What a week, the highs and lows of being a football club chairman were both experienced to the very extreme over the course of last weekend.
Let’s start with the high, what an absolute fantastic day we had for the charity match last weekend and what an incredible feeling it is to know that we raised at least £5,500 for Bucks Mind, with more still expected to come in from things like selling shirts that were signed by the celebrities that participated. I would like to thank everyone that attended the match, all 1,400 of you, and a very special thank you to all the volunteers to make the event run so smoothly on the day, and with the cleaning up early the following morning.
To give you an indication of the difference you have made, just £200 could train 10 volunteers to carry out a befriender role, £1,000 could pay for two seaside day trips for around 70 people attending Bucks Minds’ wellbeing services, £2,000 could help to set-up a wellbeing community drop-in and support group or £4,000 could pay for Peer Support in Schools programme to run in a school for free for one year. With more money to come, plus our Christmas pantomime raising money for the charity, I believe we could hit £7,500 this season which could set-up 3 weekly exercise classes, supporting 100 people with mental health needs for a year.
To think that Chesham United Football Club can make that sort of a difference is enough to put a smile on anybody’s face…And boy did we need something to smile about after Saturday.
I try to use my notes to be positive and take a half glass full approach, but even I found that a massive challenge after watching us crash out of the FA Cup with a result and performance that was, there is no point me trying to kid you, nothing short of embarrassing. Credit to Chertsey Town, they are a good club and fully deserved the win having looked as though they wanted it much more than us, which is never something you want to say.
Needless to say that the managers were equally disappointed, if not more so. Roger Payne and I had a very good meeting with James and Michael on Monday evening to discuss some of the issues we are having now and how we can improve things going forward. It is very early days still, the FA Cup is a huge disappointment, but there are plenty of league games to look forward to and I am confident we can see an improvement in fortunes, particularly if we can start to get some players back from injury.
The other reason for our meeting was to confirm travel arrangements for this Saturday’s away game against Truro City, although the game is being played in Plymouth where our hosts are currently ground sharing, it is still an incredibly long journey – One we would very much like to return from with three points in the bag!
Elsewhere, I am delighted to report that our Academy side got off to a winning start this week, beating Rushall Olympic 1-0 at The Meadow. A reminder that our Academy provides students with a BTEC Level 3 in Sport qualification which can lead to further studies in higher education or direct employment opportunities in a variety of sectors, such as sports coaching or sports management. Last season they reached the National Championships finals after winning the South Division, it is fantastic to see them making another good start to this campaign.
Thank you as always for all your support, a week that started with frustration and a feeling of “why do I bother” very quickly became one of the proudest weeks since becoming Chairman. The job is certainly not all about the football on a Saturday, but it certainly does affect your mood for that evening!
I look forward to seeing some of you in Plymouth on Saturday and then more locally for another away game at Hendon next Tuesday.