It’s finally here, the start of the new football season! I’m sure you are sharing our excitement in getting back to live competitive football action for the first time in six months when we welcome Gosport Borough at The Meadow tomorrow (Saturday).
For those of you returning to The Meadow for the first time you will notice some changes as we have spent large sums of money to implement our covid-19 secure policy to ensure the safety of our visitors. When you arrive at the ground you will have your temperature checked and we will be working a track and trace system. If you can download the EvePass App in advance that will help to speed up the process as you will just then need to scan a QR code, but if you do not have a smart device, do not worry, we can also collect your contact details on pen and paper.
Please arrive in good time to make sure we are all in the ground for kick-off, the bar will be open with social distancing in operation and Billy Burger will be on-site providing what are popularly regarded as the best burgers in the league. We will also be selling printed programmes on the day, a big thank you to our programme editor, Dan Buckingham, for once again taking on the job – It is a huge commitment throughout the season.
Engaging with the youth sections of the club continues as they continue to provide ball boys and stewards for matches – Whilst we are still having to carry out temperature checks, track and trace and social distancing on a matchday we are still on the lookout for more stewards for the coming season, if you are able to spare some time to help out we would love to hear from you – You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our oldest age group within the youth section are now playing Saturday football in the West Herts League as The Generals, with home matches taking place on the artificial pitch at Chesham Community College on Chartridge Lane. I am also pleased to confirm that two players from the Academy have signed Southern League forms for the First XI. Blaaze Lawrence made his debut in the friendly against Wycombe Wanderers whilst young goalkeeper, Dan Hosier, who saved a penalty and shined in the FA Youth Cup, has been encouraged by the management team to attend first team training if possible.
Off the pitch we have secured another grant, this time £10,000 towards the costs of making the ground safe and Covid-19 secure and to enable social-distancing throughout. You will hopefully see that this is money well spent as we prioritise the safety of our supporters, players and officials. Other developments around the ground include the installation of new sensor lighting above the turnstiles for ease of access, and we even now have the ability to accept contactless payments at the turnstiles to reduce the amount of cash handling that takes place. We also intend to get lighting along the driveway for your safety and security and more barriers for the clubhouse will be arriving very shortly to help the queueing system in operation inside The Chess Suite. We have even managed to squeeze in 4 more car parking spaces for visitors to the football matches!
It seems we have come a long way in five years since I joined the Board as Finance Director, and the 4 months I have been Chairman of our great club, but as they say, the work continues at a pace. I look forward to seeing many of you at the game tomorrow, and don’t forget the Ladies start their season at home on Sunday, a great weekend in prospect at Chesham United.
Your support is appreciated.
Peter Brown, Chairman
Chesham United Football Club