PUBLISHED: 16:52 24 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:21 10 June 2010
THE Royal Marines AFC, who will launch their South West Peninsula League Eastern Division career on Saturday August 16 with a visit from Bovey Tracey, have a number of their squad involved with the Royal Marines' representative side who are off to Cyprus.
THE Royal Marines AFC, who will launch their South West Peninsula League Eastern Division career on Saturday August 16 with a visit from Bovey Tracey, have a number of their squad involved with the Royal Marines' representative side who are off to Cyprus to defend the Cyprus Cup.Departing today (Thursday), for a week-long tour, the Representative XI will meet The Combined Services for the Cyprus Cup, this, after they have a couple of 'warm up-matches' against The Army and the RAF. Shaun Foster, who will manage the Marines AFC side in the Peninsula League this coming season, is also managing the Marines Representative side on the trip to the Mediterranean island and he acknowledges just how enjoyable his job is, as he combines serving Queen and Country, wearing the famous green beret, with looking after two different, but also entwined, football teams: "It's a great job, that I must concede. We do quite literally get our pick of the Marines for, when lads sign up and join the Training Centre at Lympstone, there's a dedicated officer who collates details on where the lads have been playing their football and at what level and from there that information is passed to my secretary and we get out, meet the lads, and see what players we have."One such player is Simon Bochenski who has played for Barnsley as a professional. Bochenski is signed for Western League Premier Division Barnstaple Town but will be available to Foster and the Marines AFC side as and when Barum are not playing, indeed Bochenski, who has played in the Peninsula League Premier Division with Cullompton Rangers, will make his debut in the side's 2nd league outing at Okehampton. Another player with Peninsula experience is Richard Hope who played last year in the colours of Launceston.Foster's biggest managerial 'headache' is the onset of the Royal Marines' 'block leave', which will see him losing the services of a lot of players for a couple of weeks from early August and that is when the new season is set to kick off but the Marines AFC have decided that they can play three 'civilians' in the side and so Foster looks set to have a large squad at his disposal to cover for block leave and, of course, any deployments that the Royal Marines undertake during the playing season.The pre-season work has involved three sessions and two matches to date. The very first competitive game for Royal Marines AFC saw them draw 2-2 with Tavistock Town. Former Wellington and Cullompton Rangers midfielder Dan Boere netted one and the other goal came from Stuart Morgan, a Marine serving with 42 Commando. The most recent friendly was last Saturday's game with Devon & Exeter League side Clyst Valley, who were beaten 5-2. Morgan again found the net as did Marine Travis and three 'civilian' players, Scott Howarth, John Veale and Ben Shepherd.With the Royal Marines Representative side and Foster off to Cyprus today (Thursday), it means that there will not be another taste of pre-season action for the Marines AFC until August 6 game with Elburton Villa which will be the first match played by the side at their splendid home pitch, Endurance Park, which is situated opposite the main entrance at the Lympstone Training Centre.BRIXINGTON Blues are to hold trials for their Under-13 team to compete in the Exeter & District Youth League this coming season. The Blues were one of the hardest hit local sides when Exeter City made the decision to stop Academy players playing with other sides but Blues Coach Simon Denny is determined to carry on and is looking for a new batch of players. "I am a great believer that football should be for the 'masses' and, whilst I am very disappointed to lose players that have had to stay with the City Academy, the fact is there is now a real opportunity for more youngsters to come along and get involved."The initial 'trial' will be held on Monday, July 28, at Langstone Drive playing fields, Brixington Drive, in Exmouth, and anyone who wants more information is asked to contact Simon on 07730221136.THE Devon & Exeter Football League released its fixture lists for the coming season last week and the local sides who play in the Premier Division have a busy start with two games in the space of four days. The top flight programme kicks off on Wednesday August 27 and there's a home game for Exmouth Amateurs who will take on Newtown. Four days later the Ammies are again at home when they entertain Wellington Town Reserves. Budleigh Salterton Reserves begin with a Wednesday night Greenway Lane meeting with St Martins and follow that four days later with a trip into Exeter to face Newtown.In Senior One, which does not get under way until Saturday, September 6, East Budleigh start with a home game against Sidbury United. Lympstone start their Senior Two programme also on September 6 when they make the short trip to Dawlish and the Exmouth Amateurs Reserves begin their Senior Two campaign with a visit from Newtown Reserves. Topsham Town Reserves launch their Senior Four season with an opening day visit from Chard Town Reserves and, in Senior Five, Exmouth Amateurs 3rds travel to Lords XI. You can see the complete season's fixtures in the Devon & Exeter Football League at the Leagues website www.defleague.co.uk.