Barton Athletic are looking more like ‘Waldon Wanderers’ every day. Their recent signings have included Ash Harris, Owen Stockton and goal machine Sean Finch, who is dual-signed with Peninsula outfit Bovey Tracey.
Fellow Premier side Torbay Police are also on the look out for new talent ahead of the rapidly approaching TCS South Devon Football league season.
With former club captain Luke Dandy stepping up to Step 7 football with Paignton Saints, and bringing a number of his team mates with him, the Bees are in danger of finding themselves caught short with the season due to kick off in just over a week.
But secretary Tim Perrin is sure that the club’s reputation will help in the rebuilding process. “We’re a rapidly-growing club with a big youth section, a competitive second team and a first team that were challenging for the Premier Division and still in the Herald Cup last season,” Perrin said.
With Paignton Saints vacating their home ground at Paignton Community College for Coach Road, the Bees have moved in to replace them, meaning they can also offer an all-weather surface for first team games.
Under the management of Lee Hazlewood, the Police will kick off their season there against Ipplepen Athletic on September 5. It is the first of four straight home games which Perrin sees as something of a mixed blessing.
The Police had applied for promotion to the Devon Football League during the ill-fated 2019/20 season and that ambition has remained unchanged. “The target is to play Step 7 football next season,” Perrin revealed. “We’ve got the facility now to do so, we just need to be competitive in the Premier and ensure we are ready and able to compete in the league above.”
The second team, who will replace the first team at Churston Grammar School, have had a good pre-season, bringing in some new signings and enjoying some convincing wins.
With spectators now permitted at local grounds, last weekend’s friendlies were played under more natural conditions. The Police travelled to DFL side Liverton United where they lost out 3-0.
“We’ve got to try to bring in a couple of players, so that we are happy with the squad, and then it’s all guns blazing into what is looking like is going to be a long and challenging season.”