VICS will play their first match in front of spectators since mid March when they take on Prestwich Heys in their penultimate pre-season fixture tonight, Wednesday.

This, and our next game versus Atherton Collieries on Saturday, will have a maximum limit of 150 spectators allowed, before we move into September and our first competitive game of the season when the limit moves up to 300 spectators.

This allows us to comprehensively test out all the new procedures in place to comply with the Covid-19 regulations that will be in force.

All this, of course, means extra work for our volunteers but especially for the committee who have to read, understand and make sense of all the information, advice and rules coming from Government, the FA and the league and then have to implement the new ever changing regulations.

This is where we are lucky enough to have the experience of Vics’ stalwarts Brian Turner and Dave Thomas, along with Ian Egerton to guide us through the paperwork and put everything in place for a safe return to watching football again.

By weird coincidence, our first competitive match on September 1 will be an FA Cup tie against Padiham, who just happened to be our opponents in our last competitive fixture back on March 14. Let’s hope that the result is the same as Vics ran out 3-1 winners that day with Brandon Barski scoring twice and Tom Powell getting the other.

With such an important match being first up, this makes pre-season preparation even more important and so far it looks like Vics are getting it right following an excellent performance and a 3-0 win in our latest friendly match against our landlords and friends Witton Albion.

These performances are certainly going to give manager Steve Wilkes a headache as he tries to determine his first 11 with competition for places looking to be much fiercer than last season.

One player who will certainly be hoping to feature is our latest signing, Chad Whyte, a prolific scorer who has joined us from Ashton Town.

Chad comes in to replace striker Tom Kilifin who left us during the summer to move back to Northern Premier League Premier Division Club, Lancaster City.

Chad has had a successful career scoring goals wherever he has been, making his name at St Helens Town before moving to Marine, Burscough, Bootle and Ashton Town.

Lastly, with the league season due to start in October, we now have season tickets available which admit you to all 19 home league matches for a substantially discounted rate. Prices are £110 for adults, £80 for concessions and £30 for 12 to 16 year olds with U12s free of charge as usual. These can be obtained by contacting Graham Egerton on email at or telephone 07845 180927.