open all afternoon to watch the live matches on the big screen and Howard's will be open for

a late lunch. Continuing with the internal review of our behind the scenes operations, we have parted company with Chris Sulley, the Academy director. The new EPP Youth Policy (aka the legalised theft of good kids by the Premier League) has necessitated changes in our youth planning and Thorp Arch has been reorganised accordingly. One thing which you will have noticed this week is that we have confirmed the recruitment of 11 new scholars, who will join the Academy in the summer. We welcome them all. At the other end of the scale, our latest crop of Under-9s will be introduced to you at today's game. As we always say, we are planning for the future. In view of our recent playing record, Neil has changed the training methods at Thorp Arch. He is very quick to respond to the changing needs of football. He has abolished the traditional five-a-side practice games, he now plays 10 against 11 in preparation for Saturday afternoons. On a more serious note, we are not going to make the Play-Offs and we are not going to get relegated. Neil is planning for next season and intends to blood the youngsters and give them more experience prior to next season. You fans have been magnificent in your support since Neil joined us; please get behind the kids and team and encourage them on in which case, the youngsters will be familiarised with the experience of playing on the big stage. Four games to go for the players to persuade the manager that they have a future here. With every club planning to curb their wage bill and squad numbers, there will be a lot of adult men entering the real world for the first time. The clubs and fans have had enough.

FEVER PITCH

Important message to Season Ticket Holders who have renewed for next season, or intend to do so. Please retain your current seasonal passes and they will be reactivated for next year. Thanks.
Finally, I'd like to give a warm welcome to Peterborough and their young up and coming manager today. I'd also like to give a special welcome to Barry Fry. I always remember Barry coming up to see us at Stamford Bridge after a cup tie, and we parted company at 11 .30pm. (The game kicked off at 3pm!) Having left, I'm told Barry drove very comfortably and unaided back to Peterborough.

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Advance notice
This year's Family Fun Day will take place on Sunday August 12 at Eiland Road for Members and Season Ticket Holders, with all the usual fun of the fair including player training sessions, autograph opportunities and competitions. If you are planning a weekend in Leeds, then you should know that on the previous Friday evening we will be entertaining Premier League opposition in a pre-season friendly.

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