I am pleased to report that things have started to progress with the new floodlights this week with the electrical circuits and pylon bolts having been inspected, next week the pylons themselves will be thoroughly inspected in the hope that the new lights will be in place by the time of our first home pre-season friendly against Hemel Hempstead Town on Tuesday 26th July.

Prices have been set for our two home friendlies this summer (the other being against Wycombe Wanderers on Friday 29th July) with an extra discount available for purchasing tickets for the matches in advance. Pre-booked prices will be £6 adults, £5 concessions and £3 for 12-18 year olds. Advanced tickets sales will be available up until 6 hours before the game, after that they will be available at the turnstiles as normal at £8, £6 and £4 respectively. Under 12’s can attend all games free of charge.

Tickets will be available from Monday 4th July, at both games the clubhouse and outside bar will be open to serve refreshments and I am delighted to say that Bill’s Diner will be back for the season ahead selling what are surely the best burgers in the league.

Earlier this week you may well have seen that we announced our new kit and shirt sponsors for the forthcoming season, which sees a return to a predominantly claret & blue shirt, which I know is a popular decision.

The front of the shirt will carry the name of Castlemore – the clubs preferred choice of building surveyors, designers and builders for the proposed new ground. We have been liaising with Castlemore since August last year and have been impressed with what they have to offer and their commitment to the project already, both financially and in time.

The away kit for the club remains yellow and black with a revamped design for 2022/23 season. Replica shirts are expected to be available from the club and the club shop in time for the start of the new campaign. But in the meantime, to make sure you get your shirt in time for the first league game we have ordered nine extra shirts which we will have for sale at £37 with pick up from the club in both home and away colours with sizes up to 2 x XL. Get your orders in now to retail@cheshamunited.co.uk. There is no postage charge but be quick – we already have some registered interest.

This week also saw the first monthly draw for the Claret Club business members with local solicitors Coyle White Devine being the first out of the hat and winning the right to have their name on the reverse of the kits for the forthcoming season. We are delighted to be able to promote our local sponsors – the name on the back of the shirt is just the first of our monthly draws for our Claret Club members, later this month we will be carrying out the next draw for a free perimeter board at The Meadow for the season ahead.

I would like to say a big thank you to all twelve of our Claret Club members that have signed up nice and early, we look forward to working with you more throughout the season ahead. Likewise a big thank you to all our sponsors that have renewed so far, you have been keeping the commercial team busy which is fantastic news!

This week I have been having conversations about having our main club website revamped ahead of the new season, I want us to be able to use the site to not only promote the football and matchday activity, but it should also be a platform to be able to give more visibility and support to those local businesses that have been kind enough to support the club. I have now given the go ahead for a new site to be built and I look forward to seeing that progress over the coming weeks.

We are also having an increasing number of enquiries about using our facilities at The Meadow as we look to extend the appeal of the club beyond just football supporters. This week I had a Zoom Meeting with the producers of Taskmaster, discussing the possibility of filming a full show at The Meadow later this year, and next month we will be hosting the National Film School from Beaconsfield as part of their end of year plans whilst they are making a short 15-minute film in the local area.

In a win-win situation we were also delighted to host the local fire brigade at the club this week as they ran a training session for what would happen in the event of a fire at The Meadow. It was an awesome site watching these local professionals in action with their hose runs and spraying practices, it is reassuring to know that these people are on hand for any fire that may start in the Chesham area.

The timing of the practice could not have been better either, after a very hot and dry week, 10,000 additional litres of water being sprayed on the pitch did wonders for the grass! On that subject, a huge thank you to everyone that has helped with the moving of the sprinklers throughout the week, the pitch is looking so much better than it did at the end of last season when it was effectively “dead”. Let’s hope it sees some entertaining football on it this forthcoming season.

Football for the 2021/22 season has now officially ended with the Academy year coming to an end. It has been a pleasure to have these young people at our club and for those that are moving on we wish you the very best for the future.

