By Billy Hutchings
After such a long break from competitive football, it seems that the excellent football programme offered at Hampton is returning to normality, as a select group of senior footballers took part in the annual Colchester pre-season football camp hosted at the Five Lakes Hotel.
Although the trip is traditionally tough and physically demanding, the 55 Hampton boys present displayed exceptional levels of fitness that they had been building over the course of the summer holidays in order to prepare for the camp.
For a large proportion of boys this was their first taste of senior football, given last year’s frustrating circumstances. After a pair of victories against Coggeshall Town youth sides, the step up was certainly noted with two games against sides from Colchester United’s academy proving especially challenging. However, during all matches played, no matter the scoreline, it was obvious for any spectators watching that the Hampton boys’ fitness levels and determination
throughout the tour was admirable and impressive, and the valuable minutes on the pitch will certainly help players hit the ground running at the start of the season.
For the under 18s, a difficult match against Brentwood School followed a convincing 4-1 win against local side Heybridge Swifts. Although all players involved in the 0-0 draw against one of the top football schools in the country would agree that it was not a classic Hampton performance, there is definitely an air of excitement surrounding this year’s First XI. This is increasingly apparent after the Hampton team took home the inaugural Gordon’s
Summer Festival. The early silverware certainly bodes well for the rest of the season.