How fantastic did it feel to have supporters back on the terraces at The Meadow these past few days? The two friendlies we have played so far against Wycombe Wanderers and Sutton United have been hugely entertaining matches and a great opportunity to see how the squad is starting to develop. Action continues tonight, with another home friendly against a Watford XI, with the sun set to be shining late into the evening it sounds like the perfect way to spend a Friday night, with a couple of cold drinks on the terraces watching football with your friends.
Last weekend was also a case of so near, yet so far, for our national team. The curse of the penalty shoot-out once again getting in the way of a real moment of triumph, but what a fantastic achievement by a very young and exciting England team. So isn’t it a shame that all anyone seems to have talked about since the recent penalty heartache is racism and unruly crowd behaviour? A potential momentous occasion for football in our country, spoilt by the minority mindless few.
In truth, this is why more and more people are turning to non-league football with its much friendlier atmosphere, the welcoming of opposition supporters into our ground and our clubhouse, the chance to have a beer on the terrace watching the match and enjoy some good- humoured football banter without feeling threatened in anyway. As for those supporters that seemed to think it ok to try and storm in without paying, what are they possibly thinking? Here at Chesham I am delighted to say that we even have a number of supporters that turned down the option of a hugely discounted season ticket in retrospect to last season being cancelled, but opted instead to donate that money and pay full price for a new ticket. A different world, and one I am very proud to be a part of.
Today has also seen the release of the fixtures for the new season, always an exciting time and a chance to get planning…And we certainly need to do some planning! Our season kicks off with an away trip to Tiverton, a lovely part of the world to visit, but it has the potential to be a pig of a journey on a Saturday in the summer holidays, but we will make plans with the management to ensure we arrive in the best possible shape. This will be followed by two home games against Farnborough on the Tuesday and then Merthyr Town the following Saturday – I can’t wait for us to get into it now!
On a slightly sadder note, our Club President and former Chairman, Brian McCarthy, has taken the decision to no longer attend matches at his beloved Chesham United due to his deteriorating eyesight, hearing and general awareness. The intention is for Brian to remain President and continue as a director of the club as his knowledge and experience remains invaluable to us as a Board and it is important that he maintains a connection with the club.
We have a strong management team in place that I believe will help us to take the club forward for the benefit of everyone involved. As directors we have a responsibility not just to the shareholders, but to the community as a whole, the football club will outlast all of us and we are just custodians of the club determined to make sure that when it is our time to pass on the baton, Chesham United Football Club is in a strong and stable position to carry on entertaining many generations to come. That is what drives us, that is why we are continuing behind the scenes to work towards a new sustainable home for the club and move us away from the boom and bust cycle of requiring huge sums of personal donations on a regular basis.
Thank you as always for your support, I look forward to seeing you this evening for the friendly v Watford.