With the group stages now done and dusted, EURO 2020 kicks into life this weekend with Wales taking on Denmark on Saturday and the big England v Germany clash on Tuesday – What better place to watch these games than at The Chess Suite surrounded by fellow Chesham supporters? There will also be food available for the England game with a pint and a burger from just £7, or £8.50 with chips – All cooked by yours truly, for the last time before we welcome our new catering manager to the club, and I get to hang up my pinny! Despite the somewhat sluggish performance against Scotland last Friday, there was a great atmosphere in the clubhouse, and I hope we can replicate that over the coming days.

Lots happening behind the scenes this week, but a special huge thank you to Charlie, our coach driver, who spent the majority of a day at the ground emptying bins and sweeping up the far corner of the terraces of last year’s leaves and rubbish so you can now view and walk safely all around the ground. Next week, seats are being replaced in the main stand as some have become dangerous and dilapidated, then next Saturday (3rd), 10am, we have a final weeding party etc for the terraces – Please, if you can come along, bring a broom as well as a trowel, gloves and bucket as the following Friday we will be holding our first pre-season friendly v Wycombe Wanderers XI and we want the place looking tip-top. Yes, just 14 days until live football at The Meadow – I cannot wait for the whistle to blow for the start of a game and a new season

Pre-season training started last night. Our managers are very happy about this and football re-commencing. We have been informed that our spectator numbers attending games will currently be restricted to 50% of ground capacity, which although it does hold more, we are basing that on 3000, so only 1500 will be allowed in. Wouldn’t it be great if we had to shut our doors in 14 days’ time because we have hit capacity for our friendly v Wycombe Wanderers?

Tickets for both the Wycombe Wanderers and Watford friendlies, along with the Sellebrity Soccer for Bucks Mind match, are now on sale via the website, click here for details. Ticket prices for the Wycombe and Watford games are £10 for adults, £8 for concessions and £3 for under 18.

The pitch is looking magnificent and the thunderstorms of the last week showed that our drainage system is superb with no flooding, and with 300 lbs of fertiliser spread on it, the pitch is very rich green with very lush grass. It is particularly good to have rain at this time of year which has vastly reduced our water consumption which will save us an absolute fortune as the rates charged for commercial water usage are so much more expensive than to private homes. Same water pipes delivering the same water with a massively different charging structure – I’ll let someone else work that one out!

The managers are working hard on the team structure for the next season and we will be in a position to announce players signed over the next few weeks. I am also delighted to be able to confirm we have just this afternoon finalised arrangements for Muzza’s Quiz Night – A fun-packed night organised by our managers on Friday 23rd July. Tickets will cost £10 per person and include a sausage and chips meal, max 6 per team and hopefully by then we will be fully out of lockdown and able to enjoy the first proper social event for what seems like ages! All mobiles and computers to be turned off. Caught out and a fine of minus 100 points will be issued!! Prize for the winning team!

As with last week, I must repeat my huge thank you to everyone that has purchased season tickets, and especially to those that have either donated their entitled refund from last season, or indeed added a donation to their new purchase, which a number of supporters have done, this is an incredible gesture and one that is very much appreciated by myself and the Board particularly as we are able to claim back VAT paid on what are now donations. Every little bit makes a difference and helps us to budget for what we hope to be an exciting and successful season.

Season tickets are still available to order, now in in our second band of early bird discounts. For those that have ordered, these will be available to collect from Monday 5th July onwards. Regrettably the grand opening of the Amersham Town F.C. new clubhouse has been cancelled until September because of the COVID situation, but our friendly will be going ahead with trialists and members of our Chesham United B team for the John Hearn Cup. The clubhouse will be open to serve a number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for you to taste and another live game to enjoy.

Sadly, the Mike Bull Charity game on 10th July been called off due to lockdown being extended by a further month, this will now be held on a Sunday in September for the sorely missed Mike Bull.

Another area where preparation is underway is the matchday programme for next season. Our media team have taken on the role of all things programme but would very much like to hear from anyone that would be interested in taking on the page layout and print preparation of the publication. All content will be supplied, and full support given, but this is a great opportunity for any young student looking for experience for a future career in graphic design or publishing, a great addition to the CV. If anyone is interested in this position or would like to discuss further how you might get involved with the matchday programme, contact me at chairman@cheshamunited.co.uk.

We continue to talk to new partners about the purchase of the scoreboard for The Meadow with much interest from the local business community, however, to be able to reach our target and make the board affordable without dipping into the planned budget for the season, we are looking to our GoFundMe page to give individuals the chance to donate any amount, every penny accounts.

Even if you are not in a financial position to help, or perhaps you do not agree it is a wise investment for the club at the moment (and I respect all opinions, that is not a problem), it would be hugely appreciated if everyone reading this could help by sharing the GoFundMe page on your own social media and/or with your friends and family. The link to the page can be found here: https://gofund.me/b0a8cfe5  – Thank you with your support in this.

Finally, it is sad to note the St Mary’s Pre-School have given notice to quit the Clubhouse as of 31st December 2021 and are returning to St Mary’s Church Rooms, who have applied for their Ofsted application. As we are in the process of hoping to move to new facilities as soon as possible, this gives them security of tenure for the future as they wish to remain within the town centre and not move with us. This does make a hole in our finances, but it will give us the option to rent out the space for more different and varied activities of which we are regularly approached about, and we will have full daytime vacancies for all types of events. Our Clubhouse Manager is already working on events to happen on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.

So to a weekend of football. Come on Wales, Come on England. Let’s hope for an England/Wales Semi-final. Now that would be good for us all and British sport.