Weeding party at the club this weekend on Saturday from 9am. Tea and coffee will be supplied so if we get many in with your own bucket, hand fork or trowel the ground will start to look like a Football Stadia again. More hands make light work. We also need a strimming party out the back of the club as it is starting to look like a hay field! Come on peeps let get it done before too long.

Have a great weekend and thank you for your support.

Peter Brown, Chairman

I am delighted to be able to start this week by announcing that our management duo, James Duncan and Michael Murray, have signed with the club for a further two years. This is fantastic news and gives us the stability to plan for the future and also sends out a strong message to our playing squad that we back our managers at Chesham United. Football at all levels can be brutal, but particularly in non-league level where very few players are on actual contracts, it is important to show loyalty and integrity, the reputation of a football club goes a long way towards attracting the right type of player. Being true to your word, paying wages on time and providing a decent playing surface and facilities are part of the package; it need not be all about money. I would like to think we tick all those boxes.

With the management secure, I know they are working hard to develop the squad and there will be player announcements over the coming weeks, as I have mentioned before, we tend not to be a club that makes big announcements early, preferring to keep our cards close to our chest until the time is right.

Following on from the League AGM last week we are informed that the league fixtures will be released week commencing 2nd July, which does not leave us much preparation time before the league campaign kicks off on 6th August. I am never quite sure why we have to wait so long for the fixtures after the leagues have been ratified, but it always seems to be the case and that is completely out of our control. With some long trips in the pipeline, it can make booking travel an issue if we end up with a long trip whilst still in the school holidays.

Talking of long trips, following the resignation of Walton Casuals from the league it has been confirmed that Merthyr Town will no longer be relegated from our league, meaning we will still have a journey across the border next season. For the club and players it is a long day, but actually deep down many of us, and our supporters, will put down a trip to Merthyr Tydfil as one of our favourite away days – a warm welcome and just a fantastic club to visit. Indeed I believe Merthyr were recent winners of the Football Supporters Association Away Day of the Year 20221/22 for our level of football. Congratulations and fully deserved.

This week we have ordered the new playing shirts and tracksuits with the sponsors of both to be announced on Sunday when we will be making the draw for the company name to go on the back of the shirt from our Claret Club members. Watch this space.

Prior to that, on Saturday we will be finishing painting the white safety lines on the terraces, but there is still plenty of work to do painting the wooden tops of the perimeter boards – any volunteers always welcomed.

Flights permitting, we will be operating with a skeleton Board next week as members of the Board jet off on well-deserved holidays, back in time for our pre-season friendlies when the excitement for the new season really begins to build up.

Thank you for your support.

Peter Brown, Chairman

This week our league received the sad news that one of our opponents in the Southern League Premier South, Walton Casuals, took the decision to manage the closure of their club and they will no longer be existing as a football club next season. A very sad day for the players, supporters and officials of that club and our heart-felt thoughts go out to everyone connected with Walton Casuals.

We often talk about the frailties of finance in non-league football and this is another example of just how close to the brink many clubs can find themselves. Huge credit to those at Walton Casuals who have made the very difficult decision to do this rather than carry on running a club that builds up huge amounts of debt. They are going out with no liabilities or indebtedness, and that for that they should be applauded. Still very sad. With Walton’s decision, that did leave our league temporarily one club short however this afternoon we received the news that Walton will be replaced in the league by Merthyr Town who have been given a reprieve after finishing 2nd bottom last season.

At Chesham United we know the club has sailed close to the wind on many occasions, but we are fortunate to have some excellent facilities and a good home support base that puts us in a good position to manage the finances of the rest of the club. This might be a good point to thank everyone that has already purchased their season ticket for the 2022/23 season, we are well on track for breaking all recent records for season ticket holders which is fantastic news – thank you for your loyalty and support.

A big thank you also to all the local businesses that are supporting the club, our commercial team have been very busy as we look on course to hit our income budget, we even have a floodlight sponsor signed up for the new season.

We will soon start to take bookings for player sponsorship, priced at just £50 for either home kit sponsorship or away kit sponsorship for your favourite player. Players will be allocated on a first come, first served basis although last season’s sponsors for each player will get their chance to sponsor that player again first. If you are interested, please email commercial@cheshamunited.co.uk.

