It was a game of two pitches – as Swanage Town and Herston football club enjoyed a ‘bonus’ final at the end of another season marred by lockdowns.
The second team final against Bournemouth Sports Reserves, played at Milborne St Andrew, had to be halted because one of the opposition players was injured. And play – already in extra time – was transferred to a second pitch while they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
Although they lost 2-1 in the end, the runners-up title was seen as a welcome end to a ‘nightmare season’, washed out by Covid restrictions and lockdowns.
The final against Bournemouth Sports Reserves was played on two pitches
“miracle we’ve played any football”
Gerald Dimarco, club life vice-president, said:
“It’s just a mess really, so it’s a miracle that we’ve played any football at all. The competition was a little bit of a bonus.”
Training during a second season affected by lockdown was done online as the players couldn’t even meet up to practice. It was just a case of keeping up personal fitness and team morale.
In the end Swanage lost 2-1 but the final appearance was a welcome ‘bonus’
League abandoned because of Covid lockdown
The second team had beaten Wareham in a local derby semi-final to reach the finals against Bournemouth Sports Reserves, in a special knockout championship arranged after the regular league was abandoned due to Covid restrictions.
Looking to the future, the club is planning to carry out improvements to facilities at the Day’s Park ground. The pitch was drained and improved last year.
Facilities at the Day’s Park ground will be improved
Promising growth in children’s soccer
Gerald Dimarco said:
“We have got some money but we are looking to raise more.”
The club has seen a promising growth in youngsters joining its Saturday ‘Kickers’ football sessions.
There are now around 90 children registered, with attendance of more than 70 in the first two weeks. The sessions are designed for the 2-6 year olds.
The success has prompted them to look at adding sessions for older children. The club is also holding a Summer Football Camp from 2nd to 6th August 2021.
A season marred by lockdowns ended with a flourish
Town’s appetite for game is still there
Gerald Dimarco said they had been pleased with the success:
“It proves that there is definitely a need for a facility in the town and that people’s appetite for football hasn’t gone away.”
More about the children’s summer football camp, the Kickers football sessions and the adult teams can be found on the club’s website