Statement from John Tough:

“As you know we recently were successful in obtaining funding from the Football Foundation for the installation of a new mains connection service.

“In addition I submitted a bid to Impetus Environmental Trust for the floodlights repair. Unfortunately the funding bid was unsuccessful, the reason given being the Impetus Board had received an abundance of community projects for funding and was unable to fund our bid due to overall demand which had to be prioritised.

“I then subsequently submitted a bid to the Suez Community Trust for funding to repair our damaged floodlights.

“I am pleased to inform you that, that bid was successful and we have been awarded £26,468. The work will be undertaken by Direct Lighting, a specialist floodlight firm based at Ripon.

“The work will entail replacing the old lights with new and building a new control box at ground level which will contain all the new control gear and ballast. Obviously at ground level it will be easier to maintain and service.

“It is anticipated that the work will commence on the new mains connection service at the earliest in mid July then followed by the work on the floodlights. The timescales at the moment are estimated due to the current situation in the country.

“We would also like to thank Utility Alliance for their support and sponsorship throughout the season. They have now also donated £2,000 towards the floodlight renovation, covering the third party contribution as required by the grant.

“For information I have also submitted a bid to the Community Emergency Fund for Sports England to help with payment for pitch maintenance, utility bills, and insurance etc.”


Shildon AFC can announce a partnership with local cancer charity.  The Solan Connor Fawcett family cancer trust is also known as Team Solan. Team Solan will become the club’s Charity of the Year for the following three seasons at least.

The partnership will see the club promoting a range of fundraising events for Team Solan, a charity game being played at Dean Street when restrictions are lifted and volunteers from the club help with food deliveries to cancer patients in Shildon and the surrounding areas.

David Dent, chairman of Shildon AFC said “ I was inspired by Team Solan’s vision, drive and commitment to make a difference to members of our community who are suffering from this hideous disease. Shildon is a community club and if we can help people by inviting them to see a game or by making regular food deliveries then that’s the least we can do. We also want to help Mark achieve his ambitions for the charity to grow but be sustainable at the same time. It’s an absolute honour to help them “

Mark Solan, Chief Executive of Team Solan said “ We are absolutely thrilled at the prospect of working alongside Shildon AFC for the foreseeable future and we would like to say a huge thanks to the chairman and the club for giving us this fantastic opportunity . We are confident that this exciting partnership will help us reach more local families who are facing a cancer diagnosis or dealing with a cancer bereavement and we already have strong links to the club with gaffer Danny Moore and former striker Paul Connor. Paul’s father is honoured in the charity’s name and Danny has supported us tirelessly for the last three years.“

If anyone needs any advice or help , please contact us on admin@teamsolan.org.uk and we will deal with your referral in strictest confidence.

For more information on the Team Solan charity visit their website at  https://www.teamsolan.org.uk/

The Football Association has confirmed that their intention is to play the Buildbase FA Vase semi-finals and final this year, with fans able to attend.

No date has been set and the FA has a number of scenarios but options will be kept open until matches are once again being played.

Consett chairman Frank Bell said:

“This is great news for both ourselves and Hebburn Town.  This competition means so much to both clubs and their fans and gives us something to really look forward to when we’re back playing football.

“Clearly, it’s too early for the FA to be setting out when the matches will be played, but we’ll be ready whenever they set the dates.

“In the meantime I hope everyone keeps safe and well and I’d like to say a massive thank you to our wonderful NHS too.”


Durham City announcement:

Northern League Division Two outfit, Durham City, have pulled off a major coup with the announcement of their new manager.

Durham, who have played their home games ‘on the road’ for the past six years or so, have taken another step on the upwards trajectory scale with the announcement that former Glasgow Celtic and Aston Villa player, Didier Agathe, is their new manager.

Agathe, 44, joins the two-time Northern League champions having spent the past decade setting up, and running, a footballing academy at JS Saint-Pierroise on the island of Reunion, where he was born.

Following spells in France early in his career Agathe soon found himself plying his trade north o’ the border, in Scotland and Raith Rovers, scoring a handful of goals in his maiden season before a brief spell at the start of 2000-01 campaign with SPL side, Hibernian, again finding the net on several occasions.

Those early appearances for Raith and Hibs were enough to alert Scottish giants, Glasgow Celtic, to his presence and Agathe was soon making his way to Parkhead, where he would make his name.

Spending the next six years donning the green-and-white hoops of Celtic, Agathe claimed three Scottish title (2001, 2002, and 2006) whilst also helping the club to the 2003 UEFA Cup final, losing out to Jose Mourinho-inspired Porto side 3-2, playing the full ninety minutes of the Seville final.

Upon departing Celtic Agathe would end up in the Midlands, alongside former Celtic manager Martin O’Neill, at Aston Villa, making six appearances in the Premier League (no starts) before being released and returning home to Reunion.

Fast-forward thirteen years and Agathe has wound up in Northern England, in his first management post, at Durham City.

