Vanarama.co.uk, the market disrupting van leasing business is the new title sponsor of the Football Conference. The partnership was launched today in the presence of member clubs and will see the commercial vehicle specialists take the naming rights for all 1,476 games a season across the three divisions in 2014/15. To mark the launch of the partnership, Vanarama will bring back the competitions traditional name after a 7 year absence. From the start of the new season the league shall be known as the Vanarama Conference, Vanarama Conference North and Vanarama Conference South. The deal is a statement of intent for Vanarama joining Barclays Bank plc and Sky Bet as one of only three title partners of the top tier of English football. Vanarama will use the Vanarama Conference platform to further build rapid UK wide awareness and understanding of the Vanarama business via the League’s established national; regional and social media platforms.
Vanarama.co.uk is part of the Autorama Group of companies. Vanarama are specialists in van, pickup truck and car leasing, where customers lease their vehicles instead of buying them. A company of football fans, Vanarama will support the sponsorship with a series of fan-based initiatives. The first of these initiatives is for each club’s community scheme to earn from every car or van leased from Vanarama, or one of its sister companies through a special Club offer. The partnership was negotiated by sports marketing agency SportQuake who will also assist in managing and delivering the national sponsorship campaign. SportQuake specialise in helping consumer brands and rights owners to deliver commercial and cultural value through sport. This year SportQuake has already completed over 100 football partnership deals including major transactions with all 20 English Premier League clubs. The first game in the new Vanarama Conference will take place on Saturday 9th August 2014 seeing Bristol Rovers FC host Grimsby Town FC at 12.45pm live on BT Sport.
Andy Alderson, Vanarama.co.uk’ s Managing Director, said: “With the Construction sector predicted to play a major role in the growth of the UK economy over the next few years Britain’s van drivers, our customers, will be at their busiest since the peak of 2007. Our research shows a clear fit between our customers and football fans UK wide and as soon as I became aware of this unique opportunity to become such an important part of the national game I just had to get involved.”
Brian Lee, Chairman of the Football Conference said: “I am sure I speak for the whole of the Football Conference family, in welcoming such a competitive and innovative brand as Vanarama, to become our new Title Sponsor. We all look forward to working with Andy and his first class committed team to establish a partnership going forward which will be of major benefit to both over the next few years. Branding is a key element in this sponsorship for Vanarama, who will now be able to link their rapidly growing name, allied to our national sport through our position in it, backed with vibrant media coverage”.
Bath Building Society has been unveiled as the sponsor for the recently launched new look Bath City FC website. Steve Matthews, Head of Mortgages said, “We have been supporting the club in numerous ways over many years and we are delighted to be sponsoring the website for the new season. It is important to the Society that we support our local community, whether through our Annual Charity Awards or through direct sponsorship, as with the football club. We wish the club all the best in their quest for promotion in the months ahead.” Paul Williams, Bath City Chairman added, “The Club thanks Bath Building Society for its sponsorship of the new look web site and for its continuing support. We hope to be able to develop further our links with such a prestigious organisation in the coming years.”
Bath City FC are delighted to announce a new sponsorship deal for their Academy from German manufacturing company Joseph Rettenmaier & Sons (JRS), whose UK sales agent are AJM Pet Products, owned by Bath City director Andrew Pierce. The arrangement will see the JRS logo on the front of the shirts, and came about when JRS sales director, Gerhard Auer, himself a keen Borussia Monchengladbach fan, heard about the Bath City Academy, and the excellent results it was getting, both in keeping young people in further education, and developing their football skills at the same time.
JRS is very much a community focused company, being the largest employer in the area surrounding the small town of Ellwangen in Southern Germany, and supports projects both in the local area and around the globe that are aimed at helping young people. Mr Auer said, “JRS is delighted to be sponsoring the Bath City Academy, and support the excellent work it is doing. We wish the Academy every success for the coming season, and will be watching the results with interest”.
For Bath City Chairman Paul Williams said, “With the move to the City of Bath College from next season this is a very important time in the development of the Academy, and I would like to thank JRS for their support”.
Somewhat belatedly City striker Dave Pratt received the Conference South April player of the month award ahead of yesterday’s match against Cheltenham Town. The Romans 2013-14 top scorer netted seven goals in the final five games of the season, taking his tally to 18 for the campaign, and was presented with the award by City Chairman Paul Williams.