Whilst the income is all good news, we have also been splashing out a considerable amount of money to improve the playing surface at The Meadow. We have now spent over £10,000 on the pitch repair and maintenance, fully aware that it needs to be in the best condition possible to match our promotion ambitions and still host the Ladies and Aylesbury United on our home ground. By the end of next season the cost of pitch maintenance will have topped £20,000 – a 30% increase on last season.

I am led to believe that all stag weekends and marriages are now completed for the summer within the playing squad as they prepare for a return to training. This coming Sunday the Board are meeting with the managers to discuss the plans for the season ahead, the current status of the playing squad and latest signings, as mentioned previously, any player announcements will be made at the appropriate time.

This weekend sees the Southern League AGM in Worcester on Saturday, unfortunately I will now be unable to attend. You must be bored by now of hearing about the latest illnesses within the boardroom, well this week I have been the one who has been unwell and ended up spending Tuesday afternoon and evening at the doctors trying to get a solution to the problem. As a result I will be unable to travel to the AGM, but fortunately we have been able to draft in a replacement attendee otherwise there would have been a £500 fine. heading our way! Any interesting news from the meeting will be shared with you next week.

There is no official work party this Saturday, but a number of us will be back at 9.00am on Sunday morning to finish the white lines on the terraces and the remaining tops of the wooden rails around the ground – if anyone would like to join us you will be more than welcome.

Thank you for your support.

Peter Brown, Chairman

I will not take up much of your reading time this week as I hope you are enjoying an extended Bank Holiday weekend and any plans you have to celebrate the jubilee.

That said, if you are not really into street parties, want to get out of the house or would just like to offer some of your free time to help out around the club with any summer tidy-up and repairs around The Meadow, I would love to hear from you!

A big thank you also to those volunteers that have done a cracking job of painting the white lines around the terraces, it is looking excellent, but we are still looking for volunteers for further improvements including painting the goalposts and weeding around the place. We are also looking to replace and paint all the wooden tops on the pitch perimeter so anyone with a small saw and/or electric drill we would love to hear from you – we have the screws and wood available.

If you are not much of a handy person, but would still like to get involved or have any free time that you would like to give, please do get in touch, I am sure there will be many ways you can help to make a positive difference to our club, email me at chairman@cheshamunited.co.uk.

We now know our pre-season fixtures ahead of the 2022/23 campaign. Seven full first team friendlies plus a Chesham XI game have been confirmed, beginning on Saturday 9th July with a visit to the Middlesex FA’s Rectory Park to take on Egham Town (Combined Counties Premier Division South) before visits to Bedfont Sports on Saturday 16th July (Isthmian Division 1 South Central) and Berkhamsted (Southern Division 1 Central) on Tuesday 19th July.

Saturday 23rd July sees us in a double header as we travel to Risborough Rangers (Spartan South Midlands Premier Division) to mark the occasion of the opening of their newly built stand, and a Chesham XI travels just up the hill to Amersham Town for the John Hearn Trophy.

We have two home friendlies with the visits of Vanarama South side Hemel Hempstead (Tuesday 26th) and EFL League One side Wycombe (Friday 29th) to the Meadow, our first chance to play on our renovated playing surface which by then will be unrecognisable from the tail end of last season.

Our final pre-season friendly will be on Tuesday 2nd August, away to Uxbridge (Isthmian Division 1 South Central) at Honeycroft. The Southern League Premier Division South season then starts on Saturday 6th August, and we would normally expect these fixtures to be announced in early July, but you can at least for now put these friendly dates in your diary.

On Tuesday we said farewell to our beloved supporter Fred Wallis with standing room only available at the crematorium where I felt privileged to read a eulogy remembering Fred on behalf of everyone at Chesham United. I was very proud to be able to talk about such a great supporter and from the acknowledgements I received afterwards, I know my feelings and memories were shared by many in attendance.

Have a fantastic extended weekend everyone and thank you for your continued support. We are making progress and I have been particularly touched by a number of kind comments and emails that have been received recently. It often feels like a thankless task, but it is reassuring to learn that more and more people are sharing our vision.

