The Northwich Vics Column

By Pete Tonge

NORTHWICH Victoria saw the latest rising local talent in Jack Ball make his debut as the Trickies played the last of their post season friendlies against Prestwich Heyes.

Jack, who is just 18 years of age, is a former Weaverham High School pupil and lives in Winnington.

He has been a regular supporter of the club.

As a fan this was a dream come true to play along side some of the players he has been supporting over last season.

Vics’ manager Steve Wilkes has taken the opportunity of these end of season friendlies to take a look at players like Jack and a few other triallists as he looks to build a promotion winning squad for the new 2021/22 season.

Steve said after the match against Heys, that he was delighted to give Jack some game time.

And the boss remarked that the teenager certainly didn’t look out of place.

He is now looking forward to seeing Jack in pre-season training to continue to work with our local talent.

Detailed plans have been put in place throughout the Club, which will, over the next few seasons, see more local talent via the Northwich Victoria Juniors hopefully take their chance with the first team squad.

Steve’s focus and desire, by having the first team train at the same venue in Northwich as all the Juniors’ teams throughout pre-season, certainly gives all our budding future footballers that pathway to hopefully fulfilling their dreams.

Vics since being able to return from Covid lockdown have played five friendly fixtures (with no spectators) over the last month.

This has resulted in victories over Eagley Sports, Ashton Town, Squires Gate and Bacup Borough before continuing their winning run on Saturday with a hard fought 2-1 victory away to Prestwich Heys who had a number of players guesting for them.

Goals from youngsters Matthew Birchall and Josh Winder were enough to claim the victory for Wilkes’ men.

That will send them off on their summer break in good spirits with pre-season preparations just around the corner.

Pre-season training will start in mid-June down at the Grange playing fields.

The first friendly fixture will take place on the Saturday 3 July in readiness for the North West Counties League new season start on Saturday 31 July.

Full details of the friendly schedule will be released soon.

It really will be good to be able to get back and watch football again after all these months!

Finally on a sad note, Northwich Victoria were devastated to hear about the death of former striker James Dean last week.

James, who was only 35, played for Vics during the Steve Burr era.

He was a typical No. 9 striker who had plenty of success in his non league career particularly at Chorley and Halifax.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

#ItsOkNotToBeOK #