Over the last 21 days, the SSFC Advent Calendar has begun to spread some festive joy.
Congratulations to Frankie Burn, who won the competition for a £25 voucher from Freeman Butchers.
The winner of a matchday hospitality package was Angela Bloxham.
Day 21 of the SSFC Advent Calendar is introduced by SSFC chief executive Lee Picton in the tweet below.
It's Day 2⃣1⃣ of the #SSFCAdventCalendar!
Hear from chief executive Lee Picton as he provides a message for you all and asks the first question towards our latest competition!
Don't answer until you've heard the 4⃣th question on Thursday, then submit your answers via email! pic.twitter.com/uZtTEjQb5a
— South Shields FC (@SouthShieldsFC) December 21, 2020
In the video, Lee asks the first question to go towards a competition to win a South Shields FC season ticket for 2021-22.
For each of the next four days, a question will be revealed and when the final question is published on Christmas Eve, supporters will have until 5pm that day to submit all of their four answers together via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s question is: Which club did Lee Picton twice win the FA Vase with as a player?
We also today highlight our sixth and final charity of the month, the If U Care Share Foundation.
The charity provides prevention, intervention training & support of those affected by suicide.
Over the month, donations will also be encouraged towards the club’s charitable Foundation, which works with hundreds of children each week and does such fantastic work within our community.
To support the Foundation with a donation, please click here.
Thank you for your continued support and keep an eye out for Day Twenty-Two – and the launch of our final competition of the month – tomorrow!
Lee Picton has been promoted to the role of Chief Executive and Graham Fenton will take sole charge of the first-team as part of a management restructure at South Shields Football Club.
Lee begins his new role with immediate effect, with Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup match at Cheltenham Town to be the final match led by the joint management team.
Jon Shaw becomes Joint Assistant Manager alongside Brian Smith while Keith Finnigan will now operate in his specialist area of finance.
The day-to-day running of the club will be the responsibility of Lee as positive changes are made to facilitate further growth and development at 1st Cloud Arena.
Keith now has an expanded remit after agreeing to join the board of the club’s main shirt sponsor, Business Energy Claims, while he also continues to lead a separate property development business.
It was therefore deemed appropriate to narrow his role at the football club, but he will have a pivotal position supporting Lee and club Chairman Geoff Thompson by providing the timely and accurate financial reporting essential for any successful business.
Mr Thompson said: “As part of our ongoing development, we have reviewed our structure and put in place what we feel is the most appropriate management team to move the club forwards.
“I firmly believe Lee is the perfect candidate for this new role and am delighted he has accepted it.
“His expertise, extraordinary knowledge of the game and strong experience of the club and all who work within it are invaluable assets to us and I’m hugely excited to see how South Shields FC will continue to develop in his image.
“I’m equally delighted that Graham has agreed to become Manager, ably assisted by Jon Shaw, Brian Smith and the rest of our outstanding coaching team.
“Graham and Lee have achieved incredible success over the last four years as Joint Managers and I have full confidence that the positive work and upward trajectory will be maintained by our new management team.
“Jon will be a tremendous addition to that as he steps up from his Academy duties and continues his impressive development as a coach, alongside his playing responsibilities.
“Keith Finnigan will remain a key and valued figure operating in his specialist area of finance. His contribution to the club over the last three-and-a-half years has been invaluable and I can’t stress enough how important he is within our management team.
“I’m hugely enthused about the future at the club as we look to further our progression with an excellent team behind the scenes both in football and non-football roles all pushing in the same direction to deliver success for our town, our magnificent supporters and our loyal sponsors.
“I firmly believe that the years ahead will be very bright and these changes make me even more confident that will be the case.”
Chief Executive Lee Picton said: “Working alongside Graham over the last four seasons as Joint First-Team Managers has been an absolute pleasure and privilege.
“As everyone knows our partnership has been a longstanding one, and although I now move on from it with a heavy heart, I take away with me a multitude of incredible memories and experiences of managing the team together, that I will cherish forever.
“The support Graham has given to me during our time working alongside each other at the club thus far has been fantastic, and I greatly look forward to hopefully many more years of working together but now just in slightly different roles.
“Being asked to take on the role of Chief Executive at our fantastic football club is such an exciting prospect and challenge for me.