Despite temperatues in the high 20s at Twerton Park this afternoon, City and Cheltenham Town produced an entertaining friendly which finished one goal apiece. The Sky Bet League 2 club sent a strong side down the M5 and they enjoyed the better of the early possession. However, City were looking the more threatening in attack, Ross Stearn firing wide following a good build-up then two last ditch blocks denying Dave Pratt. Stearn also blasted over from 12 yards after Martin Slocombe picked him out but on 38 minutes he made up for this miss, racing onto Frankie Artus’ pass and sliding the ball past Carson. The early exchanges after the interval followed a similar pattern but as the half progressed City understandably began to slow in the heat, and regular substitutions from the visitors larger squad saw them take control of the game. City still restricted the Robins to a handful of half-chances but with 14 minutes left the referee ajudged that Andy Gallinagh’s challenge on Hanks in the box was a foul and Richards drove the penalty straight down the middle to level the scores. City almost regained the lead immediately when Pratt – who received the Conference South April Player of the Month award before kick-off – headed an Artus free-kick inches wide and this turned out to be the closest either side came to adding to the scoring during the closing stages. City complete their pre-season campaign next Saturday with a trip to Southern League Yate Town (ko 3pm).
City’s trip to Conference South newcomers Wealdstone, originally scheduled for Monday 8 September, has been put back 24 hours to Tuesday 9 September (ko 7.45pm). This is to avoid a clash with England’s Euro 2016 qualifying game against Switzerland.
City will hold a Meet the Management evening on Monday 4 August in the TR Hayes Lounge. The meeting will begin at 7.30pm and all supporters are welcome to attend.
City fans are being given the chance to play at the home of their footballing heroes, Twerton Park, this weekend and raise funds for the club’s 2014-15 Conference South campaign. Supporters of all ages, ability and fitness are being invited to don their boots on Sunday, July 27 for an afternoon of fun, inclusive and casual football. The game will kick-off at 1pm and involve rolling substitutions. It costs £15 per person to play, with all money raised going towards covering the football club’s budget deficit. City strip will be provided. To sign up or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Pat Keary header eight minutes from time secured City a 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers in their latest pre-season outing at Twerton Park this afternoon. Trialist Keary – who was released by the Pirates at the end of last season – rose to head home Ross Stearn’s inswinging corner and decide the evenly matched contest. The visitors – facing a first season as a non-league club since 1920 – fielded a mixture of first-team, youth and trialists as they look to bounce back to the Football League at the first attempt. Clear cut openings were at a premium during the first half, Andy Watkins forcing a fine stop from teenage keeper Preston then shooting narrowly wide, whilst Gosling twice fired free-kicks straight at Jason Mellor for the Pirates. The half ended with Preston producing another good save, this time from Stearn, then Rovers’ Ward-Baptiste somehow heading wide from just a few feet out. City suffered a injury worry when striker Chas Hemmings limped off midway through the half then early in the second period keeper Mellor fell heavily on his right shoulder but after treatment could continue between the posts. City were beginning to gain the upper hand, Dave Pratt testing Preston again and Stearn dragging a shot wide. In-between Mellor denied Lucas with his legs but the Romans were looking more likely to break the deadlock. Dan Ball and Stearn, twice, saw chances come and go before Keary finally beat Preston. Stearn could have added to the scoring after this but City will have been pleased with another good workout and a morale-boosting victory.
City are due to unveil their new 125th anniversary home kit when Bristol Rovers visit Twerton Park this Saturday (ko 3pm). This is the first kit to be unveiled since the club agreed its two-year partnership with German sportswear company Jako. City’s new home kit is available to pre-order on Saturday at half-time and post-match in Charlie’s. A reminder that admission prices for the Rovers match are: Adults £10, Over 65s/Under 18s/Students £5, U16s £1.
A penalty eight minutes from time saw City suffer their first defeat of pre-season against a Swansea City U21 side at Twerton Park this evening. The spot kick – calmly converted by Hedges – was awarded following a challenge by Pat Keary to complete an impressive comeback from the visitors after City had led at the interval. City had been pushed back in the opening stages, with keeper Sam Butler alert to a couple of threatening balls forward. So, it was somewhat against the run of play on 24 minutes Andy Watkins got behind the Swans defence to lift the ball over Zabret. The game was largely scrappy after this but just past the hour mark a well-struck shot from Fallon levelled the scores. Neither side could gain any momentum after this with the usual regular substitutions but just when the game looked to be heading for a draw the referee intervened to allow the Welsh side to secure the victory.
City enjoyed an excellent workout at a warm and sunny Twerton Park this afternoon, holding Championship side Cardiff City to a 1-1 draw. City were understandably forced to defend for long periods – particularly during the first half – but also showed flashes of attacking threat that bodes well for the forthcoming season. Jason Mellor dealt well with several efforts from the Welsh side although he was beaten by Macheda midway through the half only for the rising shot to strike the top of the crossbar. The was as close at the Bluebirds would come during the first period and City finished the half well, Andy Watkins nearly lifting the ball over keeper Moore and Dave Pratt heading narrowly over. Cardiff changed all ten outfield players at the interval and continued to fashion a number of openings before the deadlock was finally broken on 66 minutes when Berger’s low shot beat Mellor. Despite regular changes for City they increasingly looked threatening on the attack and, with eleven minutes left, Chas Hemmings outmuscled a defender near the goalline to pull the ball back to Jordan Ricketts and his cross was fired into the roof of the net by ex-Cardiff trainee Zak Evans. Both sides had chances to win the game after this but neither could find the net, City’s best chance following further good work from Hemmings which set up Ricketts for a low shot that was comfortably saved by Moore.