Have a great weekend.

Peter Brown, Chairman

Happier news to start with this week as we offer our congratulations to our Joint Manager, Michael Murray, who finally got married yesterday after two cancellations during the pandemic – we wish you both many happy years ahead.

Whilst most of us have moaned about the weather this past week, our newly spread grass seeds on the pitch have been loving the rainfall that has accompanied sunny spells. The grass seed planted just nineteen days ago has germinated and come through the sand already. There is a huge amount of new grass and is already looking good, by the start of the season I am very confident we will have an excellent playing surface to be proud of. All being well, today it will have had its first small cut and light roll.

As mentioned previously, we are going to have to be much stricter on the level of usage we allow on the main pitch this season and the likelihood is now that we will have just two home pre-season friendlies before the season kicks off, these are currently planned to be against Hemel Hempstead Town on Tuesday 26th July and Wycombe Wanderers on Friday 29th July.

A big thank you to the significant number of people that have taken advantage of the early bird seasonal membership packages, based on feedback we have extended this to the end of the month, 31st May, to give those that get paid on the last day of the month a chance to purchase.

Unlike many clubs, we do not tend to make a lot of noise about player signings because in truth, unless you are putting them on a contract, the league forms are not available to be signed yet and any player announcement can very easily backfire. We have always liked to keep our cards a lot closer to our chest, but I can promise you that the team being put together by our management is very exciting and we will go into the new campaign with hopes and expectations of continuing on from where we left off at the end of last season.

Although the last game of the season win over Wimborne Town seems a long time ago, the football season has not yet completely finished for Chesham United. Our Academy team have made it through to the final of the ESPFA Cup Final where they will take on Runcorn Linnets at Stafford Town FC on Tuesday 14th June, 1pm kick-off. If you happen to be travelling to Wolverhampton to watch England play Hungary that evening, why not make a day of it and call in to this game in the afternoon – your support would be most welcomed!

A big thank you also to those volunteers that have done a cracking job of painting the white lines around the terraces, it is starting to look really good. We are still looking for volunteers to help finish the job as well as painting the goalposts and weeding around the place. We are also looking to replace and paint all the wooden tops on the pitch perimeter so anyone with a small saw and/or electric drill we would love to hear from you – we have the screws and wood available.

The floodlights have been ordered, although we have been advised to expect a delay on the installation as the war in Ukraine and lockdown in Shanghai affects material supplies. I am hopeful that they will be installed by the end of July, but have been advised that this may roll over into August. Either way, we will be starting the season in our new kit, the full reveal of this will follow in the next week or so. For the pre-season friendlies we will be wearing our claret & blue third kit from last season.

On the subject of kit, we will be holding our first Claret Club Draw in the second week of June to announce the name that will appear on the back of the shirt. We have this week received printed copies of our 2022/23 sales and marketing brochure that includes details of the Claret Club amongst other opportunities, these will be distributed and used by the commercial team, a digital version is available from here.

A final reminder that the funeral of our much-loved supporter, Fred Wallis, will take place at the Amersham Crematorium at 3.15pm next Tuesday, 31st May.

Have a great weekend.

Peter Brown, Chairman

Very sad news this week as one of our longest-serving, and most loved supporters, lost his battle with cancer last weekend. At the age of 74 we say goodbye to Fred Wallis, who will be greatly missed.

I personally have known Fred since I was ten years old, by then he was already a Chesham United supporter having attended his first game as a mere eight-year-old. He would go on to be a loyal supporter at both home and away matches, including all the games in the 1990s when he used to travel on the Boughton’s minibus to matches.

There was always a story to tell – many of them perhaps not appropriate for public consumption, but perhaps a favourite I was told about was on the way to Hendon’s old Claremont Road ground. Fred thought he recognised a car in front so they decided to follow it rather than use their own map…and ended up at Brent Cross Shopping Centre! I think many of us will have fond memories of Hendon’s old ground and I am sure they were not the only ones to have ended up in the wrong lane when reaching the bottom of the M1 on the way to that fantastic old ground.

