19th June 2017
PREMIER League giants Tottenham Hotspur have done a lowly non-league club a really good turn.
Spurs have given Welwyn Garden City FC - who play in the Step Five Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division – three turnstile blocks for their Herns Lane ground, from the now demolished old White Hart Lane stadium.
WGC FC have no long-standing connections with the north London giants, but club secretary Karen Fisher took the iniative and penned a letter to Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy in January of this year, knowing that Tottenham’s home ground for the last 118 years was being demolished to make way for their new 67,000 capacity stadium on the same site.
Progressive WGC FC need proper turnstile blocks to meet the ground grading for the next step up in the non-league pyramid. They hope to gain either Southern or Isthmian League status by winning promotion, at the end of the upcoming season.
She received an immediate reply and along with club chairman Olly Croft was invited for a visit later that month to look at the turnstiles and for a trip around the construction site of the new stadium.
Shortly afterwards, Tottenham confirmed by letter that WGC FC could have three of the old turnstiles, not two as had originally been requested and the Herts club will take delivery of them on Friday of this week.
Says Karen Fisher: “It’s a wonderful gesture by Tottenham. I took the view that if you don’t ask, you don’t get and there is plenty of criticsm that huge clubs like Spurs don’t help clubs at grassroot level. But here’s proof that they do and will.’’
13th June 2017
WELWYN GC FC have completed their pre-season line-up by adding a seventh fixture to their varied list with a visit to Essex Senior League Ilford on Wednesday, July 26.
Ilford, who finished fifth in the Essex League last season will be the Citizens’ last pre-season outing before their first competitive action against Baldock Town, whom they meet in the first round of the Herts Charity Shield – the first game of the new campaign at Herns Lane.
The Ilford fixture means WGC will have plenty of variety in their build-up to the upcoming season, as they are now meeting sides from five different leagues to their own SSML Premier.
They begin with Isthmian League Premier opposition in Wingate & Finchley on July 8, three days later they are at Hayes & Yeading – the first of two Southern League Div Central sides they meet pre-season – this game on July 11.
Eynesbury Rovers from the United Counties League are the opposition on July 15, followed three days later by a clash with Saffron Walden Town, who play in the Eastern Counties League Premier.
Barton Rovers, like Hayes & Yeading in the Southern League Div 1 Central in the new season, provide the opponents on July 22, four days before WGC go to Ilford.
A couple of the later fixtures are home games – the matches with Saffron Walden and Barton – but will be played at the University of Herts sports centre, Hatfield, as Herns Lane, currently undergoing pitch treatment, won’t be ready until the Baldock clash on July 29.
12th June 2017
LEADERSHIP should no longer be a problem at Welwyn Garden City FC next season, as manager Adam Fisher continues to bolster his squad at Herns Lane for the upcoming campaign.
Fisher has added to the five new players he announced last week with another quartet of signings including a trio who all captained their clubs in the SSML Premier last season.
All-action midfielder Ben Spaul and versatile midfield/defender Jay Rolfe, whose father Steve has become one of WGC’s new assistant managers, have joined from last season’s third placed side Cockfosters – making it five captures from the north London club, whose former trio - George Ironton, Emmanuel Melford-Rowe and Carl Mensah – were signings announced last week.
Ben L’Honore, who can play upfront, in midfield or in defence has been recruited from Stotfold, while experienced defender Paul Marks joins the Citizens from Edgware Town.
Spaul, L’Honore and Marks, all captained their respective clubs in the division last season.
As a further boost to Fisher’s preparations, triple player-of-the-year Ben Long, top scorer Josh Bronti, utility defender Yasin Boodhoo and big striker Ashley Kersey, have all indicated they will be with the Citizens again next season.
They join goalkeepers Jack Metcalfe and Olly Leslie, Taishan Griffith. Danny Payne, Sean Brettell. George Brinkman, Jay Welsh and Charlie Rome, who have re-joined already.
7th June 2017
WELWYN GC FC manager Adam Fisher has appointed his new backroom team for the upcoming season.
Fisher has brought in two new assistant-managers for the 2017-18 campaign, in Stevenage-based Danny Dolan and Steve Rolfe.
Dolan, a UEFA B level coach is head of Academy recruitment at Premier League Watford and a former player with Huntingdon Town, Biggleswade and Royston. He has coached previously at Milton Keynes Dons and Stevenage.
Rolfe has considerable managerial experience with Cheshunt, Cockfosters and Colney Heath.
Fisher operated without a number two for the second part of last season, but says strengthening the Herns Lane support staff was an essential part of his build-up for the new campaign.
On the playing side, the Citizens has landed a major signing coup in recruiting the SSML Premier’s top marksman of last season, Jon Clements, who led London Colney’s bid for the Premier title with 41 goals in 54 games.
Last season’s champions Colney are facing a battle for survival after refusing a promotion move to the Isthmian League Div 1 North. An appeal to the FA to be put in the Southern League Div 1 Central failed and has caused a major split in the Cotlandswick club, which resulted in title-winning manager Joe Sweeney quitting two weeks ago and four of the club committee resigning this week.
London Colney have until the start of next week to recruit new blood or face folding as a club. Runners-up Hertford Town have been promoted to Isthmian League football, in their place.
Herns Lane boss Fisher has also signed a trio of players from last season’s third placed side Cockfosters, including two returnees to the Citizens, in powerful midfielder Emmanuel Melford-Rowe and central defender Carl Mensah.
Melford-Rowe played 14 games in the Claret and Blue last season, scoring four goals, but returned to Cockfosters, from whom he joined WGC in Febuary. Mensah, signed from Borehamwood, left the previous summer, hoping to get more regular football at Cockfosters.
The third recruit is midfield schemer George Ironton, son of former Enfield and Barnet player Nicky Ironton, who was a regular in Cockfosters’ line-up and formerly played at Southern League Premier Hitchin Town.
Fisher’s fifth signing so far is full-back Dave Corran, who played at Barton Rovers last term. Like Ironton, he is also an ex-Hitchin Town player.
16th May 2017
ISTHMIAN League Premier play-off semi-finalists Wingate & Finchley head up Welwyn Garden City’s pre-season programme by hosting the Citizens at their Summers Lane home on Saturday, July 8.
On the same afternoon, a club XI will play a Baldock Town line-up at the University of Herts, Hatfield.
Then our strongest side face a trip to the other side of London on Tuesday, July 11, when Hayes & Yeading, who have been included in the Southern League Div 1 Central for next season following relegation from the Southern Premier, will be the hosts.
Eynesbury Rovers of the United Counties League, whom WGC met last season and played out an entertaining, high scoring 3-3 draw, will be the third opponents for the Citizens at their immaculate Hall Road ground.
Old cup foes Saffron Walden Town, seeking a sideways move into Essex Senior League football from the Eastern Counties League for next season, will meet WGC on the artificial pitches at the University of Herts, Hatfield, on Tuesday, July 18, before we welcome Barton Rovers of the Southern Div 1 Central to the first game at Herns Lane this summer. That’s on Saturday, July 22.
The club are still hoping to fix up a fixture for Tuesday, July 25, but the season proper begins on July 29, when we host Baldock Town, third in last season’s SSML Div 1, by just a single point, in the first round of next season’s Herts Charity Shield, here at Herns Lane.
16th May 2017
DYNAMIC midfielder Ben Long attended Welwyn Garden City FC’s annual presentation evening with his left arm in a protective brace, having badly broken it in the side’s last game of the season, but it didn’t stop the midfield driving force picking up three and being runner-up in a fourth, of the season’s awards.
Long, who was unaminously voted WGC’s outstanding performer during what manager Adam Fisher described as a “difficult season’’ to the full house attending the event in the Herns Lane clubhouse, was top player with both club and supporters.
In addition to being their Player of the Season, he also jointly became the first receipient of the new Club Twitter award - voted for by fans on line – along with top scorer for the second successive season, Josh Bronti.
The experienced Long, who has experience of playing in Scotland and abroad in Icelandic football as well as in the Isthmian Premier Division, was also pipped by a single point to the Players’ Player of the season accolade. That went to skipper Danny Payne, with Taishan Griffith and Yasin Boodhoo, joint third.
Griffith, another of the Citizens’ outstanding performers of the campaign, was rightly rewarded with the Young Player of the Season, while the club’s “golden boot’’ went to Bronti for his 19 goal haul, although the fast, raiding winger, did admit “being the penalty taker for the side did help’’.
Manager Fisher, completing his fourth season in charge at Herns Lane told the gathering: “Even though we finished a creditable sixth this season, it was a mixed campaign for us. I know that position would satisfy a lot of clubs, but there were too changes and too large a turnover of players. We’ve made mistakes that will be rectified and a poor start to this year cost us dearly. We recovered well towards the end.’’
Fisher said the late season 1-0 win at Hertford was the result that gave him most satisfaction. “Hertford were runners-up and in contention all season, but haven’t beaten us in six attempts. That win was a real highlight.’’
He also made reference to the ‘massive changes off-field at Herns Lane.’
“It’s been a huge year off the field at the club. Our facilities here now are second to none at Spartan South Midlands level and are the envy of many at step four - the leagues higher at Isthmian or Southern League level. There’s where we are aiming to be this time next year.’’
Russ Giblin, manager of the club’s Under 25 development squad, who finished an outstanding fourth in their division, accrued the highest number of points that a WGC FC second string team has in many seasons, improving on last season’s showing by 30 points!
