HARWICH and Parkeston chairman Tony Armstrong has praised management duo Michael Wallace and Gary Kioussis for their 'tireless work' in tough times.

The Shrimpers have had to battle away in challenging circumstances, following the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Thurlow Nunn League first division south season is set to resume next month following the lifting of lockdown, with Harwich's first game set to be at home to Wivenhoe Town, on December 12.

The Shrimpers, who lie 15th in the table, have two home friendlies scheduled against Arlesford Colne Rangers (December 3) and Debenham LC (December 5), prior to their return to league action.

Writing on the club's Facebook page, he said: "We can certainly say season 2020/2021 has so far been eventful to say the least!

"Will we restart or will we not...will the season get completed or will it not! As it stands, no-one knows the answers.

"I suppose for Harwich and Parkeston we have not had the results we were hoping for.

"Half of our matches played have ended in draws with the remainder narrow defeats (with the exception of Wivenhoe away).

"On the whole performances have been good albeit results have not probably reflected that.

"However we go forward on our hopeful resumption with confidence that we now have a squad of players that will turn results around in our favour. "Our Management team of Michael Wallace and Gary Kioussis have worked tirelessly to get things resolved.

"The Club are very fortunate to have these two individuals who are so determined to get Harwich and a Parkeston back up the non-league pyramid and who have continually strived to get players to join the Club to achieve that ambition.

"We are lucky as a Club too to have someone as knowledgeable and qualified as Steve Foley to guide and advise our Managers and coaches throughout our Club the way forward.

"The Covid crisis has obviously had a massive effect on the Club especially financially but I must thank everyone involved in Harwich and Parkeston in ensuring the Club survives probably one of the most difficult periods in our 143 year history.

"The Managers throughout the Club (including the senior teams) who receive nil financial compensation and devote so much of their time to develop and keep it viable.

"The First team players who receive little more than expenses to ensure we are able to keep it financially viable.

"The Reserve team Management of Gavin Hewitt and Greg Borthwick and players who virtually have “to pay to play" as they have to provide all their travel and other expenses themselves.

"This Club 20 years ago was in serious financial trouble and on Boxing Day 1999 the Committee at that time made a decision it was unable to continue to compete at the levels it had enjoyed for many years due to the financial position of the Club.

"Volunteers came forward to ensure it stayed in existence and realising the critical situation had to make the decision to drop out of senior football.

"It took nearly 15 years to correct the balance deficits and the Club today is totally solvent. Senior football returned at a level the Club could sustain.

"The Harwich supporters returned in numbers and local businesses all rallied round to offer sponsorship and help.

"We still probably still stand as the poor relations of all the Clubs around us though as other closely located Clubs seem to be able to offer better incentives than we can afford ourselves.

"The Management of the Club have ensured it does not return to the depths it sadly fell to. Players are signed within our financial budget. If the money can’t be generated it cannot be spent. "Simple economics! No one wants a repeat.

"Money generated has been spent wisely with all the major ground improvements financed with out debt instead of offering out stupid financial incentives to players who are not playing proud to wear the shirt but are interested in what they are going to get paid.

"That’s why I’m so proud of the players who are representing us now. Many of them have been targeted during this latest shutdown.

"When your results are not going in your favour you are the first target of the “richer" clubs.

At least four of our players have been illegally approached in the last two weeks. They have all opted to stay and help us climb the table.

"It shows the type of player we want to attract to represent the Shrimpers. How some of these Clubs are generating such money to “ pay” players is beyond me.

"Players getting over £100 is common place now. Clubs only averaging gates of 70 clearly have much more money available than we can allocate.

"We have brilliant sponsors and great supporters and this Club will continue to do everything it can to continually improve our playing standard to the highest level achievable within the funds we have available.

"We will not go back to those dark days of 20 years ago! Our supporters have been very patient this season and still attend in numbers.

"Everyone involved in running Harwich and Parkeston especially the management and players are very grateful for that support.

"Rest assured if we all continue to work together with the same objectives and the same support for the same cause Harwich and Parkeston will survive at Senior level with the structures down the youth section ensuring the future of this historic Club is here for the future generation! Thank you.

"Please keep safe and really hope to see you all at the R Gwinnell and Sons Royal Oak soon."