“I want to publicly thank Geoff Thompson for his trust in me. I completely appreciate the responsibility that comes with such an important role and I fully intend to give my absolute all in the pursuit of driving the club to yet greater heights, both on and off the pitch, and to build on the tremendous work that Keith Finnigan has carried out and overseen in recent years.
“Undoubtedly, the single biggest thing that fills me with such optimism, hope and motivation in my new role moving forwards, is that our club is awash with great people.
“From our first-team management to our junior section, committee, back office staff, matchday volunteers and incredibly loyal fans and sponsors, we are truly blessed with the people that are tied to our club.
“My job moving forwards is to harness the energy of all these people in the most positive and effective way possible, and if this can be achieved then I truly believe the possibilities for our club are unbelievably exciting.”
First-Team Manager Graham Fenton said: “I’m hugely excited to have been given the responsibility of sole management of the first-team and I’d like to thank Geoff for the faith he has shown in me by giving me this role.
“Myself, Jon and Brian will continue the hard work and will of course be aiming to build on the success that the joint management team has enjoyed over the last four years.
“I know the addition of Jon to the first-team coaching staff will be well-received within the dressing room as he is a much-liked and respected member of the squad and as we all know, has huge knowledge and experience within the game.
“Together with Brian, we are hugely enthused by the prospect of working as a team and feel we will compliment each other exceptionally well.
“I’d like to personally wish Lee well in his new role and I know he will do a fantastic job in progressing the club in other areas.”
Joint Assistant Manager Jon Shaw said: “I want to thank Graham for the opportunity and asking me to join the management team. I can’t wait to get started and help out in any way I can and repay his faith in me to do the job.
“It’s an exciting progression in my career which of course is something I am proud and pleased about but as always my focus will be on the club being successful, and I can’t wait to get started with Graham, Bri, Phil Naisbett, Andy Morris and all the staff and players in continuing that.
“I’m going to miss the 16-19s job but I’m always going to be thankful for the opportunity I had to come over and work alongside and learn from Wess Brown and Jamie Williams. The 16-19s will still be a big part of my job as we’ve told those lads to push for first-team shirts and I’ll no doubt continue being part of their development through watching them play and coaching them.
“I want to thank Lee for the way he has coached and managed me over the last four-and-a-half years as I’ve learned a lot. There’s a part of me that’s sad he won’t be a part of the team now but I’m really happy for him that he’s going to continue here in a role that will no doubt help the club move forward.”
South Shields take on FC United of Manchester on Tuesday as both sides look to kickstart their league campaigns.
The pair were the Pitching In Northern Premier League’s top two when the 2019-20 season was brought to a premature conclusion but have saved much of their exploits so far this term for the Emirates FA Cup, with both qualifying for the first round.
They each go into Tuesday’s fixture at 1st Cloud Arena sitting in the bottom half of the table but after morale-boosting victories over higher-league opposition in the cup on Saturday, confidence is not expected to be an issue for either team.
It is a rematch of March’s classic encounter which saw the Mariners win 5-3 in what proved to be the final match of the campaign, in front of an incredible crowd of over 3,000.
Current restrictions mean this game will be played in front of just 300 spectators, with Shields season ticket holders in bubble 2 (those with a surname which starts between M and Z, as well as those who opted out of the Radcliffe fixture earlier this month) eligible to attend, along with FC United supporters who bought tickets from their club’s allocation.
FC United remain unbeaten in the league but have drawn four of their first five fixtures, while Shields are 12th having won two and drawn three of their seven league matches.
It could prove to be an important encounter.
Shields joint manager Lee Picton said: “FC United come here boasting an unbeaten record so far this season and we cannot afford for the match to be a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show.
“Both sides enjoy playing the game in what I would consider to be the right way, and for the lucky 300 who are in attendance I’m in no doubt that it will be another action-packed encounter with plenty of goalmouth action, hopefully more in their box than ours.
“There was an unbelievable atmosphere at Saturday’s game against FC Halifax Town, despite the fact we were only allowed to admit 300 supporters.
“The energy and passion that they transmitted to the team was incredible and it was hugely appreciated by everyone at the club, and without a doubt the players themselves.
“Hopefully in stages of Tuesday’s game we can give the supporters that are here the encouragement they need to react in exactly the same way and we can bounce off each other to help inspire another victory.”
Kick-off in Tuesday’s game is at 7.45pm and the stream coverage will get started at 7.15pm. This is the link to follow to sign-up for and access the stream: https://bit.ly/2Trmexe