Fred will of course have remembered the 1968 FA Amateur Cup Final fondly and it was wonderful to hear that the remaining players from that great side have come together to organise a claret & blue reef for the funeral – true recognition of what a great supporter, and what a great loss Fred is. The funeral takes place on Tuesday 31st May, 3.15pm, at Amersham Crematorium.

Whilst the majority of our players are enjoying a well-earned rest, our congratulations go to Jeanmal Prosper who made his international debut for Dominica last Sunday, playing alongside his brother in defence in a 3-1 friendly win over St Vincent and the Grenadines – I wonder if he could arrange a pre-season friendly for us in the Caribbean whilst he is out there!

Talking of friendlies, we are still in the process of making contacts and developing our list of matches. As we know, the days of being able to attractive first team squads from the top level of the game are long gone as they head off to the States and the Far East to play in much more lucrative fixtures, albeit often against teams from their own league. It always amazes me how the top professional clubs seem to suffer the most from tired players, yet happily trot off all around the world for friendlies – I guess that is what money has done to football. It’s the world we live in, but we have to get used to it.

We will however have some good competitive games to look forward to, and I for one cannot wait. Of course the league season is not over for everyone and it would be remiss of me not to wish our neighbours Wycombe Wanderers all the very best in their play-off final at Wembley tomorrow – what an occasion that will be against such a massive club as Sunderland. No doubt there will be a huge following from Buckinghamshire heading up the M40 – successful or not, remember, we will be hosting a friendly whether it be against a League One or Championship side as part of our pre season. We are also hosting Hemel Hempstead!!

I am also delighted to confirm that we will once again be partnering with the Bucks Mind charity for the 2022/23 and already have our first fundraising event planned. There will be a concert at St Mary’s Church in Chesham where, along with the Chess Valley Male Voice Choir, we will be privileged to be accompanied by the internationally acclaimed Treorchy Male Choir. Seriously, if you have not heard these guys sing before you will be well and truly gobsmacked by their spine-tingling performance. Watch this space.

Have a great weekend.

Peter Brown, Chairman

This week saw the league structures for next season announced and, subject to any appeals that may affect us, we now know that we will once again be in the Southern League Premier South for 2022/23.

As mentioned last week, geographically we are on the border of a couple of divisions at our level in the non-league pyramid. Each year, after promotion and relegation, there are always teams that switch leagues across the pyramid to ensure that travel times are minimised as much as possible for all clubs. As an example, one of our most local league opponents last season, Kings Langley, have moved into the Southern League Central division next season.

What does that mean? Basically Kings Langley will be making most of their away trips northwards to play clubs in the midlands and northern home counties whilst we travel to teams on the west side of London such as Harrow, Hendon, Hanwell, Hayes & Yeading as well as plenty of much longer trips west to the likes of Plymouth Parkway, Weston-Super-Mare, Dorchester, Truro, Tiverton and Winchester – some fantastic away trips for supporters, not always so logistically great for getting players to the matches, particularly on a Tuesday night.

Ahead of the new season we will be having just three home pre-season friendlies to minimise impact on the pitch ahead of another long season for the grass. We are currently finalising those matches, and the away games, with one of the home fixtures likely to be against Hemel Hempstead Town from the National League South.

Speaking of the pitch, it has now had its 120 tonnes of sand deposited and is being regularly watered to help the seeds thrive and provide us with the perfect playing surface. A big thank you, as always, to Craig Ringsell for his passion and commitment to maintaining our pitch – I know he must find it frustrating how many games get played at The Meadow, but everyone at Aylesbury United, the Ladies, the Academy and of course the First XI is extremely grateful for the effort.

It would not be my weekly notes without an appeal for volunteer helpers, this week I am very keen to hear from anyone that can spare some time to do some odd jobs around the ground ahead of a routine health & safety inspection that takes place on 1st July. As much as I am confident in the safety of the ground, when you have an older stadium there is always the risk of the odd thing being picked up on an inspection and I want to be sure that we have everything in order ahead of the inspection and ahead of our next matches at The Meadow. If you can help, please contact me at chairman@cheshamunited.co.uk.

