For the first time since 2008-09 City have reached the 2nd Round of the Somerset Premier Cup after they received a 1st Round bye for the 2012-13 competition. There they will face a trip to Toolstation League Division 1 side Wellington AFC. This will be the first time City have faced the Somerset club since 1997 when they met at the same stage of the County Cup, with the Romans running out 7-0 winners at Twerton Park, the final goal scored by goalkeeper Mark Hervin from the penalty spot. The tie will take place week commencing Monday 5 November.
City haved announced the signing of Luke Cummings for the season 2012-13. The 20-year old played for Neath last season, after being released by Cardiff City in 2010, and plays either at right back or further on in midfield. Manager Adrian Britton said, “I tried to sign Luke two years ago at 18 when he left Cardiff. He is now much stronger and I believe he will excite the fans getting forward.” Luke added, “I want to play at a higher standard than Welsh Premier League and although I had offers from other Welsh sides, with Bath City I have the perfect opportunity to further my footballing career. I can’t wait for the season to start, and I really want to thank Lanes Health for sponsoring me this season with the Dave Palmer memorial award, I hope to do them proud.” George Tidy of Lanes Health commented, “This is the second year we have sponsored this award, and for us a great way to keep Dave’s legacy alive is to honour his commitment to developing young footballers in a tangible way by offering a different young player a chance every season at Bath City, the club so close to Dave’s heart.”
Two released players from City’s 2010-11 squad have made the short move to Southern League Chippenham Town. Striker Lee Phillips and midfielder Josh Egan have signed for the Bluebirds for the forthcoming season, along with another ex-Roman, Scott Rogers, as they look mount a promotion challenge to the Conference South.
Adam Connolly has become the latest player to re-sign for City for the 2012-13 season. The influential midfielder, who was joint player of the season during the club’s promotion campaign two years ago, originally switched to Twerton Park in October 2008 and is approaching 200 appearances for the Romans. Manager Adrian Britton commented “I’m delighted Adam has re-signed, he is the engine room of the team. I believe that he will help us provide the quota of goals we require from the midfield for next season in BSS.” Adam added “Im really pleased to sign again for Bath City, looking forward to righting a few wrongs from the last season and a very successful next one.” Chairman Manda Rigby also welcomed this latest signing, saying “Obviously the choice of players is down to the management team, but I am very pleased with the way the squad is shaping up and the time we are taking to ensure we get the best players possible for each position given the limitations of finance. I am particularly pleased at the way we are making part time status and our geographical location as much of a benefit as a demerit as we can.”
Adie Harris has returned to Twerton Park for a fourth spell after signing for the 2012-13 season. The combative midfielder became a firm fans favourite during his three previous stints with the club, playing in both City’s Southern League title winning season and Conference South play-off success. Harris had been offered a contract by two other clubs in Conference South, and also one from the League of Wales, but chose to return to City. “I can’t believe I am actually coming back,” he said, “I thought my last game in a Bath City shirt was when we beat Mansfield 2-0. I had an offer from a club much closer to home, which ticked all the boxes, but in the end I couldn’t resist coming back. I love this club and hopefully will play a part in getting it back to where it belongs”. Manager Adie Britton added, “It is good to have Adie back at the club. He is a big personality and his enthusiasm is infectious. His ball winning capability along with his aerial power will be important in the coming season.”
Goalkeeper Glyn Garner has agreed a new deal to keep him with City for the forthcoming season. The former Welsh international signed from Newport County in July 2011 and went on to play in 40 of the club’s 53 games last season. The experienced 35-year old is once again likely to start the season as City’s no.1 with recent new arrival from Clevedon Town Jason Mellor providing back up.
One player who will not be returning is forward Jamie Cook after he signed for Conference South newcomers Oxford City.
City have confirmed three further pre-season matches all away to Evostick Southern League Division 1 South & West sides. They will travel to Cirencester Town on Tuesday 24 July before heading to Clevedon Town on Tuesday 7 August then Yate Town four days later on Saturday 11 August. Kick off times in all three games to be confirmed. City already have scheduled two home friendlies against Championship opposition, Crystal Palace on Friday 20 July (ko 7pm) and Burnley on Tuesday 31 July (ko 7.30pm).