“This has become a club where there are no distinctions between first and U-25 players, they all feel part of the squad. The co-operation between the sides has improved massively,’’ he said.
U-25’s Player of the Season was Bradley Rose, who missed just one game all season.
The Player’s Player accolade went to skipper and former manager Savas Caliskan, with young central defender Robbie Steedman runner-up and winger Owain Page in third.
Other club recognition awards went to steward Wayne Bush, gateman Les Keel, club photographer Dave Fallon and groundsman Tony Attfield.
Special service awards were presented to kit manager Jim Johnson and football secretary Phil Ravitz, while club secretary Karen Fisher received a bouquet for her work throughout the season and Shona Hay, champagne, for playing a major part in organising Saturday evening’s event.
27th April 2017
AS a goodwill gesture to their committed and loyal supporters, Welwyn GC FC are offering a “Pay What You Want” scheme for their final home game of the season, against FC Broxbourne Boro, at Herns Lane on Saturday.
“It’s the least we can do for our loyal fans,’’ says club chairman Olly Croft. “They have backed us through thick and thin this season and hopefully they will be cheering us to another top six finish in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier for a second successive season.’’
Herns Lane fans will be able to offer whatever admission fee they want for this last game of the season, as Adam Fisher’s side bring down the curtain on another good league campaign.
8th February 2017
EVEN though his team have been largely inactive, Welwyn GC boss Adam Fisher has been very active in the recruitment market.
As his side kick their heels - having played just once in a month and that away from home at London Tigers - manager Fisher has wasted little time in addressing his team's slump in form since the turn of the year.
In recent weeks, the Herns Lane boss has made five new signings in an attempt to turn around current form.
Following hard on the heels of the recruitment of Louis Lee and Marcus Campbell two months ago, WGC FC have signed goalkeeper Kyle Forster, ex-Ware and Aylesbury FC, defender Lewis Donovan from Hertford Town and midfielder George Brinkman, from Tring Athletic.
Striker Jack Read, who struggled to command a regular starting role during his time with the Ctizens, has gone the other way, joining Tring Athletic.
Most recent captures for the Claret and Blues have been forward Daril Nwgala, who joins from Biggleswade United and left-side midfielder or full-back Paul Morris, who impressed for former club Stotfold in their win at Herns Lane a month ago.
Another recent departure has been forward Manny Melford-Rowe, who has rejoined former club Cockfosters, while midfielder Danny Fitzgerald, out of action in recent months, is also back with his previous club, leaders London Colney.
WELWYN GC will be looking to reverse the trend when they entertain near-neighbours Hertford Town in front of an anticipated, bumper crowd at Herns Lane on Tuesday.
While there have been a number of seasons when the clubs have been in different leagues, in 16 Spartan South Midlands League meetings over the years, WGC have won just three of the encounters and lost 11.
This season it's a different story with both teams vying for promotion at the top of the SSML Premier table.
Hertford currently lie second, five points behind long-time leaders London Colney, whom WGC meet just 10 days after the Hertford clash. Hertford and WGC both have two games in hand on the leaders.
Colney already hold a 1-0 win over the Citizens, courtesy of a penalty, while Hertford struck a mighty blow towards promotion, beating London Colney 3-0 just a fortnight ago.
WGC themselves lie a handy fourth, with three games in hand over the side immediately above them - Cockfosters, from whom they have taken four points out of six this season. They trail Hertford by six points.
Hertford are the best supported side in the SSML, regularly attracting near 300 gates to their home games and WGC are among the leading half-dozen in the league.
The sides met in this season's opening fixture - a Herts Charity Shield tie at Hertingfordbury Park - which WGC triumphed from the penalty spot in a shoot-out, after the sides were tied at 1-1 at 90 minutes.
Last season Adam Fisher's side scored a tremendous 5-2 away victory at Hertford, in a game marred by crowd trouble. The sides were locked at 2-2 when they last met at Herns Lane.
It's undoubtedly the SSML's match of the day, despite all the local derbies in the day's programme and Fisher's Citizens will be looking to take a huge step to closing the gap on a major rival.
WELWYN GC's reward for their deserved second round victory at Leverstock Green in the FA Vase, is a home tie with Eastern Counties League Ely City on Saturday, December 3.
It will be the second time the clubs have met, having been drawn together in the same competition three years ago, at the second round stage.
Then, Adam Fisher's side forced a 0-0 draw at Ely's Unwin Ground in a hard fought tie, to bring the Cambridgeshire Robins back to Herns Lane, where we triumphed 3-0.
A Jason Caswell double and a fierce free-kick from Joel Norris earned the victory and a tough third round away pairing at Hadleigh United, also of the Eastern Counties League, which the Citizens lost 3-2 in the last minute.
Long term injury victim Norris, keeper Joe Croft and fit again Sean Brettell, making his way back after a season out with a broken leg, are the only survivors in our squad from those previous clashes back in 2013-14.
Ely's successful Vase run, having sparked three victories so far, 4-2 at home to fellow ECL side Diss Town - winners of the Vase in 1994 - a 3-1 away success at Northampton ON Chenecks of the UCL and most recently a 3-0 win at Essex Senior League Wadham Lodge, is somewhat in contrast to their league form.
The Robins are finding the going tough in the ECL Premier this season and at the time of writing, lie third from bottom, with our previous victims in the first round of the Vase, Saffron Walden Town, lying just one place above them.
Last time, WGC and Ely produced two hard fought battles before the Citizens finally triumphed and with a place in the last 32 in the competition at stake, this December's meeting promises to be just as good.
WELWYN GC got just about their worse draw they could have imagined in the second round proper of the FA Vase on Saturday, November 12.
The Citizens have been paired away to fellow Spartan South Midlands League county rivals Leverstock Green, as the dubious 'prize' for their 3-1 first round win over Saffron Walden of the Eastern Counties League Premier.
Not only do Leverstock hold a 3-0 home win over WGC, in a game they totally dominated last Saturday week, but it is neither the big money-spinning home tie that Adam Fisher was hoping for or the interesting away day out that so many of the WGC faithful support look for to each season playing a club from a different league at a different location from the norm.
Let's hope WGC can find much better form than on their last visit to Pancake Lane a fortnight ago, clear the Leverstock Green hurdle and move on to the third round and hopefully a more exciting pairing.
IT will be the renewing of old acquaintances in the first round proper of the FA Vase on Saturday, October 22, when the Citizens play host to Saffron Walden Town of the Eastern Counties League.
The clubs were drawn together two seasons ago in the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup and played two ties that were the most closely fought and competitive that WGC FC have been involved in many seasons.
Saffron Walden had home advantage on that occasion, but the Citizens fought valiantly in front of 600 fans at the Essex club's Catons Lane ground, to bring them back to Herns Lane the following Tuesday, after a 1-1 draw.
The second clash, played in front of a 300 plus crowd, was equally as exciting and closely fought and was decided by an unstoppable effort from former WGC midfielder Juan Cifuentes in the first-half of extra time to take the side into the first round of the FA Cup.
There, WGC's interest was ended by Ryman League Thurrock FC in a 2-0 defeat.
So if this season's meeting in the Vase is anything like those two FA Cup clashes, it will certainly be a cup-tie worth seeing.
It's the Citizens' first entry into the Vase this season after exemption through the first two qualifying rounds by finishing fourth in last season's Spartan South Midlands League.
Saffron Walden beat SSML opposition in Broxbourne Boro 2-1 at Goffs Lane, after being a goal down, in last Saturday's second qualifying round tie.
The Bloods, as Walden are known, currently lie 13th in this season's Eastern Counties League, but have games in hand on most teams above them.
Pre-season preview from Adam Fisher
In writing this article, our competitive season will have started last night with a trip to local rivals Hertford Town in the Herts Charity Shield.
Pre season has been a good one and we have worked the lads hard, but also with a strong focus on our tactical approach. We have a lot of new faces and important that we hit the ground running.
Our pre season games have been ideal with a real mixture of different styles from the teams we have played. So we have learned a lot in a short period of time, which is great.
Every year I and the club set ourselves realistic targets and although finishing fourth in our first year back in the Premier Division and won the League Trophy it was a tremendous achievement we genuinely feel with the players we have added and all the work at the club giving us some great facilities, anything but top two we would see as a failure.
That puts pressure on us but we finished fourth last year so as in every year, we have to keep progressing. The lads are fully aware of what is expected of them.
Lots of people are talking about us as one of the favourites to win promotion which is merely people's opinion but I for one will thrive and enjoy that pressure as ultimately isn't that what everyone would want??
Welwyn GC FC six years ago were almost at rock bottom with the club close to being shut down. So for people to be talking about us for both what we are doing on and off the pitch is great credit to everyone involved with the club.
I do strongly believe though there are five or six clubs that all have a real chance of promotion this season who will be saying the same things as us.
The club have never been at step four in the non league pyramid and that has to be the ultimate aim but as a club we also feel a very good run in the FA Vase is also well within our sights! We have exemptions through two rounds already and with a little luck and some big performances we can achieve a long, deep run in the competition.
Although this being said we start our FA Cup campaign this Saturday away to Bedford FC against whom we have had many a big game and although they unfortunately got relegated last year it will be anything but an easy game, we have a few lads missing but that's why we need a big squad.
