Woodford Town will at least enjoy some competitive football before the end of the season as the First Team compete in the Len Cordell Memorial Cup and U23’s compete in the Len Cordell Memorial Trophy.
The competition honours a true stalwart of non-league football but also gives clubs some much needed game time to plug the gap between the end of season and preparations for the next campaign.
The Woods will want to rescue something from a very disappointing season on the pitch which had seen them at the wrong end of the table before the latest lockdown.
Club chairman Tony Scott sees this as a fresh start and was looking forward to seeing if the improved form of December could be continued.”We were looking like we’d turned a bit of a corner at West Essex,” Scott said. “I will now be looking at Dee Safer and Julian Charles to build on that and hopefully create some momentum to take forward to next season.”
The competition has been hastily arranged by Essex Senior League officials but will involve a first-team and reserve-team format along the lines of a Champions League competition.
The Woods first team compete in a group alongside Clapton, Barkingside and Redbridge, while the reserves face Sawbridgeworth Town Reserves, Walthamstow Reserves and starting with a mouthwatering clash with Harlow Town Reserves on Friday 9th April 2021.
Woodford’s U23s manager Shane Baptiste was enthusiastic about the restart and about the progress of his young team this season. “It’s been stop-start but I’d like to think we’re building a strong pool of players pushing for first-team places when the time is right,” he said.
Woodford’s U23 Assistant Manager Glen Reeves also added “There’s a lot of pulling together, on and off the pitch, and we have a system geared up to producing first-team players that can take the club forward. The future is very bright.”
The only downside is that fans will not be allowed at games but that is out of Woodford’s control.
The club have, however, decided to play the first-team ‘home’ games at Coles Park to ensure the first game back remains a momentous occasion, a fact elaborated on by media director Neil Day who also doubles as U23s coach.
Day said: “There will be those who will find it slightly puzzling that technically fans aren’t allowed to even watch the U23s on the back pitch, but we’re living in strange times.
“We want our first official game at Ashtons to be huge, so will be playing at Haringey Borough until then which is yet another knock-on effect of the long spell COVID has cast on our return home.”