City have announced that the 2012 AGM will be held on Friday 6 July in the Moore Stephens Lounge at Mayday Trust Park, starting at 7pm. Papers for the AGM will be sent to shareholders over the next week. And immediately following the AGM will be a Meet the Manager/Chairman evening, where supporters will get the opportunity to quiz Adie Britton and Manda Rigby on the forthcoming season, the recently published Strategy Document & Report plus any other City-related topic.
Lewis Hogg has joined Conference North side Gloucester City after turning down a new contract at Twerton Park. The 29-year old former Bristol Rovers midfielder spent six seasons with City after moving from Weston Super Mare in June 2006 for £4000. He was instrumental in both City’s 2006-07 Southern League title win and the Conference South play-off success three years later and will team up with two other members of those squads, Matt Coupe and Darren Edwards, at the Tigers. In total he played 239 games for City, scoring 37 goals, although he will also be remembered for his displinary record, picking up 69 cautions and six red cards during that time.
City will wear yellow and blue for the first time in seven years after revealing their home and away strips for the 2012-13 season. Whilst the home kit remains the traditional black and stripes, the Joma produced change shirt is predominately yellow with blue trim. The 2005-06 season was the last time City played in this colour combination, with either red or light blue the choice in recent years. To see both the home and away kits click on the links below.
The shirts will be available through City’s official kit supplier Boca Soccer along with a wide range of other merchandise.
City’s chairman Manda Rigby has revealed she has put £140,000 of her own money into the club since taking over the hot-seat ten months ago. This includes a £75,000 loan, which has been matched from a number of other sources, to help cover an anticipated shortfall of £150,000 between now and 2015. By that stage the club hope to have either revamped Twerton Park or secured a deal for a new stadium in the city, allowing for repayment all outstanding loans. Rigby said, “A lot of last season was pretty hairy and at times it was getting pretty close to us worrying about who we could afford to pay at the end of the month. It’s not as though I’ve got £140,000 lying around in a current account and I’m wondering what to do with it. That’s not the case at all. It is just really hard not to do it. This has caused so much pain but if you believe something is worth it then you do what you need to do.” She added, “”We needed to buy ourselves some time in that regard and the £150,000 loan we secured at the end of May will help us do that. We are actively talking to people about Mayday Trust Park [as Twerton Park will be known next season] or the possibility of a land swap. But if there is no progress at the end of year two then we would have to actively market the club for investors. It is a lovely club and I can’t understand why it didn’t attract more interest last time this was looked into. What we’re not going to do is get desperate. We want people to come to us for the football, rather than just seeing Mayday Trust Park as an asset they can sell off.”
City’s build-up to the 2012-13 season has continued with the signing of experienced midfielder Josh Low from League 2 Cheltenham Town. Subject to the final paperwork the Bristol born 33-year old will switch to Twerton Park, having made 121 appearances and scored 14 times for the Robins. He began his career with Bristol Rovers before enjoying spells with Cardiff City, Northampton Town and Peterborough United. City manager Adie Britton said “I have been trying to get Josh for 18 months. He is a great professional and one we are particularly pleased to sign. His energy and pace will improve our attacking threat considerably”. Josh added, “I am really pleased to be joining Bath, I know I am joining a team that will be fighting for promotion next season, and that excites me. I look forward to working with Adie Britton, someone I have heard many good things about from players that have worked with him in the past. I also look forward to playing and scoring at Twerton Park a ground I made my league debut at when I was 17”.
City’s 2011-12 player of the season Sekani Simpson has signed a new deal to remain at Twerton Park for the 2012-13 campaign. The 28-year old former Bristol City trainee joined City in October 2006 and passed the milestone of 250 appearances last season. Remarkably for a defender he has only picked up five bookings during those games and has been one of the club’s most consistent performers in recent seasons. He joins Jim Rollo and Marc Canham in re-signing for the new season, along with new signing, goalkeeper Jason Mellor.