The FA Cup is there for clubs like us to dream of a big tie further down the line plus the obvious financial reward that winning brings, but we will be fully focussed going there on Saturday with one thing in mind and that is to progress!
We then start our league campaign on the Tuesday night ( 9th ) away to Oxhey Jets followed by trips to Leighton, possibly Colney Heath and Tring Athletic. Due to our ground developments our first home game might not be until September 3 v Hoddesdon, but we would still hope to be in the FA Cup on that date. I really am looking forward to this season and hope it can be another successful one on the pitch which will bring more silverware into the club for a third straight year but if come May 2017 we achieve the ultimate goal of promotion to step 4 that will beat any trophy!
Can't wait to see all our great supporters home and away for the coming season and hope to see loads of new faces this year supporting their local club - Welwyn GC FC.
8th July 2016
WELWYN GC will be renewing old acquaintances with Bedford FC in the extra preliminary round of this season's FA Cup - the Citizens first truly competitive match of the season.
The FA have brought forward the first ties in the competition to Saturday, August 6 and WGC will travel to Bedford's McMullen Park on that date to formally open their campaign.
They will have played rivals Hertford Town four days earlier in the first round of the Herts Charity Shield.
Last season the Citizens scored an emphatic 4-0 away win at McMullen Park over Bedford in September, Jason Caswell notching a hat-trick, but were held to a 1-1 home draw in February, when Ashley Kersey got the WGC goal.
Bedford, who came up from the SSML Div 1 last season - with WGC and FC Broxbourne Boro - went straight back down again , when they were relegated alongside Harefield at the end of last season.
Should Adam Fisher's side come through the tie, they will be away again in the preliminary round on August 20, paired with the winners of the Wellingborough Town - Stotfold extra prelim round tie.
WGC had a 2-2 home draw and a 4-0 away win against fellow SSML Premier side Stotfold last season.
Wellingborough Town, once a Southern League outfit many seasons ago, nowadays ply their trade in the United Counties League Premier Division, where they finished fourth bottom last season.
*In the FA Vase, WGC are exempt until the first round, which will be played in October, as a result of finishing fourth in the SSML Premier last season.
6th July 2016
WELWYN GC boss Adam Fisher has two more additions to his burgeoning squad, with the signings of midfielder Danny Fitzgerald and defender Dan Power, who both played for SSML Premier runners-up London Colney last season.
The St Albans-based pair will link up again with former Colney management members Tony Gold and Dan Norris, who joined the Citizens at the start of the close season as assistant managers to Fisher.
The double capture brings the number of new faces to Herns Lane this summer to six, with former favourites Joel Norris and Sean Brettell, also both returning to the club after a season away, Norris with Southern League Premier Cambridge City and Brettell, recovering from a badly broken leg.
Also signed for what WGC hope will be a promotion campaign are defender Martin Standen, who has also seen service with Cambridge City, striker James Ewington, ex-Harpenden, Potters Bar and London Colney and former Royston Town pair, midfielder Ross Collins and full-back Lewis Endacott.
Carl Mensah has become the second departure from Herns Lane this summer. The tall, central defender has joined SSML Premier rivals Cockfosters and follows Jay Lovell, who has signed for Hertford for the coming campaign.
WGC boss Fisher says his next priority is to sign another goalkeeper to compete with first choice Joe Croft.
THE latest departure from Herns Lane has been assistant-manager Chris Benton, who has taken the opportunity of becoming goalkeeping coach to new promoted Southern League Premier outfit Kings Langley.
Chris, who has been at Adam Fisher's side since the WGC FC manager's appointment two-and-a-half seasons ago, goes with everyone at the club's best wishes.
A former goalkeeper in the United Counties League with Peterborough Northern Star, Chris has been called into action between the posts on occasion during the last couple of seasons.
He joins a Kings Langley set-up that has won three successive promotions to reach the Southern League Premier and who will undoubtedly profit from Chris' expert knowledge.
Adam Fisher covered the departure with his appointment of former London Lions and Takeley boss Tony Gold and Dan Norris as assistant-managers at Herns Lane, a month ago.
*On the signing front, the club are pleased to announce the capture of former Royston Town full-back Lewis Endacott for the new season.
Lewis becomes the fifth ex-Crows player to join WGC, after Josh Bronti, John McGrandles, Luke Robins and fellow newcomer for the new season, Ross Collins.
He also joins Martin Standen and James Ewington as new signings for the coming season, while Joel Norris and Sean Brettell have also returned to the club.
Manager Adam Fisher poses with some of the retained players from last seasons highly successful team:
Left/Right: David Parkinson, John McGrandles, Josh Bronti, Adam Fisher, Sam Perrin, Jay Welsh and Jasin Boodhoo.
In the 2nd picture, Adam is joined by the new signings.
Left/Right: Adam Fisher, Martin Standen, Joel Norris, Sean Brettell and part of the management team, Tony Gold.
Both Joel and Sean return to the club following spells in the Southern League and Tony Gold spent two seasons with us under the stewardship of former manager Howard Cowley.
EXCITING NEWS - Check out the latest news on the club's major renovations here.
WGC FC'S pre-season preparations were given a massive boost last week, when Joel Norris decided to rejoin the club for the upcoming season.
Joel, who notched 76 goals in 84 appearances for the club in the previous two seasons, will spearhead the Citizens push for promotion and returns to Herns Lane having played Southern League football last campaign, firstly in a brief spell with Bedford Town and then latterly at Premier Cambridge City.
He notched six goals in 30 appearances for Cambridge City, several as a substitute, but found the travelling at that level difficult with working full-time, having to make trips to venues like Weymouth, Dorchester and Merthyr Tydfil.
Manager Adam Fisher is delighted that Joel is back in Claret & Blue and he becomes a fifth close season signing along with Martin Standen, James Ewington, Ross Collins and Sean Brettell, who is also back with the club as a player, after his horrific leg break last season.
*On the downside, the club reluctantly says goodbye and good luck to last season's Club Player of the Year Jay Lovell, who has opted to join rivals Hertford Town for next season.
Jay has given yeoman service to the Citizens over the past two seasons and joins a Hertford set-up, where his dad Phil is now first-team coach under Gavin Kelsey's management.
The club thanks Jay for his service, and dedication and wishes him all good fortune with his new club and he knows he will always be welcomed back here at Herns Lane.
CITIZENS' boss Adam Fisher has added his fourth close season capture of the summer with the recruitment of former Royston Town skipper Ross Collins.
Collins, who spent five seasons with the Crows, is a talented midfielder and joins Martin Standen, James Ewington and the returning Sean Brettell as new faces at WGC for the 2016-17 season.
Collins' signature was won in the face of competition from three other clubs, says boss Fisher and he joins former teammates at Royston, in Luke Robins, John McGrandles and Josh Bronti in the Herns Lane squad.
In addition to Royston, Collins also played at Essex Senior League Takeley and has also seen service with Hertford and Cheshunt.
Check out these photo's of the work being carried out at the ground, starting with the dismantling of the main stand to make way for the new stand.
The materials will be recycled to create new dug outs
WGC FC have fixed up five pre-season friendlies to date, before beginning their competitive season with the Herts Charity Shield away draw at Hertford on Aug 2 (7-45pm).
All pre-season games are away from Herns Lane, where extensive development of the ground and its facilities is going on throughout the summer.
The Citizens will play Peterborough Sports, newly promoted UCL Div 1 champions, away on Saturday, July 9. The clubs met in the FA Vase two seasons ago, which Sports won 2-1 after extra time, in a thrilling tie in which WGC finished with 10 men. The clubs have remained in touch ever since.
The following Tuesday, July 12, WGC will host Essex Senior League FC Romania at the Herts Sports Village, Hatfield, while there's more opposition from the same league on Saturday, July 16, when the Citizens visit newly relegated Barkingside, who have come down from the Ryman League Division One North.
A third Essex Senior League side - Clapton - are WGC's hosts on Saturday, July 23 at their famous Old Spotted Dog ground in East London. Again, the clubs first met when drawn together in the FA Vase three seasons ago.
WGC complete their preparations with a trip up the A1 to meet Eynesbury Rovers, who finished a creditable sixth in last season's UCL Premier. That game is on Saturday, July 30.
THE summer has only really just begun, but Citizens boss Adam Fisher has been very busy in the early weeks of the close season.
He has strengthened his backroom team by recruiting the former London Lions and Takeley manager Tony Gold and Dan Norris as assistants for the upcoming campaign. Last season the pair were part of the management team at London Colney FC, who finished runners-up in the SSML Premier Division,
The new duo will work alongside Adam and existing assistant boss Chris Benton in the new look off-field team.
On the playing front, midfielder/defender Martin Standen and free-scoring forward James Ewington have become the club's first close season signings.
Standen was in Southern Premier Cambridge City's squad at the end of last season, having previously played Beds County League football with Henlow FC. In the past, he has assisted Royston, Hatfield and Hatfield RBL.
Ewington joins having been at Hertford last season, where he was regularly on the scoresheet. He has also been a prolific marksman with London Colney, Southern League Div 1 Central Potters Bar and Harpenden, over the past four seasons.
Manager Fisher has also re-signed Sean Brettell for the new campaign.
Sean, who broke his leg in four places just under a year ago, while playing for Bedford Town against us, having just joined the Southern League Div1 Central outfit.
