Padiham make small profit after a season of consolidation

Home draw: Steve Wilkes' side will entertain Shildon or Crook Town in the FA Cup
Home draw: Steve Wilkes' side will entertain Shildon or Crook Town in the FA Cup

Padiham FC made a small surples on the accounting side over the last 12 months - having announced a loss of over £17,000 during their 2012/13 promotion season.

The Storks announced the good news at their annual general meeting recently, when members were given an update on the club’s standing, after consolidating their place in the Evo-Stik First Division North.

Padiham’s Under 18s proved the club’s most successful side last season, winning the East Lancashire Alliance Youth League and Cup, as well as providing a big percentage of players for the Storks’ side which retained the NHS Bird Cup.

However, Padiham will not be fielding a ladies side next season after failing to appoint a new manager, and resigning from the FA Women’s Challenge Cup and LFA Women’s Cup, which the side reached the semi-finals of last season before eventually losing 5-3 to Blackburn Rovers Ladies.

Further ground grading improvements carried out over the season have seen the FA award the club with a D grading, and sees the Storks add a hospitality unit and medical room to the Arbories, as well as solving the security of tenure issue which has been hanging over the club over the last 18 months.

Members were told that the club’s immediate need was of obtaining a new main sponsor after last season’s sponsorship with Fagan & Whalley expired.

Padiham Reserves have joined the historic Lancashire League for next season, alongside the likes of Stockport County Reserves, Workington Reserves and FA United Reserves, and plan to play the majority of their home games on Saturdays, with the majority of their away fixtures midweek.

It was expected that the change of league would increase running costs next season, as would the introduction of a veterans’ side.

Season ticket prices and matchday entrance fees will stay the same as last season, although a small charge for reserve and youth team fixtures could be introduced.

Meanwhile, the draws for the early rounds of the FA Cup, FA Trophy and FA Youth Cup have been made, with Padiham having a home draw against either Shildon or Crook Town - both Northern League clubs - in the FA Cup preliminary round on Saturday, August 30th, and the possibility of another home draw in the first round qualifying on Saturday, September 13th against Whitby Town.

The FA Trophy draw will see Steve Wilkes’ side make a 210-mile round trip to North Lincolnshire to play Lincolnshire’s oldest surviving club Brigg Town - who beat Clitheroe in the FA Vase Final in 1996 - in the preliminary round on Saturday, October 18th.

The winners of that tie will then be away to FA United on Saturday, November 1st in first round qualifying.

In the FA Youth Cup, Padiham come into the competition at the first round qualifying stage, and have been drawn at Vauxhall Motors during the week commencing September 22nd.

Padiham’s youth team will be one of only three teams to host American friendship touring side Honolulu Galaxy on Wednesday, July 30th at the Arbories, kick-off 7 p.m.

Honolulu arrive in the UK on July 26th, and face Cambridge United Academy/Development players on August 1st, and West Ham’s Community team on August 4th.

They will also take in trips to Wembley Stadium and Old Trafford, as well as attending a day of the Emirates Cup at Arsenal before flying home on August 6th.

The game will give Storks fans the first chance to have a look at the Under 18s, who will play in the LFA Floodlight League under new head of youth Paul Gray.

The Evo-Stik First Division North fixtures are to be announced next Thursday.