Just prior to that inspection, the last week of June, we will be having the new floodlights installed which is exciting news, you know the story and background to that by now I am sure and needless to say we would still very much welcome any donations you or anyone you know may like to make. Full details can be found on the GoFundMe page here.

Later this month we have our regular board and management meeting, we are currently in conversation with two potential new directors of the club – this is very much a priority going into the new season as we still remain spread very thin in the boardroom and being able to share some of the responsibilities will enable us to move forward at a greater pace.

In non-football news the club is once again being used for the filming of the latest series of Endeavour if you start to see film crews around and wonder what is going on – unfortunately it is not a documentary about Chesham United being made!

A final reminder that this is the last week to take advantage of the discounted Early Bird season tickets for the next campaign, if you have not yet done so, please do take advantage of the significant discount available.

Have a great weekend.

Peter Brown, Chairman

Welcome to the end of another week without live Chesham United football, are you like me missing it already? The Champions League certainly proved an entertaining distraction this week with a couple of entertaining semi-finals, but it does not come close to watching your local team play – roll on the start of the new season!

Our congratulations go to Farnborough and our former player Adam Martin who secured promotion via the play-offs, beating Hayes & Yeading in the final on Monday. These are always good fun times for supporters and non-league enthusiasts as we all start to predict how the league pyramid will look next season, what new clubs will be in our league, and is there any potential that we may get switched to a different geographical league?

At Chesham we are very much on the border between leagues with the Southern League Central boundary coming very close to the Southern League Premier South division – although I do not anticipate us switching leagues, you just never know these days! By the end of the month we should know exactly what league we are in, what opposition we face and what travel plans we need to begin making.

One thing we do know for sure is that we will be back in more of a claret and blue strip next season and all being well we will be playing under new floodlights at The Meadow. Thanks to online and offline donations towards our fundraising we felt in the position to be able to place the order yesterday for the new lights, with grants available and the kind donation of supporters we should all benefit from the better view of midweek games next season. We have not yet reached our fundraising target and would still very much appreciate any donations or help with spreading the word. Details of the GoFundMe appeal can be found here.

Elsewhere around the ground the cleaning, tidying and maintenance goes on. If anyone is available this Saturday (7th) from 9.00am to 1.00pm we are holding a work party to paint the white lines on the edge of the terraces, required for health and safety purposes. If you were able to come along with 3-inch brushes, paint pots and brooms your help would be very much appreciated!

As we budget for next season we have upped the ante on the selling of sponsorship with our flagship Claret Club our main focus at this stage of the year. Later we will have our first monthly draw for members with the first prize being your company name on the back of the First XI shirt for all games during the 2022/23 season. If your company, the company you work for or anyone you know would be interested in this unique package, please do get in touch. Full details can be found on the website here.

I notice that next week is Keep It Local Week, a national campaign instigated by a group of office products and stationery shops aimed at raising the awareness of supporting local businesses – needless to say I am hugely in favour of that and believe it is really important that we all look to support local jobs, our local community and our environment. I know that Ray Williams at JPS Stationers in town is very much involved in the campaign and keen that we all get behind Keep It Local Week – why don’t you try to take the 7-day Keep It Local challenge available on the Keep It Local website here and see if we can win £250 for a local Chesham charity?

For the players it is the close season period with no games or training, which is probably just as well as they are off to Dublin this weekend for what I am sure will be a quiet affair with maybe the odd half of Guinness. In the near future they will also be out on a couple of stag weekends as manager Michael Murray and Steve Brown both get married in the close season – good planning, that is what I like to see!

In between weekends away the management are working hard on pulling together a friendlies fixture list and establishing a squad capable of pushing for promotion again next season. In the true spirit of what our club has become they also gave up their time on Wednesday evening, management and coaches, to run a training session with our senior youth team – sharing their knowledge and experience and ensuring that everyone feels a part of the club. A fantastic evening was had by all.