Throughout the last campaign Sean has stayed close to our club, assisting Adam and Chris with first-team matters, while on his way to making a full recovery from the horrific injury and he hopes to fully fit for the start of the 2016-17 season, having been a crucial member of our Div 1 League and Cup double winning side in 2014-15.
Great to have you back, Sean.
Check out the fantastic photos from the club's end of season awards night here courtesy of official club photographer David Fallon.
DEFENDERS Jay Lovell and Yasin Boodhoo and in-form striker Dave Parkinson, were the big winners at the Welwyn Garden FC presentation dinner, as the Citizens celebrated their League Challenge Trophy victory and fourth place in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier.
It was WGC's first season back in the SSML's top flight after last season's Division 1 League and Cup double.
The versatile Lovell, who has played all along the back four this season, was the Club Player of the Year, an award supported by main sponsors CBF.
The in-form striker Dave Parkinson, who had a golden patch in the final run-in of the campaign, to net 13 goals in WGC's last 16 games, was the Player's Player of the season choice. That award is sponsored by club sponsors Best Digital.
Popular central defender Yasin Boodhoo was top choice among the club's fans as he took the Supporters' Player of the Year award.
The first-team Young Player of the Year was Nathan Dimmock.
There was a double for the club's top goalscorer this season Josh Bronti, who finished with 27 goals in the campaign, two ahead of Ashley Kersey and five in front of Dave Parkinson.
Not only did Bronti win the top goalscorer accolade, but he was also awarded the Goal of the Season award, for his memorable second goal in an outstanding 5-2 away at Hertford, in early December.
Manager Adam Fisher, who has confirmed to the club that he stay at the helm at Herns Lane next season - despite interest from elsewhere - received a special award from club patron Olly Croft senior, OBE.
There was also another special presentation made to WGC's skipper Daryl Smith, who has announced his retirement at the end of the season, due to long-standing injury problems.
The Reserve team's accolades were won by Freddie Hester, the Manager's Player of the Season award, supported by sponsors Tikka Masala. The Player's Player trophy went to central defender Jake Hoy, while Young Player of the Season was Josh Dixon.
The club's under 18 side, winners of the Southern Counties Floodlit League last week, with their play-off victory over AFC Dunstable, received special mention, while Clubman of the Year was kit manager Jim Johnson. An award also went to club trustee and former chairman Terry Hazell.
View photos from the club's epic cup win here. All photos courtesy of official club photographer Dave Fallon.
WELWYN Garden City's highly successful youth side will bring the curtain down on another Herns Lane season, when they host AFC Dunstable in the play-off final of the Southern Floodlit Youth League on Tuesday, May 3 - the final game of the season here at our home ground.
The WGC boys, half-a-dozen of whom have made an appearance in the Citizens' first-team and who also played in the Herts team that reached the quarter-finals of the FA County Youth competition, secured victory in the league's Corinthian division three weeks ago.
A 5-0 win for AFC Dunstable over Leverstock Green this week, enabled the Beds side to overhaul their county rivals Luton Town Cedars, to win the league's Olympian division and decide the Play-off final line-up.
The sides have met once before this season on a very rainy night in November, at Dunstable, in a cup-tie, which the home side won 1-0, very much against the run of play.
It's a two legged final, with WGC Youth travelling to Dunstable on Thursday, April 28 and the return leg five days later, here at Herns Lane.
It's been a highly successful campaign for the youth side and all our supporters are asked to make it a rousing finish to the season, by supporting the boys on May 3.
THE officers and committee would like to thank all the club's supporters who made it to Biggleswade United's Second Meadow ground on Wednesday evening, to give their backing to the team in the Dudley Latham Premier Cup final.
Although it resulted in a 1-0 defeat on the field, there is no doubt that Welwyn GC won the supporters' contest with Hoddesdon, hands down.
Thanks again and we look forward to your continued support at Harefield on April 20 at the League Trophy final.
WELWYN Garden City FC main sponsors CBF have launched a new promotional video for a number of large trade shows coming up and decided to celebrate the occasion with their very best team.
CBF's managing director Mark Negri came down to Herns Lane last week to present champagne to recent winners of the club's Man of the Match award - an iniative backed by the Bridge Road East based company, that is so supportive of the Citizens.
In our picture, recent m-o-m winners, from left: Joe Croft, Josh Bronti, Ashley Kersey and Daryl Smith line up with Mark Negri (third from left).
8th March 2016
CONGRATULATIONS to our first-team manager Adam Fisher on being selected as Coach of the Year in Welwyn/Hatfield sport, at the annual Welwyn/Hatfield Sports Award ceremony at the Hawthorne Theatre, WGC.
Adam, who steered the Citizens to a Division 1 League and Cup double last season in the Spartan South Midlands League, has already secured a Premier Cup final place this campaign, on the club's return to Premier Division football after a seven season absence.
He faced some stiff competition from nine other coaches in the borough, from a variety of sports from cricket to volleyball.
There is also congratulations to the volunteer help that make our club tick.
Four of the five nominees for the Volunteer of the Year (over 21) category were from WGC FC.
Nominated were club photographer Dave Fallon, vice-chairman Shona Hay, for her work on the club's social committee and husband and wife team - Caraline and Tony Attfield - our head of catering and our groundsman.
In an unprecedented move, the voting panel gave the award to the entire club, with a special recognition for hard-working club secretary Karen Fisher as well.
The club also narrowly missed out on the Team of the Year and the Club of the Year awards - , the latter an accolade which we held in 2015 - for which they were also nominated.
*Also our congratulations to Gareth Edge, a good friend of the club, who helps with stewarding at Herns Lane, on his success at being voted Volunteer of the Year (under 21), at the awards.
7th March 2016
JOE Croft, set a club appearance record for a goalkeeper in Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Berkhamsted, when he played his 154th game between the posts for the Herns Lane side.
Croft beat the previous record held by Steve Wallduck, who played in goal for WGC, between 1993-97.
24th February 2016
WGC be warned.
Our first team play in the League Challenge Trophy semi-final next Tuesday (March 1), but not against the opponents most of us were expecting.
Instead of lining up against SSML Premier outfit AFC Dunstable, with whom we fought out an entertaining 1-1 draw last Saturday in challenging, wind-affected conditions, for the second time in 10 days, WGC will meet one of our closest neighbours in Codicote in the SSML's League Trophy last four.
Codicote, lie in mid-table in Division 1 this season, and have had a somewhat disappointing league campaign, but have reserved their best performances for the League Trophy.
They put out Premier leaders Hoddesdon 1-0 in the last 16 and then repeated the dose with a 3-2 win over second placed AFC Dunstable this week, despite surrendering home advantage to the Beds club.
They won't be doing that next Tuesday, with the tie being played at Gosling Sports Park, WGC, with an 8pm kick-off.
Both teams will be striving for the right to meet whoever comes through the other semi featuring Chesham Utd Res and the winners of the once postponed, once abandoned, Berkhamsted v Hertford quarter-final.
10th February 2016
WELWYN Garden City FC are delighted to announce the signing of experienced winger Luke Robins from Southern League Royston Town.
Luke, who has been with the Crows since 2008, has made 228 appearances for the Garden Walk club and scored over 80 goals for them in that time.
Originally signed from County League Buntingford Town, Luke also includes a spell with Southern League Premier outfit Cambridge City on his CV.
The Stevenage-based player has played 24 times for Royston this season, scoring seven times.
Says WGC manager Adam Fisher: "We are delighted that Luke has joined us. He will be a major asset as we continue our push upwards.''
7th January 2016
WEDNESDAY night's re-arranged away fixture with Hadley, at their shared home of Potters Bar Town, fell victim to the weather for the second time in under a fortnight, when it was postponed in a lunchtime inspection, made by match referee Callum Chittenden from St Albans, because the Parkfield Stadium was waterlogged.
The match has now been re-arranged a second time and goes to the 'bottom of the list', on Wednesday, April 20 - making it our last away fixture of the seaso - provided there are no further away match postponements.
Last Saturday's postponed fixture at Wembley FC, called off just an hour before kick-off with all WGC FC players, staff and officials, already at the Vale Farm ground, has been re-scheduled for Saturday week, January 16.
30th December 2015
WELWYN GC's Xmas holiday fixture away to Hadley, at Potters Bar, was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, early on Bank Holiday Monday morning.
The fixture has been quickly re-arranged and the game will now be played next Wednesday, January 6, at the Parkfield Stadium, Potters Bar, where Hadley share with landlords Potters Bar Town.
This Saturday, the Citizens make their second trip this campaign to Vale Farm, home of Wembley FC, who entertain them this weekend.
Adam Fisher's side were last at the venue at the end of October, when they bowed out of the FA Vase 1-0 to Middlesex County League Cricklewood Wanderers, who ground-share at Wembley.
The Citizens will be hoping for a happier outcome this weekend.
17th December 2015
WE at Herns Lane are very proud to report that six members of our successful youth side were in the Herts Under 18 squad that beat their Staffordshire counterparts 2-1, at Hednesford near Cannock, to reach the last eight of the FA County Youth Cup.
Herts got through with goals from Joash Nembhard (Sun Sports Watford) and Alfie Barker (Boreham Wood).
The WGC players in the squad were:- Lawrence Bearman, Marcus Bourne, Luke Foster, Nathan Isherwood, Jarvis Nutt and Reggie Ross.
