: “Having seen off proposals to build 40 houses on land at Seaclose Park, it is right that we now look at how sports and recreational provision can be enhanced in this location. We have the opportunity to create both a top-class new home for Newport FC and also an excellent recreational facility for wider community use, along with a significantly improved skatepark (incorporating a pump track), similar to what has been put forward in Freshwater. It is well worth exploring, particularly as we need more outdoor facilities for people of all ages to enjoy.
As local member, I can see that providing a new football ground in either location would work but the Seaclose alternative ensures that Newport FC remains in Newport, while also being much more accessible and offering greater immediate community benefits. The Seaclose option incorporates all the facilities included in the Racecourse plan – and more – so ultimately we have to decide which of these locations would be best.”
The Seaclose alternative is already supported, in principle, by the Newport FC Supporters Trust, while Matt said initial feedback from other elected members in the wider Newport & Carisbrooke parish area had also been positive.
But he said any new facility must not adversely affect the future of the Isle of Wight Festival at Seaclose Park. He added:
“The proposed area sits to the south of the main area used for hosting the Festival, but I recognise it does provide an area which is used in support. However, I believe this proposal can actually enhance and complement the festival site by providing additional hard standing backstage hospitality and accommodation. The scheme has been worked up with the festival’s requirements in mind.”
Pete Westhorpe, Secretary of Newport FC Supporters’ Trust, added:
“A move to Whippingham would give us a high-quality new ground, but I believe supporters would prefer this closer to the town centre if this could be delivered swiftly.
“Moving to Seaclose and bringing the club back into Newport would have its attractions for supporters and as such I welcome Cllrs Price’s initiative.”
Tony Wake, chairman of Newport Football Club and director of South Coast Leisure said: “The Whippingham site is where we have planned to relocate the club and we expect to make a start on the build towards the end of the summer but, time permitting,
“I am happy to keep the Seaclose alternative on the table for now should the council and the public agree it is better option.”
To complete the survey and provide feedback to Matt , please click here .
Just to update everyone on what is happening in the Wessex Football world.
Each club has been asked to complete a survey on how we should proceed, suggestions include End null and void, Promotion on Points per game and Postponment of current season to resume after the summer. We have completed our survey which has gone forward with other clubs and the FA will make the final decision.
For everybody who has bought tickets for the East Cowes Vics match, we have your contact details which we took for Track and Trace, when things are safer to meet and once the FA have decided on what is happening with the season you will have the choice of returning the tickets for a full refund or keeping them for the rearranged match, should that be the decision.
We will keep you posted when we know more.