I would like to start this week by saying a massive thank you to everyone who made last Friday’s Fireworks Night our best for many years, and that includes every one of the 2,400 people that came along to enjoy the evening. We deliberated long and hard over whether it would be right to hold the event this year, would the timing be right, will people want to come out; the answer was a resounding yes.
Thank you also to all the volunteers that made it happen on the night and all the preparation and marketing work that went into the build-up of the event, it all paid off in the end. Also, a final thanks to our fellow tenants, the cricket club and the gym, for their co-operation in enabling us to manage and steward the crowds on the evening; and also to the owner of the farmland out the back of the Meadow End who each year very kindly agrees to the odd rocket and mortar being launched from his field. A tremendous evening that surpassed all of hopes and expectations.
I hope over the coming weeks we may seem more of the locals who supported the Fireworks Night attending a football match at The Meadow sometime soon and witness us doing our “day job”. The Fireworks event was organised at relatively short notice and I do appreciate that we missed a trick in not preparing any leaflets or promotions for the forthcoming fixtures to give out as people came through the turnstiles, but that is something we can work on for next year.
The next step on our development plan is to engage more with our local business community and that begins with our Business Partners Evening that takes place next Tuesday when we have invited a number of local businesses to join us for pre-match hospitality before the game against Walton Casuals. The evening begins with Welcome Drinks from 6.15pm, followed by a buffet and a short presentation and update from the club before everyone can sit back and enjoy the match under the floodlights. It is not too late to sign up for the event, so if you own a business, know anyone that does or believe the company you work for would be interested in attending, please let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org and we can extend a formal invite.
This Saturday we are back in league action at The Meadow against Hendon, a game that is kindly sponsored by Parrott Construction, on behalf of the club I’d like to thank them for their support and hope they enjoy the game. As sponsors they will be selecting and presenting the Man of the Match award at the end of the game. If you would like to be one of our match or matchball sponsors at a future game, please do get in touch with our Commercial Manager Michele Brooks at email@example.com and we can put together a package for you.
After a slow start our season is beginning to build momentum, we currently sit in midtable having won five, drawn five and lost five – classic midtable form! We seemingly continue to come up against Lady Luck wearing the opposition shirt each week, but I am sure that will change soon, including the injury list that seems to take one step forward and two steps back in our quest to have a fully fit squad. There has been a lot of football in recent weeks with games on a Saturday and a Tuesday, some of the players are looking tired and need resting, which I know the managers are looking to do wherever they can, without effecting the results.
One thing I have said all along is that we will not put the financial stability of the club in jeopardy in our ambition to get promoted, as frustrating as that might be for all of us at times. We hear this week that one club in our league has paid £6,000 to sign a striker this week, that is just not something we simply could not contemplate at the moment with our strict budget management. We will instead persevere with trying to grow ourselves in the community (like the Fireworks Night), further develop relationships with local businesses (the Business Partners Evening) and work towards a sustainable future for the club that will last for generations to come (moving to a new ground).
It may not come to fruition, we are sure to have setbacks along the way, but believe this is the way forward and remain as committed as ever to achieve our goal; although I fully appreciate that we will need to appoint some new directors and grow our band of volunteers if we are to get there. We are still very much at the beginning of what I hope is going to be an exciting journey.
Thank you as always for your support, it is appreciated.
Peter Brown, Chairman