Agathe said of his appointment: “It’s a great challenge and a great club.

“This is a really exciting project to be involved in.

“The club is looking to build on and off the pitch and I’m really looking forward to playing a big part in this journey.

“I’m really excited about this role, I’ve been coaching since my retirement, working with my Academy for over 10 years and I’m excited to transfer my knowledge and experience to build a fantastic academy for Durham City.

“I’m looking to build something here based on discipline, commitment and hard work.

“I want to build an exciting team that will win games and bring back the fans to Durham.

“There are good players here, we are in the process of adding some players to complement the current squad and I can’t wait to get working with them.”

Both Chairman Gary Hutchinson, and Director of Football John Woolnough, are excited to bring Agathe to a club who spent the season just finished, languishing at the foot of the Northern League Second Division.

Making strides to progress both on, and off the field, playing-wise, academy, and a new home, Durham City’s future has the promise to be a bright one.

Once a Football League side themselves, they resided in the Third Division North between 1921 and 1928, there is aspirations for the club to return to a higher level of competition, and, in turn, winning trophies, the last of which was over a decade ago itself (Northern Premier League Division One North, 2009).

Discussing the recent appointment Mr Woolnough added: “This is a fantastic appointment for Durham City.

“Didier is a very well-regarded coach and will help to catapult the club forward.

“We’ve spoken a lot already about the priorities and I think we’re both very forward thinking and open minded and it should be a good positive relationship.”

Whilst Durham Chairman Mr Hutchison said: “The club would like to thank Director of Football John Woolnough for his efforts in this appointment.

“It’s been a great effort to get this over the line and I would like to thank everyone for their patience.

“I am hoping this appointment will move the club to the next level and beyond, it’s not going to happen overnight but believe it’s a big step in the right direction.”

Mark Bullock being promoted to first-team manager at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion with immediate effect.

Everyone at RACA would like to thank Tony and his assistant Simon Moody, who is also departing, for their hard work and tireless commitment they have put in for the club since joining from Monkseaton in April 2017.

Tony had an immediate impact on our club’s fortunes upon arrival, steering the Albion to safety in the last four games of the 2016-17 season before leading us to the final of the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup in his first full season in charge.

The 2018-19 campaign saw us finish 12th in the Northern League’s second tier, our highest position in the football pyramid for four years.

Before COVID-19 cut the current season short, Tony had assembled a side that was pushing for promotion and relishing the opportunity of another semi-final in the EA Cup.

 We would like to wish him all the best at his new club and again thank him for the dedication he has shown over the past three years.

 The Albion are delighted to announce his replacement as coach Mark Bullock, who has been a part of the first-team set up since June 2017.

An interview with our new manager will take place within the next few days, and we have no doubt that Mark will continue to progress the club as we begin our next fresh chapter ahead of the 20/21 season.

Chester-le-Street Town FC has been shortlisted to compete against five non-league clubs for a share of the Buildbase £100k Transfer Deal 2020.

The programme, which is helping Buildbase FA Trophy or Buildbase FA Vase clubs to renovate their facilities, will enable two of the six finalists to each walk away with a £25,000 product bursary, including building, electrical and hire materials.

As part of the application process Chester-le-Street Town FC outlined its plans for a new clubhouse, which it says are essential to the club’s survival. They include installing a modular building to incorporate a kitchen, bar, social space, toilets, cellar and office.

As well as serving as a base for the two senior teams it would provide facilities for a disabled group, adult walking football, adult Just Play centre and youth teams.

The club will compete against Shoreham FC, and Kirkley and Pakefield FC in the Buildbase FA Vase category while Basingstoke Town FC, Merthyr Town FC and Basford United FC have been shortlisted in the Buildbase FA Trophy group.

The finalists will pitch against each other and present their plans to a panel of judges from Buildbase and the FA in the coming months. Clubs will need to demonstrate the feasibility of their projects as well as benefits to the club, fans and wider community.

Local Buildbase branches will be supporting the clubs with information, advice and supplying the building products required for their projects.

Paul Roche, Managing Director of Buildbase said: “Chester-le-Street Town FC has done brilliantly to get this far. We’ve had some fantastic projects submitted this year with many clubs desperately needing to win so they can grow and deepen their place in the community. They’re all in with an equal chance and I wish them the best of luck.”

Cestrian chairman Joe Burlison said:  “We’re delighted to have reached the final.  The funding will help us build on all the work we’ve put in to make Chester-le-Street a community club.”

The Buildbase £100K Transfer Deal has been running since the builders’ merchant became the title sponsor of the FA Trophy and Vase in 2016.

So far, building materials worth up to £400,000 have been given away. The latest winners are Barton Rovers and Stowmarket Town.

Updates for the Transfer Deal 2020 can be found by following @BuildbaseUK on Twitter #Buildbase100KDeal

More information can be found at Buildbase.co.uk or in branch.