Bath City is pleased to announce that Phil Walsh has accepted an offer to sign for the club for the new season. The paperwork has been completed today in advance of the match against Cardiff City. Walsh returned to the club in March – having spent three seasons at Twerton Park between 2005 and 2008 – and was on the losing side just once in eleven appearances that saw City narrowly miss out on a Conference South play-off place.
City have released further matchday information ahead of the Bluebirds visit to Twerton Park tomorrow. The match has attracted great interest from Cardiff City supporters and they will now be segregated in both the Popular Side and Bristol End of the ground with seating available in the family stand. Bath City would like to extend their apologies in advance for any inconvenience this may cause home supporters for this ‘one off’ pre-season friendly and would remind them that seats will be available in the main grandstand at no extra cost. Admission prices are: Adults £10, Over 65s/Under 18s/Students £5, U16s £1. Turnstiles will be open from 12.30, and people are asked to arrive early to ensure easy access.
City began their preparations for the 2014-15 season with a 2-0 victory at Southern League newcomers Larkhall Atheltic this evening. They began the match with a youthful line-up but went ahead after just four minutes when the home keeper failed to deal with a back-pass allowing Jordan Ricketts to walk the ball into the net. The Western League champions responded well, twice forcing former Bristol Rovers youth keeper Sam Butler into fine stops. Ryan Mitchell also headed two efforts off the line but midway through the half the hosts had a great chance to level when triallist Pat Keary was adjudged to have handled in the box. However, Butler once again came to City’s rescue, saving the resultant spot-kick. City ended the half strongly, with Ricketts and new signing Frankie Artus striking the frame of the goal and the former also being denied when clean through on goal. As usual in pre-season matches the second half was regularly disrupted by substitutions and the only addition to the scoring came on 70 minutes when Dave Pratt’s low shot found the corner of the net via a slight deflection off a Larks defender. City are next in action on Saturday when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brings his Cardiff City side to Twerton Park (ko 2pm).
City have released further matchday information ahead of the Bluebirds visit to Twerton Park this Saturday. Admission prices are: Adults £10, Over 65s/Under 18s/Students £5, U16s £1. Charlie’s and Randall’s will be open from 12.00 noon, with food on sale inside. Both bars will be closed at half time. Additionally extra catering facilities will be provided inside the ground. Turnstiles will be open from 12.30, and people are asked to arrive early to ensure easy access. Cardiff City supporters will be segregated in the Bristol End of the ground with seating available in the family stand.
City have added a further home pre-season match, with Championship side Cardiff City visiting Twerton Park on Saturday 12 July (ko 2pm). The Bluebirds were due to face Hereford United on that date but the troubled Southern League club are currently unable to play games at their Edgar Street home. The Welsh side are set to send a full-strength squad to face the Romans ahead of an Austrian tour and admission prices are: Adults £10, Over 65s/Under 18s/Students £5, U16s £1.
City will open a sixth successive season on the road following the the publication of the 2014-15 Conference South fixtures today. They will head to Canvey Island on Saturday 9 August to face Concord Rangers, coincidently the same location they completed their 2013-14 campaign with a 2-0 win. The first visitors to Twerton Park are Basingstoke Town on Tuesday 12 August before Chelmsford City head to the West Country the following Saturday. Weston Super Mare provide the usual Christmas and New Year opposition and the regular season will come to a close at Staines Town on Saturday 25 April. The full fixture list can be found at the Results & Fixtures link above.
The draw for the 2014-15 Somerset Premier Cup has given City a 1st Round trip to Radstock Town. The game will take place the week commencing September 29.
Long-serving midfielder Adam Connolly has joined Conference North side Gloucester City. The 28-year old former Cheltenham Town player joined City from Hednesford United in September 2008 and soon became an integral part of the Romans midfield. He was named joint player of the season during the club’s promotion season of 2009-10 and went on to make 274 appearances, scoring 16 goals. All at the club thank him for his time at Twerton Park and wish him the all the best at Gloucester.
Following the shirt sponsorship draw in the TR Hayes Premier Lounge last night, Bath City Football Club is delighted to announce the winner of the draw was family business, Tilleys Bistro of North Parade Passage, Bath. This will be the name which will appear on the front of Bath City’s home and away shirts in their 125th Anniversary season. Dave Mott of Tilleys, who has a long association with the Club, was thrilled at being drawn out first and is looking forward to developing stronger links with the Club in the coming season. Other prize winners in the draw were Timsbury Preservation Services, Frome Signs, St Catherines Seeds and Mannings Harlequin. The Club would like to thank all of the businesses who entered the draw and look forward to their further involvement in our 125th anniversary season.