Welcome to the end of another week, it has been great to have the Olympics offering wall-to-wall sport on the television, it is just such a shame to see these fantastic stadiums and arenas empty – A reminder of the precarious situation we still find ourselves in currently.
Indeed, we have this week been contacted by the league with regards to contingency plans for the forthcoming season if, as much as we all hope not, we do end up with another lockdown and a disrupted season. It is very pleasing to see plans being discussed with the absolute objective of making sure that we do not have another season that ends with no promotion or relegation. Hopefully we will play out all our league fixtures, but if not, it is apparent that every point is worth playing for right from the very start of the season. I for one can’t wait!
Pre-season continued with a midweek defeat against a very classy Wealdstone side that are preparing for a season in the Conference National. Formidable opposition, and a great test for the players, but this week coming is perhaps the one where we start to get more of a feel for where we are at as we take on opponents from the same level in the pyramid as ourselves. Tomorrow we have a midday kick-off away to Wingate & Finchley and then on Tuesday we welcome the return of Andy Leese and his Enfield Town side, only a friendly, but I am sure Andy will be keen to get a win over his former club.
Obviously, a massive club in the 1980’s Wealdstone have been on a long journey back to the top of the non-league pyramid and are an excellent example of what can be achieved with good management and careful planning. At Chesham we do not have quite the same history, but we do still have the 1992/93 season to look back upon as a time when we were one of the very best non-league teams in the country, unfortunately circumstances at the time meant we were never able to take our hard-earned place in the Conference, but the crowds and the way the club performed back then proved that it is far from impossible for our club to have a push higher up the pyramid.
It is with that in mind that we prepare for the season ahead, but also longer term the planning is going on to secure the longevity of the club, way beyond my time as Chairman and Roger Payne as the majority shareholder. I know supporters will be frustrated at the lack of announcements and updates regarding the move to a new ground, I share your frustration, but I can assure you that there are discussions and negotiations on a weekly, if not daily, basis to get us to the point where we can make announcements and get the community and people of Chesham involved in the planning detail. It is taking a long time, but to reach the long-term goal, I am confident that everyone will agree it is worth it.
As you will know, our league season kicks off with a long trip to Tiverton, being a Saturday in the school holiday I am sure that travelling supporters are already thinking you will have to set-off early, but please be aware that kick-off is at 1.30pm to accommodate a wedding at the clubhouse later in the day, so you will really have to get the alarm set early that morning! Not an ideal start for any of us, but the alternative was to switch the home and away fixtures with Tiverton, but that would have left us travelling down there in early January, a higher chance of a postponement that could leave us with an undesired midweek trip. The January 15th date is also a potential FA Trophy weekend for one or both sides, which would again result in a midweek fixture.
Looking ahead to September, tickets are starting to sell well for our Sellebrity Charity match raising money for Bucks Mind, some 550 tickets have already been sold. This week it was announced that former X-Factor winner and chart-topping singer James Arthur will be amongst the celebrities taking to the field at The Meadow. He will be joining the likes of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here winner Jaqueline Jossa and soap legend Jake Wood, as well as reality TV stars Calum Best, Dan Osborne and James Argent with more set to be announced in the coming weeks.
They will be joined by the world’s most popular freestylers, Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch, otherwise known as F2Freestylers who will be showing their skills on the pitch alongside ex-professionals Lee Trundle, Paul Konchesky and Jamie O’Hara. Kick-off is at 3pm on Sunday 19th September and you can purchase your tickets online here.
Have a great weekend, I hope to see many of you tomorrow or Tuesday.