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!
Peter Brown, Chairman