They put out Wiltshire under 18's in the previous round in a tie at Swindon.
Herts Under 18s will be away for a third successive time in the quarter-finals on Saturday, January 23, to winners of the Liverpool FA v Oxfordshire FA tie that is to be played early in the new year.
15th December 2015
WELWYN Garden City Yth go into the turn of the year top of the Corinthian Division of the Southern Counties Floodlit Youth League.
They head local rivals Hatfield Town Youth on goal difference, having played three games fewer and having completed a league double over Hatfield, so far this campaign.
A 4-1 win over their nearest neighbours at Herns Lane last week, closed the 2015 programme as goals from Seb Melandez (2), Jarvis Nutt and Luke Foster, meant they go into 2016 with confidence high of a successful first season in the league.
8th December 2015
IT's cup action all the way for the Citizens over the next 10 days.
WGC won't have another league game until Saturday week, December 19, when they entertain St Margaretsbury here at Herns Lane, determined to avenge their 1-0 loss away to St Mags back in October.
Meanwhile, tonight the side are away to Sun Sports for their second trip to the Watford side in as many weeks, this time trying to win a place in the semi-finals of the Dudley Latham Premier Cup.
Adam Fisher's side visited Sun Sports only a fortnight ago in the league, when they won 3-1 on the back of a very strong first-half performance to record their second success against them this season. WGC won a very ill tempered home affair with Sun 5-1, when the opposition finished with just eight men and WGC with 10.
On Saturday, WGC are on the road again - to last Saturday's opponents Tring Athletic - as the teams contest the semi-final of this season's Herts Charity Shield.
A goalless draw in very difficult conditions resulted here at Herns Lane last Saturday and both sides will be hoping for calmer weather and a better game when they clash at Cow Lane, trying to win a place in this season's Shield final against the winners of the other semi between Harpenden Town and Hadley.
Both sides' scheduled league games have had to be re-arranged, because their opponents are still involved in the FA Vase, with ties being played this Saturday.
Completing the cup-tie hat-trick will be next Wednesday's tough home tie in the SSML League Challenge Trophy against Div 1's second placed side Edgware Town, who with Crawley Green from Luton, seem to be running away with the SSML's second tier, as they look to emulate our achievement of last season.
Edgware finished last season very strongly and have justified faith that they would be serious contenders again this campaign.
1st December 2015
THE Citizens' scheduled fixture away to FC Broxbourne Boro on Saturday week - December 14 - has now been postponed because of the Boro's continued progress in this year's FA Vase.
We wish the Boro luck in their home tie with high riding Essex Senior League side Bowers & PItsea on that date.
WGC now seem highly likely to meet Tring Athletic for a second weekend in succession, as the sides' outstanding Herts Charity Shield semi-final tie looks set to go ahead at the Grass Roots Stadium, Cow Lane, Tring on that date.
Both clubs have agreeded to play the tie on Dec 14 and the tie is now just awaiting Herts FA approval and the appointment of officials to control it.
WGC's league trip to Broxbourne will now re-arranged for later in the season.
13th November 2015
WELWYN Garden City are through to the semi-finals of this season's Herts Charity Shield after a 4-2 away victory over Leverstock Green.
We will now meet Tring Athletic away in the semi-finals, in a tie that will be played early next year on a date before the January 31 deadline.
In the other semi-final, Hadley will meet the winners of the Harpenden v Colney Heath quarter-final, that was postponed in midweek because of a waterlogged pitch.
WGC last won the trophy way back in 1987-88, although we did lose two finals in the 1990s and two in the 2000s - in 2003-04 and 2007-08.
10th November 2015
WELWYN GC are in action, away at Leverstock Green in the last eight of the Herts Charity Shield tonight (Tuesday), in a repeat of a tie at the same stage of the same competition last season.
On that occasion, almost a year ago to the day, Leverstock Green of the Premier put us out as a Div 1 side, following a penalty shoot-out 4-3, which we had a golden chance of winning with the sides locked at three spot-kicks apiece, but misses from Aaron Cato, Isaac Oppong and Perry Stellon proved costly.
WGC had battled back from 4-1 down in normal time to tie the game up at 4-4, thanks to two Sean Brettell goals and one apiece from Liam Kenna and Sam James. Sadly none of that quartet are still with the club this season.
Now the sides meet again - for the second time this season - both as Premier outfits, following our promotion last season. In the league meeting at Herns Lane in October, we triumphed 3-0.
A place in the last four of the Shield is the prize for victory tonight, with the other quarter-finals being contested by Hadley v Oxhey Jets; Harpenden v Colney Heath and Tring Ath v St Margaretsbury.
8th October 2015
OUR luck would most certainly seem to have been in when Monday's draw for the first round proper of the FA Vase was made at lunchtime at Wembley Stadium.
WGC have been drawn away for a second successive round - having won 5-2 at Waltham Forest of the Essex Senior League in the second round qualifying. Eastern Counties League Div 1 Haverhill Boro were put out by a very late stoppage time goal in the first round qualifier.
Now WGC are on the road a second time, this time to competition newcomers Cricklewood Wanderers of the Middlesex County League Premier Division - a league that stands at step seven (the lowest possible level realistically to still be in the competition, at this stage of the FA Vase).
It's a touch difficult to find out much about Cricklewood Wanderers, other than they are a club formed by a charity for the homeless and disadvantaged, only back in 2011.
In four short years, they have become an FA Chartered Standard club - no mean feat - and this season has seen them enter the FA Vase for the first time.
They received a bye in the first round qualifiers and put out Risborough Rangers, our old rivals from SSML Div 1, with a second-half penalty in the second round qualifying.
The Middlesex County League Premier is on the same level in the non-league pyramid as the both the Herts & Beds County Leagues and Division 2 of the Spartan South Midlands League.
Cricklewood Wanderers groundshare with our fellow SSML Premier outfit Wenbley FC, so the tie will be played at their Vale Farm ground.
We look forward to our outing on Saturday, October 31.
WELWYN Garden City will travel to FC Broxbourne Boro in the second round of the Dudley Latham PremierCup, in a tie that is scheduled for mid November.
This follows Broxbourne Boro's 1-0 win over Wembley in midweek in the competition.
WGC beat Stotfold 3-2 at home, in a five goal thriller, in their first round tie.
WGC will host St Ives Town of the Southern League Div 1 Central in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday week, September 12.
The Cambs side, currently sprang something of a surprise, when they won their preliminary round replay away at Eastern Counties League double-winners Norwich United 6-2, after the sides had drawn 1-1 at St Ives the previous Friday.
Norwich United, who were champions of the ECL by 22 points last season and unbeaten in 20 odd games, equalised in that one in stoppage time.
But St Ives, who have made a good start to their league campaign and currently sit sixth in their division, confounded the formbook by dominating the replay.
We look forward to welcoming them and hope for an entertaining and sporting tie.
OUR reserve side have a home draw to start their Herts Intermediate Cup campaign this season, having been paired at home to Tring Athletic Reserves, who play in the northern division of the Surburban League.
That's despite Tring Athletic's first team playing in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier, along with our own first team.
Victory in that tie to played on or around October 17 will see the victors having to travel to meet Wodson Park's second string, at Ware, in the second round of the competition, in a tie scheduled for November 11.
The draw has even been made into the third round, where if Neil Draper's side have overcome those first two hurdles, they would be away again to the winner of a triumvirate involving Bishop Stortford Community FC's under 21s, Bengeo Trinity, of the Hertford League and Sawbridgeworth Town's reserve side.
IN a break from convention, the FA decided to make the draw for the first qualifying round of the FA Emirates Cup, five days before the ties in the previous preliminary round have been played.
Monday's draw again saw Welwyn Garden City's cup luck hold with another home draw - their third successive one so far in the competition - if we can overcome Waltham Abbey of the Ryman League Div 1, this Saturday, August 29.
The prize for a victory in that one is a home tie with the winners of the tie between St Ives Town of the Southern League Central Division and Norwich United, current title-holders and cup winners of the Eastern Counties League, scheduled for Saturday, September 12.
That pair meet this Friday evening (Aug 28) 7-45pm kick-off at St Ives, Cambs in their preliminary round tie.
DOMINIC Ball, middle son of our under 18s youth team coach Tim and elder brother of player in the side, Phil, joined Glasgow Rangers on a year long loan last week.
Dominic, 20,who is on the books of Premier League Tottenham Hotspur, joined along with teammate Nathan Oduwa .
The pair went straight into Rangers' Scottish Championship squad at Alloa Athletic on Sunday, but were both were on the bench.
Dominic didn't get on, but Nathan Oduwa played the last half-hour of a 5-1 win for the Scottish giants.
Dominic, a former Welwyn Pegasus player, plays in central defence or as a central midfielder and spent last season on loan from White Hart Lane at League 2 Cambridge United.
He has an elder brother, Matt, formerly with Norwich City and Stevenage and who currently plays for Wealdstone in the Vanerama Conference South.
Their dad Tim was a tough-tackling midfielder here at Welwyn Garden City and with Stevenage Boro, during the 70s.
All at Welwyn Garden City FC extend their best wishes to Sean Brettell for the speediest of recoveries following his serious and untimely injury sustained in our pre-season fixture with Bedford Town and that all our thoughts are with him.''
