Bristol Manor Farm’s pre-season schedule gets underway next Tuesday evening, as the Farm travel to Merthyr Town with a fresh challenge in its sights.
The Farm was due to play next week’s opponents twice in the Southern League Division One South this season, however, due to the sad demise of Walton Casuals FC, the Martyrs were reinstated back into the Premier South, the division in which they were relegated from at the end of the 2021/22 season.
It’s been full steam ahead as far as matters are concerned at The Creek, with the club making a whopping 10 signings over the past two weeks – including three more off-field acquisitions to join Manager Lee Lashenko and Assistant Grantley Dicks.
Steve Kingdon and Mason Winter were the first pair of the second batch of signings announced last week. Kingdon was paired with Josh Ford for most of the 2021/22 season, adding his no-nonsense approach and experience to the Farm’s back line. Winter soon made two become three as the pulsating fullback too agreed to terms ahead of next season. Winter’s performance levels continued to grow rapidly last season, with the defender proving to be a real asset at both ends of the pitch – including scoring against his former club Larkhall at the tail end of the season.
Next to join the pair was the club’s longest-serving player, Lloyd Mills, who now enters his tenth season at The Creek. Mills has been there for arguably our most ambitious and successful period in our proud history- including winning the Toolstation Cup and Western Premier division – and we’re glad to see the midfielder return to BS9.
Stuart Tovey confirmed he will also be on the Farm’s coaching and playing teams in the coming year, joining Lashenko and Dicks on the touchline. Since joining the Farm a few seasons ago, Stow has played a crucial role in helping the Farm reach a division play-off final, filling in for Lashenko who was absent during a short period of last season.
The ever-reliable Sam Boulton too was added to the Farm’s defensive roster, as well as expolosive striker Ben Bament. Boults came to The Creek at the back-end of the interrupted 20/21 season, and has returned to The Creek for his third season with us. Benny B too played a pivotal role last year, scoring seven goals in the Southern League across multiple forward positions.
Last season’s skipper, Aron Robbins, was announced on the club’s first night of pre-season training alongside midfielder Theo Llewellyn. Robbins has made a number of apperances for the club in the Western League and Southern League, including playing alongside Mills in our triumphant Western League title wininng season in 16/17. Llewellyn joined last summer from Alvechurch, and instantly became at hit at The Creek – attracting interest from a number of club’s including Tuesday’s opponents Merthyr Town. Lwellyn’s workrate is unparralled and we look forward to seeing him back in our midfield.
Two younger players were drafted into Lashenko’s first-team, but both are already well-qualified. The first being Harry Lucas, a former U18’s player who can play in many positions and helped the club win the Western Counties Floodlight Youth League. Second, Evander Grubb marked his return to the club this week from the Huddersfield Town Academy. Grubb made history in the FA Cup for the Farm, becoming the youngest ever scorer in the competition at just 16 years and 54 days. The goal came as part of a socring brace against Cadbury Heath on 12 September 2020.
Off the field, Manager Lashenko confirmed that John Chilcott, Phil ‘Hammers’ Giles, and Rich Lloyd will be taking care of kit person duties for the 2022/23 season.
Previously, Hammers managed the club’s kit before last season, and will now share the role with current Kitman John Chilcott, as well as U18’s Secretary Richard Lloyd.