A reminder that seasonal memberships are now on sale, the take-up so far has been great and I urge you to take advantage of the early bird booking discount, full details on the website here.

On Monday next week 2 tonnes of grass seed will be distributed onto the pitch, that is then quickly followed by a 120 tonnes of specialist sand. This is double the amount of seed and sand used last year. We need our pitch to be immaculate for the season start, so if anyone had the odd half hour to spare and can by arrangement move the 4 sprinklers down the pitch during the day you help would be greatly appreciated. Please volunteer yourself to me, chairman@cheshamunited.co.uk We have 3 already but more makes the job easier.

Finally to finish, a quick health round-up with some good news from a health procedure had by fellow director Roger Payne this week where the prognosis looks to be very good. Hopefully today also stalwart supporter Fred Wallis will have had a successful operation in Harefield and upon a satisfactory conclusion will be taken back to Watford Hospital for continuation of chemotherapy for his controllable condition.

I wish all our supporters well, thank you for your ongoing support, please continue to spread the word about seasonal memberships, work parties and sponsorship opportunities – together we can look forward to an exciting new season.

Peter Brown, Chairman

So there we have it, the end of another exciting season and at the end of the day we fell just short of qualifying for the play-offs, but can nonetheless hold our heads high and be proud of the season we have had, particularly from October onwards.

Our last game against Wimborne Town last Saturday was a wonderful occasion, winning 5-0 in front of a crowd in excess of 650 was fantastic and already I cannot wait for the new season to begin! We were also delighted to host a number of our Life Vice Presidents in the boardroom prior to the game, it was good to see some old and familiar faces and hopefully this will become something we do more often in the future.

Once again I have to say a special thank you to our stewards and Physio Matty for their rapid response when we had another spectator with a medical condition on the terraces. Thankfully hospital treatment was not needed and the supporter is now recovering comfortably at home. We have this week purchased a second defibrillator for the club which means there will permanently be one accessible from the clubhouse as well as pitch side, it is important that we have these life-saving devices available if needed.

On the pitch it was a fine performance, followed by our player and supporter presentations in the clubhouse after the game. It did also give us an opportunity to say a proper farewell to our defender Mark Kirby who is retiring from football and moving abroad to work alongside his wife and son, with a second child due in October. Thank you for all you have done Mark, you have been an excellent servant to the club, a popular character and you will be missed – good luck in your new adventure.

One minor downside to the weekend was the fact that we received a fraudulent £20 note at one of the turnstiles, hopefully this was done inadvertently and not a deliberate attempt to deprive us of income, hopefully it is just a one-off and we will not have to go to the extremity of reviewing how we manage cash payments and ticketing on matchdays. If you are aware of anyone else that has been a victim of fake notes in the local area, please do let us know and we can jointly pass the information to the relevant authorities.

With the season now over, it is time to turn our attention to the pitch and preparing the ground for the next campaign. Our first working party will be next Saturday 7th May, starting at 9.00am with many jobs to do around the ground so please do look out for more details of the type of work and tools we need for each specific work party. Your time and effort would be very much appreciated, and I am sure we can make it a fun social as well, to make up for the lack of live football over the coming weeks.

Work on the pitch begins Monday 9th May with at least 120 tonnes of sand and copious bags of seeds being used to bring the pitch back to life, as many of you will know, it is looking completely worn out in its current state. We want the pitch to be in superb condition for our start of next year and to this end there will only be three pre-season games at home, with nothing for eight days before the season starts unless Aylesbury are drawn at home in the extra preliminary round in the FA Cup.

On Tuesday we had a very good meeting with the developer, our landlords and the designers to get the heads of agreement signed to progress the move to a new ground to the next stage. We will be having further meetings with Buckinghamshire Council within the next month or so, I am very pleased with the way things are progressing once again.

On the website you will also find details of the new seasonal membership packages for the next campaign with some great discounts, especially if you take advantage of the Early Bird offer. I am delighted with the number of early orders that have come in already. There is only 4 weeks left please do not leave it to the last minute, the Early Bird offer runs until 21st May 2022. Memberships can now be purchased online using our ticketing platform, click here to order. We will also be running some sessions at the club where we can help you with the purchase of the membership through this new method.