TWO members of the Citizens' double-winning squad of last season - striker Joel Norris and versatile left side winger/defender Sean Brettell - have signed for Southern League Div 1 Central outfit Bedford Town, on dual registration.
Joel, who contributed 76 goals to WGC's successes in the past two seasons, including top scoring last season with 41 in their promotion season and Sean, who has played at both left-back and left midfield with equal success, have been signed by new Bedford boss Dan Kennoy, the former Codicote and Barton Rovers manager.
Both players have also signed Spartan South Midlands League forms with the Citizens and says manager Adam Fisher: "They will always be welcomed back to play here. Both have been pivotal players in the past two seasons, but things move on in football. This presents new opportunities to other members of our squad and our new signings.''
Manager Fisher has moved quickly to bolster his squad for their first campaign back in the SSML Premier in seven seasons, by adding another four players to his squad, to supplement the trio he signed last week of striker Ashley Kersey, 19-year-old central defender Carl Mensah and Joe Price, a midfielder.
Now experienced central defender John McGrandles, ex-Hatfield, Royston and Colney Heath, winger Josh Bronti, who has seen service with Stotfold and Royston, midfielder Danny Payne, ex-Barton and Codicote and striker Jamie O'Donoghue, who has played with Aylesbury United, St Albans and Chalfont St Peter, since being a scholar on Barnet's books, have all penned paper for the Citizens for the upcoming season.
Says Adam Fisher: "I'm delighted with the quality of player we have signed. We have supplemented our double-winning squad of last season with some fine players. I couldn't be more pleased and we're very optimistic about the new season.''
WELWYN Garden City FC will be running an under 18 team in the upcoming season, following an absence of eight years.
The new youth side have been entered into the Southern Counties Floodlit Youth League - a highly competitive league for youth sides from senior clubs.
The club were founder members of the league when it was formed in 1985. The side will play their home games at Herns Lane on Wednesday evenings and will compete against local rivals such as Hatfield and Hertford, who also have sides in the same division.
The young Citizens have also been entered into the FA Youth Cup, in which they have been drawn against Enfield Town Youth in the first qualifying round in a tie to be played on Wednesday, September 9.
The group forming the nucleus of the new WGC FC youth side, were originally Welwyn Pegasus, who left the Mid Herts League at the end of the 2012-13 season, having gone unbeaten in league and cup at that standard for the previous two seasons.
They moved to play in the Eastern Junior League, under the Codicote FC banner and again were division winners in both seasons in which they played in the league.
Over this period, the side also reached four county cup finals and were crowned Herts U-16 champions in 2014, as well as having six players selected for the successful Herts U-18 side.
They entered the FA Youth Cup for the first time in 2014-15 and made it through four rounds.
Club Youth Secretary Malcolm Kiely says: " We are delighted to announce we will be fielding an Under 18 side again, in a very strongly competitive league. We are sure this new side will complement our already strong first and reserve teams at Herns Lane.
Pre-season training is already under way and anyone of ages 16 and 17 who would like to trial for the new Under 18s squad, should contact Malcolm by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
IN an amazing piece of coincidence, Welwyn Garden City have drawn the same team twice - both times at home - in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup and the FA Vase's first qualifying round.
New opponents and fledgling club Haverhill Borough will make two visits to Herns in three weeks, when they play first the FA Cup tie on August 15 and three Saturdays later, will be here again for the second meeting - this time in the FA Vase.
Haverhill Borough are a very new club only formed in their present structure in 2011, when they joined the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League, in which they play in Division 1, where they finished sixth last season.
They are not to be confused with the longer established Haverhill Rovers, with whom they ground-share the new £2 million pound New Croft Stadium in the Suffolk town, who play in the Premier Division.
Victory for WGC in the FA Cup tie would see us at home again, two weeks later - Aug 29 - where they visitors would be Waltham Abbey of the Ryman League Div 1 North.
If the Citizens come through the FA Vase tie on Sept 5, there will be an away tie, this time at Waltham Forest (not to be confused with Waltham Abbey). Forest play in the Essex Senior League, with the tie set for October 3.
Our new under 18 youth team are in the FA Youth Cup for the first time and also have Ryman League opposition and a home tie, against Ryman Premier outfit Enfield Town's under 18 side to be played the week commencing September 7.
Victory in that one, sees the victors playing away to Spelthorne Sports of the Combined Counties League in the next round.
1st July 2015
WGC manager Adam Fisher has made his first trio of signings for the new season - the club's first back in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier for seven years.
The Herns Lane boss has recruited striker Ashley Kersey, last season's top scorer with fellow promoted side from Div 1, Bedford FC, central defender Carl Mensah, who was previously with Colney Heath and Joe Price, who plays in central midfield, for the new campaign.
All three trained, when the Citizens' players reported back for pre-season preparation last weekend.
Manager Fisher promises more new signings to supplement his squad in coming weeks.
WELWYN Garden City FC will renew acquaintances with Division 1 Crawley Green very early in the new season, when the sides meet again in the SSML League Challenge Trophy's first round.
The clash to be played at Barton Rovers' Sharpenhoe Road ground in late September, will be a repeat of last season's SSML Div 1 Cup final, which the Citizens won 2-0 to complete their Division 1 league and cup double.
The clubs also have a pre-season fixture arranged with a WGC XI due to visit Crawley Green's Luton base on Tuesday,July 28.
Victory in the SSML League Trophy first round tie, will see the winners hosting the winners of the first round tie between Risborough Rangers of Div 1 and Division 2 side Clean Slate from Milton Keynes.
In the Dudley Latham Premier Cup, WGC host Stotfold at Herns Lane in one of six first round ties, to be played in the first week in September. Victory in that tie sees the victors facing a stiff-looking second round trip to either WGC's fellow promoted side Broxbourne Boro or Wembley.
In the Reserve Challenge Trophy, WGC Res face the long trip to meet New Bradwell St Peter Res in the first round. Victory there, would see them with home advantage against the winners of the Tring Corinthians Res v Wodson Park Res' first round tie.
THE DRAFT constitution for the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division for season 2015-16, to go before the league's annual meeting on July 27 is as follows:-
AFC Dunstable, Bedford FC (promoted from Div 1), Berkhamsted, Biggleswade United, Cockfosters, Colney Heath, FC Broxbourne Boro (promoted from Div 1), Hadley, Harefield Utd, Hertford Town, Hoddesdon Town, Holmer Green, Leverstock Green, London Colney, London Tigers, Oxhey Jets, St Margaretsbury, Stotfold, Sun Sports, Tring Ath, Welwyn Garden City (promoted from Div 1), Wembley.
A FOURTH pre-season fixture has been confirmed and it will be the only friendly fixture played at Herns Lane, prior to the season's start on August 8.
The Citizens will welcome Ryman Div 1 North opposition in Romford FC to WGC on Saturday, August 1.
The Boro' as Romford are known, finished 20th in their division last season, but are looking to strengthen during the summer and as Ryman League opposition should present a tough test.
The club are now looking to arrange the Herts Charity Shield first round tie, at home to Sawbridgeworth Town of the Essex Senior League, for either Wednesday, July 29 or Wednesday, August 5.
WGC's FC pre-season fixtures are:-
Sat, July 18: v Barton Rovers (h) at Monks Walk School, WGC. - 3pm.
Weds, July 22: v Clapton FC (a) at the Old Spotted Dog ground, Upton Lane Forest Gate, E7 9NP - 7-45pm.
Sat July 25: v Bedford Town (a) at The Eyrie, Meadow Lane, Cardington, Bedford, MK 44 3SB. - 3pm.
Sat, Aug 1: v Romford FC (h) at Herns Lane. - 3pm.
Player of the Year by his teammates and also Player of the Year by boss Adam Fisher and his backroom team, an award sponsored by CBF.
He also wrested the Top Scorer award from his regular strike partner Jason Caswell, who netted 51 last season, but had to be satisfied with just over half as many in the last campaign.
Top choice among the club's ever-growing number of fans was combative midfielder and vice-captain Daryl Smith, this season's Supporters' top player. Smith was also runner-up to Norris in the other two categories, with Joe Croft and Yasin Boodhoo, filling the minor places.
Club man of the Year was groundsman Tony Attfield, in his first year in the role.
"The pitch has been superb throughout for both the first team and reserves and its quality has played a large part in our successes this season'', manager Fisher told a packed Herns Lane clubhouse.
To make it a family double, Tony's wife Caraline, received a special service award for providing the players, officials and visitors hospitality and refreshments throughput the season.
Juan Cifuentes's superb 25 yard curling drive, in extra time, to win the closely contested FA Cup tie with Saffron Walden back in September was Goal of the Season and a video of it was played back to the audience as a fond rememberance.
Other first-team awards were:- Young Player of the Year- Reggie Ross, while regular goalkeeper Joe Croft won a Golden Gloves accolade.
Among the reserve awards, Ade Osobu, scorer of 13 goals, was top goalscorer of the season, while John Bliss claimed the Goal of the Season title.
Nathan Studholme was the choice as Reserve Clubman of the season, while the Players' Player of the season went to Liam Tring.
The Managers Player of the Year accolade, sponsored by Tikka Masala, went to central defender Dean Sadler.
