Boston United

Boston United have tied down two of their most influential players to new contracts at the club.

Club captain Luke Shiels and star midfielder Tom Platt have both committed their next year to the club with new deals at the Pilgrims.

Platt, 27, has signed a one-year deal until the end of the upcoming 2021-22 National League North season, having made 55 appearances across the last two curtailed seasons.

Tom Platt has been a key player for Boston in recent seasons, and now he’s here to stay. | Photo: Craig Singleton / Boston United FC

Shiels, 31, is the club captain and was awarded the club’s player of the year award for the 2019-20 season. He will also be signing until the end of next season.

It comes as Boston have to prepare for next season, after the cancellation of the 2020-21 season as a result of COVID-19.

Neither this campaign or the last were completed fully due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Boston United have made a big statement for the future by keeping hold of two of their prized assets.

As well as the pair of Platt and Shiels, Boston have also negotiated new deals for centre back Scott Garner and striker Jordan Burrow this week.

Boston United’s club captain Luke Shiels is staying at the Pilgrims. | Photo: Craig Singleton / Boston United FC

Manager Craig Elliott said he was “delighted” to have two key players sign on the dotted line.

Speaking of Shiels, he said: “He has been outstanding on and off the pitch and as the captain, he sets the high standards for the rest of the team.

“He has played a major part in us having a very strong defensive record and I am looking forward to continuing to work with him.”

As for Platt, Craig Elliott said he’s excited to welcome him back, after suffering a hamstring injury in February.

“Tom is a pleasure to manage and very much a team player in everything he does.

“He has shown a high level of consistency in his performances and I am delighted to sign him again for the coming season.”

Strong winds in Boston have caused a brand new floodlight at the Jakemans Community Stadium to collapse.

The floodlight snapped as a result of the gusts on Thursday morning.

The structure has bent in half and is just another spot of bad luck for the Pilgrims, who have not played any football since January 20 after the National League North season was declared null and void.

The stadium only opened in November as part of the Quadrant development, and fans are yet to step foot inside as a result of coronavirus lockdown.

At the time of reporting, staff are at the ground now trying to resolve the situation.

An eyewitness told The Lincolnite: “It looked like workers were taking them down for maintenance, but it has clearly fallen down in the wind.”

The Lincolnite has contacted Boston United Football Club and Boston Borough Council for a comment, but neither have replied by the time of publication.

The National League North & South season has been declared null and void after clubs voted to end the campaign.

Fears of a lack of financial support, due to the government changing the offer to football clubs from grants to loans, was the primary factor in the decision.

It will mean promotion chasing Boston United will play no more games this season and league positions will be scrapped entirely.

Clubs were informed that while government funding would still be given to them from January to March, it would need to be paid back at some point.

Of the 22 clubs in the National League North, fifteen voted to end the campaign, Boston were not one of those teams.

The season was temporarily halted for two weeks on January 22 to allow for clubs to make a decision and vote on the outcome, with growing coronavirus cases a major concern.

It is another setback for Boston, who moved into a new stadium this season and haven’t yet been able to play a game in front of fans at the Jakemans Community Stadium.

Boston were in sixth place, inside the play-off positions, having played just 13 games, before the season was voided.

Boston United chairman David Newton. | Photo: Boston United FC

Boston United chairman David Newton said the club voted to carry on the season, and he is disappointed by the verdict.

Mr Newton said: “While respecting the outcome of the vote that was announced earlier, we are extremely disappointed that the season has been declared null and void. We voted to continue believing, on balance, this was the right thing to do in the circumstances.

“It has been a very difficult year for the club, but all through this, the squad and management team have remained positive and have continued to work hard despite not knowing when the next fixture would be played.

“We all genuinely felt that we had a real chance of promotion this season.

“This is therefore a bitter blow for everyone at Boston United – but of course this goes much wider.”

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