To finish on a rather sad note we are holding the wake for Richard Tomkins who was a regular player in the 1950’s for us, and although he lives in Northampton he was a very regular supporter at the club and could be seen on the terraces in a suit on until ill heath took control of him during this season. The Funeral is at Chiltern Crematorium next Friday at 5pm and the wake here at the club after. RIP Richard

Thank you all for your support

Peter Brown, Chairman

Here we are at the end of another long campaign and facing possibly our last game of the season tomorrow (Saturday) when we welcome Wimborne Town to The Meadow, kick-off 3.00pm.

Unfortunately defeat at Hayes & Yeading on Monday has meant that the play-offs are no longer within our own hands as we need to get a win against Wimborne and hope that Harrow Borough can avoid defeat against Weston-Super-Mare which then would see our season extended to a Tuesday night play-off semi-final. As Jimmy Greaves once said, football is a funny old game, we must not give up hope yet, and your support will be much appreciated.

After the match we will be having our end of season Awards Presentation in the clubhouse, starting around 5.30pm, please do stick around, join us for a drink and show your appreciation to the players and management that have given us a fantastic season, certainly since October anyway!

Last week I cannot help but feel that we were unfortunate how the fixtures panned out. Whilst we were having a tough fixture against Gosport on Saturday our opponents for Monday, Hayes & Yeading, had the day off, as did Weston-Super-Mare which meant that whilst our side was looking a little jaded our opposition were no doubt much fresher. However, we cannot blame that for our potentially missing out on the play-offs, we know we had a very poor start to the season spending the early weeks in the bottom six, to even be in with a shout going into the final game is a credit to the playing side of the club.

Full credit must also go to the referee on Monday, I thought he had an excellent game, one of the best we have seen and, although let down by his assistants occasionally, he managed the game superbly and I hope he has a promising career ahead of him in the middle of the park. We certainly rated him very highly in our feedback.

Behind the scenes there continues to be a huge amount of activity going on and I will continue with these weekly updates as we move through the close season and start our preparations for the new. I would however like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has done their bit for the club over this past season.

There are far too many to name and if I start to I know I will leave somebody out which I do not want to do. It is so often the stuff that you do not generally see that are so important and cannot be done without our band of helpers and volunteers – preparing food on a matchday, selling programmes, stewarding, running tea bars, cleaning out changing rooms, manning the office, banking, ordering stocks for the physio room, preparing the pitch, tidying the terraces, editing the programme, producing our matchday programme, selling sponsorship and advertising, running social events, working with our preferred charity, updating the website, the social media, running the clubhouse, cleaning and tidying the premises, liaising with opponents and match referees, operating the turnstiles…as you can see, the list is almost endless. To everyone – a great big thank you.

Whatever happens this weekend we will carry on with our planning and preparations for next season, and beyond. These are exciting times at the club, I am hoping that the new floodlights will go in over the summer and plans to move to a new ground will continue over the coming months. It is important that we get this right and deliver a facility that is there for the benefit of the whole community, but it must also be a football ground that has character and atmosphere that regular supporters will associate with and happily call home. Something you do not always get with new builds.

The design for the new home kit, claret and blue, has been approved and will soon be going into production, we will also be producing a new away kit – details to follow soon as we finalise our shirt sponsor arrangements, which will also feature on the back a member of our revamped Claret Club. Details of which can be found on the website here.

On the website you will also find details of the new seasonal membership packages for the next campaign with some great discounts, especially if you take advantage of the Early Bird offer. These can now be purchased online using our ticketing platform, click here to order. We will also be running some sessions at the club where we can help you with the purchase of the membership through this new method.

Thank you once again for your magnificent support, let’s turn out in big numbers tomorrow to give the players the reception they deserve. We know that if Weston-Super-Mare beat Harrow Borough they will take that last play-off spot, but if they do happen to slip up, let’s make sure we are ready to step forward in their place!

Stay safe,

Peter Brown, Chairman