The club reserves staged a remarkable recovery in the SSML Reserve Division South & East. In second bottom position at the turn of the year, they recovered to have the chance of finishing third, going into their last game. They lost 1-0 to Hadley Res, a defeat that consigned to sixth in the final table.
"It was a great second half to the season and although we had to settle for sixth, if you had said that to me at Christmas, I wouldn't have believed it,'' said reserve boss Neil Draper.
CLUB history was made last Tuesday at Langford, when our first-team clinched the first league and cup double in the club's 94 year history.
Not even Alec Massie's great team of the early 1970's, that won the SSML Premier title or Ray Sullivan's 1987 line-up that retained the Herts Charity Shield - one of only six sides to achieve the feat - won a league and cup double in the same season.
Not only has Adam Fisher and his management team delivered on their promise of "promotion within two seasons'' that they stated when they took over at the start of the 2013-14 campaign, but they have added a cup win as well.
Now the club looks forward to returning to the SSML Premier after a seven season absence and the sterner tests that offers.
The club will also regain its status to compete in the Herts Senior Cup next season, where it will come up against Football League opposition in the form of Watford, Stevenage and newly promoted Barnet
and sides like Bishop's Stortford, Borehamwood, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans City, of the Conference South.
WELWYN Garden City were crowned Spartan South Midlands League Div 1 champions last weekend.
When Adam Fisher was appointed as manager in 2013, he promised 'promotion in two seasons'.
Last Saturday, Adam and his side delivered on that promise, as we clinched the title with still two games to go, having secured promotion three nights earlier, with an impressive 3-0 away win over Baldock at Hitchin.
Now this Saturday will be a celebratory day at Herns Lane, as the squad will be presented with their league trophy by SSML chairman Pat Burns, after what promises to be a real humdinger of a game with the division's top in-form side Edgware Town.
The North Londoners have won nine and drawn two of their last 11 games.
Entrance to a day to remember for all at the club is just £1, so we are expecting a bumper crowd to cheer the boys to victory and enjoy the after-match festivities - whatever Saturday's result - as we celebrate our first major triumph in many seasons.
OUR club is celebrating its first silverware since 1987.
Well, in actuality, it's glassware and the trophy we have won is the Welwyn/Hatfield Club of the Year and with it comes a commemorative trophy made of glass.
WGC FC were the proud recipients of two trophies at last Thursday night's Welwyn Hatfield Sports Awards event, with Callum Pond, our popular and hard-working young supporter winning the Young Volunteer of the Year award. Many congratulations to Callum.
It's the first time in our long history that the club have achieved the accolade of being the Borough's best sports club and says club chairman Olly Croft: "It's a reward for all the hard work going on at Herns Lane.''
"This is an award for everyone at the club, who work tirelessly. It's our aim to put WGC FC on the map, both on and off the field. Manager Adam Fisher and his team are doing it on the field, with us being top of the league and in a cup semi-final, and our committee and volunteers are doing it off-field.
"Herns Lane has recently undergone a facelift, purely due to volunteer help and we have very ambitious plans for the club, that are beginning to take shape.
"Everyone is particularly delighted for Callum. It's a very deserved award. He's a very dedicated and helpful young man around the club and fully deserves this accolade.''
We were also had six nominations in other categories.
So commiserations to Adam Fisher in the Coach of the Year category, Jason Caswell in Sportsperson of the Year, Caraline & Tony Attfield, both separately nominated in Volunteer (Over 21) category, along with Shona Hay and our first team in Team of the Year - maybe next year!
TONIGHT'S GAME AGAINST BUSH HILL RANGERS HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO A FROZEN PITCH AND WILL BE REPLAYED ON THE 11TH FEBRUARY.
WELWYN GC FC hosted a lunch and get-together for long standing former officials of the club prior to their post Xmas Derby fixture with Hatfield Town, which the Citizens won 3-2.
The seven stalwarts of WGC FC past were hosted by committee member and disciplinary secretary Ceri Bowman and enjoyed a pre-match lunch before the big game.
In attendance were John & Sylvia Small, past president, Trustee and Welfare Officer, Jack Newman, former chairman and current Trustee, Dave Williams, past chairman, Brian Hall, former club treasurer and secretary, Graham Hurst, former youth team, first-team manager and ex player and Terry Hazel, former chairman and current Trustee.
WELWYN GC manager Adam Fisher and skipper Liam Kenna received the Spartan South Midlands League Division 1 Team of the Month award for September, prior to our 3-1 win over Bedford FC.
SSML treasurer Mr Tony Forrester did the honours in making the presentation.
He was accompanied at the game by Mr Eric Harrison and Mr Tony Weight, also of the SSML League executive.
WELWYN Garden City FC have added ex-England futsal international Aaron Cato to their squad.
The Citizens signed 27-year-old Cato from SSML Div 1 rivals Bush Hill Rangers, but the tricky wide player has only played for the Enfield-based side this year. Prior to joining them he played 10 seasons in Ryman League football, with Enfield Town, Cheshunt, Northwood and most recently Ware.
In addition, he works five days a week at Tottenham Hotspur's academy, coaching youngsters from ages nine to 12.
"I work with the Academy kids at Spurs most of the week and Adam Fisher is allowing me to fit in my playing committments around my coaching duties.
" I was really impressed with WGC's plans when I spoke to Adam and although staying with Bush Hill, where I have a couple of cousins playing in the same squad, was the more convenient option, I've joined WGC because I was impressed with their ambition.''
Cato made his debut in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Risborough Rangers and said "I really enjoyed it, despite the team dropping their first league points. I've no preferred position, as long as it's in an attacking role.''
Because of events at a recent cup match, the Welwyn GC FC committee ask all supporters to give their full attention to the following notice:-
WELWYN Garden City FC politely reminds supporters that the club will not tolerate foul or abusive language at any of our games.
We respectfully ask fans to desist from this practice in the good name of our club.
THE Citizens hope to take two coachloads of support to Thurrock this Saturday for their First Qualifying Round tie in the FA Cup.
Adam Fisher's side with a 100 per cent record in the SSML Div 1 so far this season, scoring 19 and conceding just one.
The side are unbeaten in all competitions to date, with this progress in the FA Cup, having got past SSML Premier outfit Hadley and Saffron Walden of the Eastern Counties League Div 1, both after replays and also in the Herts Charity Shield.
Thurrock play two standards higher than the Citizens - in the Ryman League Div 1 North - and are currently in fourth place in that division after a good start to the campaign.
They are managed by former Stevenage, Grays Athletic and Gillingham manager Mark Stimson, a one-time Tottenham, Newcastle and Portsmouth full-back, who has managed in the Football League and twice won the FA Trophy while with Grays. He has also managed Barnet and Kettering.
Thurrock reached this stage of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win away at Cheshunt in the preliminary round a fortnight ago, but the sides met again last Saturday, with Cheshunt under new management and this time the Herts team triumphed 2-0.
In the FA Vase, WGC have been exempt until the second qualifying round this season, after reaching the last 32 last campaign. They will again have home advantage against Clapton, who also play in the Essex Senior League, on Saturday, October 4.
League Premier last season.
Edgware will play at Barnet FC's former Underhill home at the start of the campaign, until their new home at Townsend Avenue, Kingsbury, is ready, which is expected to be early in the season.
The constitution of Div 1 is:- Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield Town, Codicote, Harpenden Town, Wodson Park, Baldock Town, Broxbourne Boro, London Lions, Langford, Arlesey Tn Res, Crawley Green, Bedford FC, Winslow Utd, Buckingham Ath, Amersham Town, Chesham Utd Res, Risborough Rangers, Stony Stratford Town, Southall, Edgware Town, Bush Hill Rangers.
*WGC have a stiff draw in the first round of the League Challenge Trophy when they entertain powerful Premier Division outfit Colney Heath at Herns Lane.
In the league's Division 1 Cup we again have a home draw in the first round. The Citizens will play host to Chesham United Res.
*Our reserve side will play in a new regionally-split reserve division, adopted at the league's annual meeting in Tring on Saturday.
They are in the South/East Reserve Division, while there is also a North/West Division, containing sides from Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.
The constitution of the new 16 team, South/East Reserve Div is:- Baldock, Cockfosters, Codicote, Hadley, Harpenden, Hertford, Hoddesdon, Kings Langley, Langford, London Colney, Oxhey Jets, Stotfold, St Margaretsbury, Sun Postal Spts, Welwyn Garden City, Wodson Park.
As a result, the club have formally withdrawn our reserve team from the Herts County League, in which they played last season.
*Great news on the club's social side. Welwyn Garden City FC were awarded the 'Best Hospitality Award' in Division 1 for last season, for the first time, at Saturday's annual meeting. The award is voted for by all the officials that visit a ground during the course of a season.
Many congratulations to Social Secretary Karen Fisher and all the team on an award that comes as no surprise to anyone at Herns Lane.
8th May 2014
JASON Caswell swept the board at the club's recent, end-of-season presentation event.
The 51 goal man's scoring prowess has swept the Citizens to fourth spot in this season's SSML Div 1 and to automatic entry into next season's FA Cup.
He, naturally, secured the club top goalscorer award with his half-century of goals, as well as being selected by his teammates as Player's Player of the season and crowned the event by also picking up the Club Player of the Year, an accolade voted on by committee and players alike.
Skipper Liam Kenna edged Jason out of a fourth award, by pipping both him and Isaac Oppong, joint runners-up, in the Supporters Player of the Year category, with Joel Norris and Sean Brettell sharing third place.
Young Player of the Year was Harry Budge, who broke into the first-team for the final few matches of the season.
Carl Costain, won Goal of the Season, for his unstoppable seventh goal in the end-of-season 9-0 rout of Kentish Town at Hillingdon, just two weeks before the end of the campaign.
New chairman Olly Croft was a popular Clubman of the Year, while among the reserves, Player's Player was skipper Mark Draper, who top scored for the second team with 11 goals.
Manager Sav Caliskan, who steps down after this season, voted Dean Sadler as his Player of the, Year, while Dan Harper won the Reserve Goal of the Season with his blockbuster in the late season 6-6 draw with Kimpton.
Light-hearted awards made among the first-team squad went to Daryl Smith (worse discipline), Liam Kenna (worst haircut), Perry Stellon(non-bright player), Ben Awad (tantrum award), Juan Cifuentes, Carl Costain and Joel Norris.
April 29th 2014
ADMISSION will be free to Welwyn Garden City FC's final match of the 2013-14 campaign, when they entertain Baldock Town on Saturday (3pm).
The Citizens' management have decided to throw the gates open for free at their Herns Lane home this weekend, as thank you for the loyal support they have received this season.
WGC are likely to finish fourth in this season's Spartan South Midlands League Div 1 - an improvement of nine places on last season's showing in the division.
They have also reached the last 32 of the FA Vase and went on an 15 match unbeaten in manager Adam Fisher's first season in charge.
April 14th 2014
THE boys of Welwyn Garden Youth FC will have opportunity to tread the lush surface of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium next month, when they play at the home of the Gunners in a tournament on May 25.
The youngsters from the Herns Lane club were delighted to accept the invitation to play in the under 10s tournament and are sure to take a large contingent of support with them.
Welwyn GC Youth will be running coaches for the event that will leave from their Herns Lane base. Those wishing to travel should contact youth chairman Kevin Murphy on 07805 262150.
*The Citizens' youth set-up have also celebrated reaching two cup finals in recent weeks.
Their Hurricanes' under 10 side overcame town rivals King George Vipers in a closely fought affair played on King George C playing fields, Welwyn GC.
It was the home side who took the lead with a deflected goal, before Zlatko Murphy levelled for the junior Citizens.
King George Vipers then restored their lead with a controversial second, the ball being deemed to be over the line in a goalmouth scramble. Touchline obervers felt the ball was at least a foot away from crossing, but the goal was awarded.
The Hurricanes didn't lose heart and quickly levelled again through the goal of the game scored by Tako Madziwanyika.
With 10 minutes left, Charlie Males netted to put Welwyn GC Youth ahead for the first time and the Herns Lane side held the advantage until the final whistle.
The Welwyn GC under 10s Tornadoes side had an equally exciting and controversial match when beating Ware Youth Whites under 10s in their semi-final.
Like their Hurricane counterparts, the Tornadoes came twice back from behind, before clinching the tie in extra time.
Toby Newson and Charlie Manning netted the Welwyn GC Yth goals in normal time to tie the game and just as the referee was blowing his whistle to signal the end of the game, a Ware shot flew into the net.
The referee ruled he had already blown and that the goal didn't stand, much to the disappointment of the Ware contingent.
In the penalty shoot-out that followed, Charlie Manning and Charlie Gilroy both netted their spot-kicks to put WGC Yth 2-1 up and gave Tommy Nagles the chance to make an outstanding save that allowed Dylan Benson the chance to seal the match with his accurate penalty.
Both finals will take place at Barnet FC's new home ground at The Hive, Edgware, on Sunday May 18. The Hurricanes' final will kick-off at 2pm and the Tornadoes an hour later. All support will be welcome.
*Welwyn Garden City Youth are looking to expand in the 2014-15 season and are looking to run a team in the under 10 age group (current school year four). If you would like to coach or your son would like to be a member of this team, please contact Welwyn GC Youth director of football Neil Males, email@example.com
April 12th 2014
WELWYN GC FC recognised striker Jason Caswell's exceptional, goal-scoring season with a special presentation before Saturday's penultimate home game of the season against Amersham.
Caswell, who joined the Citizens this season, after spending time playing for Hatfield British Legion in the Herts County League and Hatfield Town, has had a magnificent scoring campaign, breaking the Herns Lane club's all-time goalscoring record in one season.
To date, the striker has netted 47 goals in 41 appearances in a claret and blue shirt and there are still four games to go.
The previous record-holder was Terry Hayes, who holds the club's all-time scoring record of 214 goals in 401 appearances and he made a return trip to Herns Lane to make the presentation of a statuette. Terry scored 42 goals in the 1988-89 season for the Citizens.
Jason also tops the goalscoring charts in the Spartan South Midlands League Div 1 by eight, ahead of Baldock Town's Lee Harman.
WGC striker Jason Caswell has set more targets fresh after breaking the all-time club record for the most goals scored in a season.
Two weeks ago, the prolific scorer bagged goals numbers 42 and 43 in a 4-0 home win against Wodson Park to overtake Terry Hayes' record from the late 1980s.
Caswell believes there is more to come before the season's end.
"It's been pretty amazing to be honest, I'm buzzing after breaking the record,'' said Caswell.
"A few weeks ago Sam Perrin mentioned that I wasn't far off, I think I was on 36 goals at the time.
"And slowly it has crept up. I had a few chances in the Wodson Park game, but I was rushing them. When I scored the first, I relaxed.
"When I turned the player for the second I knew I was going to score. I first ran to Sam Perrin as he had set me up, then ran over to Adam Fisher, the manager and to Richard Teixiera, the assistant manager. It was a great moment.
"At the start of the season, looking at the players we had, I set a target of 30 goals. As I've now beaten that, the target is 50.
"I think I am sixth on the all-time goal scorers' list at the club, so it would be great if I could beat that record too.''
Boss Fisher is full of praise for his marksman.
"I am absolutely delighted for Cas, he has been outstanding all season and has obviously played a huge part in helping the club progress,'' Fisher said.
"We are all very proud of him and I have no doubt he will go on to smash the all-time leading scorer's record for the club and it would be fully deserved.''
"He is a great lad who has an amazing humble attitude and he will be the first one to thank his teammates for all their support.
"I have told him he isn't allowed to stop scoring now and that he is to go on and set a record no one else will ever beat.''
Caswell has scored goals whereever he's been and after a spell playing in the County League is pleased to have found a team and importantly a manager who trusts him.
Welwyn GC have always been an up and down club, but since Adam joined and along with a new committee, they have really stabilised the club,'' he added.
"I think as a team we are still gelling, but the good thing is we all like to play football the same way.
"I took a step down and played in the County League and felt it was just too easy, so I spoke to Adam because I knew a few of the lads here and wanted to come to WGC.
"My targets are now to be number one in the goalscoring records and to try and get WGC promoted back to the Premier Division.''
* Since this piece was penned, Jason has added a 44th goal of the campaign with the third goal in the 3-0 away win over Southall.
By John Hutchinson, Welwyn Times
Voted in overwhelmingly, the popular figure has been with the club for the past five years, following his goalkeeper son Joe's loan move to Welwyn GC from Ryman League club Ware.
The Crofts are a family steeped in darts.
His father Olly Croft senior OBE, founded the British Darts Organisation (BDO) and over 40 years, staged 800 tournaments, including 200 televised events, at times assisted by his son.
Says Olly junior: "It's true that darts have played a big part in my family's life and is still a major factor. My dad still attends tournaments and functions, as do I sometimes and my son still plays at county youth level, but all three of us are mad keen on football as well.''
In fact, all three members of the Croft family are former goalkeepers, the new chairman and his father both kept goal for north London side Crouch End Vampires FC in the Southern Amateur League, while son Joe, is a former Leyton Orient junior.
The 50-year-old father of two and grandfather of two, lives in Cheshunt and owns his own tiling company, who are regular sponsors of Welwyn GC FC. Olly junior is also a shareholder in his father's longer-established tiling company, based in Muswell Hill, north London.
"I first came to Welwyn GC when Joe was loaned here to play and I fell in love with the place and the people. It reminded of the atmosphere of my old club in Crouch End.
"I was asked to join the committee three years ago and will now chair the main committee, as well as serve on both the football and social committees.
" My aim is make Welwyn GC FC a real focal point of the community and in the past couple of years, we have made rapid strides in that direction. Our social committee, under the tireless Karen Fisher, works tremendously hard and stages many communal events, like the annual bonfire night, summer fete and countless car boot sales.
"A town the size of Welwyn Garden City should have team playing at a better standard than we play at the moment. I would like to see WGC have a side in the Southern or Ryman Leagues, at the very least, in the future.
"Our youth scheme is a massive part of our plans. Home-grown players will be the mainstay of our club in the future.
"We also need to get local companies to support us'', he says.
Companies like Mundells-based Best Digital who have just agreed a deal to provide signage around Herns Lane.
"I feel we are a team and a club on the up and hope local businesses will recognise that.''
The new chairman is very happy with manager Adam Fisher's start to his managerial career at the club, having taken the Citizens to the fourth round of the FA Vase and on a 15 match unbeaten run in the first half of the season.
"Adam is a bright young manager with good ideas and knows what he wants both from his team and for the club in the future. He will get every support from me as chairman.''