Chesham United FC

It has been another tremendously busy week behind the scenes with so much activity going on to prepare for forthcoming facility upgrades, new signings, 2024/25 sponsorship arrangements and new shirts, I have barely had time to reflect on the football side of things.

Last Saturday saw us fall to our first defeat of the year away at Salisbury. There was a fantastic crowd at the game, a great atmosphere and the celebrations of the home side showed what a scalp they felt it was to beat us. Our away support was incredible on the day, as acknowledged by a Salisbury steward who went out of their way to complement our supporters, a big thank you from all of us at the club for that. Our reputation is every bit as important to us when we go on our travels as it is when we play at home.

I mentioned last week how our lead at the top was precarious, we certainly have a title race on our hands now and we must use that defeat as a time to re-focus and get back to winning ways. Doing that does not get any tougher than today against a side who are pushing for promotion themselves. It should be a cracking game. The official attendance when we visited Totton earlier in the season was in excess of 1,000 – it would be fantastic if we could break that 1,000 barrier tomorrow for what is another huge game. Many of our kids from the youth set-up have season tickets as part of their membership of the club, we only count them as part of the crowd if they turn up obviously, but if your child plays in one of our youth teams and you have not been to a first team game before, why not make tomorrow the day?

Kick-off tomorrow is at 3.00pm, as always the bar is open before and after the game, with food available from the tea bar or Billy’s Burger and we also have Maverick’s open – our outside bar in the corner of the ground. You can also beat the queues by buying your tickets in advance via the website…or turn up early and have a drink whilst reading a copy of our excellent matchday programme, available for just £3. With a big crowd expected for this game, and the forthcoming home game against Salisbury, we are looking for more steward volunteers. If you can help out, I would love to hear from you. You can contact me at chairman@cheshamunited.co.uk.

In the week we strengthened our attacking options with the signing of striker James Harding from Salisbury, a player that we know very well, was always a handful as an opponent and scored 18 goals for Swindon Supermarine last season – welcome to the club James.

Chesham’s women had a big FA Women’s National League game on Sunday against 5th place Ashford Town. I enjoyed a brilliant first half performance that put Chesham 5-1 up at half time. Ashford then clearly got a serious talking to as they scored a few of their own in the second half but delighted we held out for a thrilling 6-5 win! I feel like that result puts us safe for the season but still five games to go. Their next home game is on the 31st Match against AFC Sudbury Women so please try to come along. 2pm kick-off.

In other news, following a frustrating series of technical glitches we have replaced the scoreboard at The Meadow, complete with a new laptop to control the updates. It’s funny how many people I speak to have said that they really miss the scoreboard for checking the time when it is not working, yet before we had a scoreboard nobody really thought about it. I personally think it has been a great addition to the matchday experience, and I hope you do to. We are also still finalising the final funding and arranging a work party to lay the cables to improve the sound system around The Meadow so everyone can hear all the announcements wherever you are in the ground.

Hopefully you will have seen this week that we have announced the date for the next Alex Horne Charity Match. This will take place here at The Meadow on Saturday 11th May with a 3.00pm kick-off. There will be football, along with all the usual shenanigans you would expect from comedy football – new rules, managers in the centre circle, singing, half time entertainment and extreme levels of exhaustion. For more information – including how you could be playing on the day – and to buy your tickets, please click here.

The following day, 12th May, at The Meadow I am delighted that we will host the Mad Hatters Under 7’s Football Tournament & Tea Party being organised by the Hospice of St Francis. It promises to be a great day our raising money for a great cause with players wearing silly hats whilst playing and families encouraged to bring their own rugs and picnics for a full day of fun including bouncy castles, cakes, refreshment and children’s games.

As previously mentioned, this Comedy Football Match will see the two sides playing in our new shirts for the 2024/25 season, both home and away. We are delighted to be continuing the partnership with Taskmaster as our main shirt sponsor, and I am really excited about launching our new shirts – I think you will love them.

New for next season we will have a new sponsor on the back in the shape of Circle Health Group. You may well have seen the news release earlier today. This is a fantastic step forward and I must pass on my thanks to our Commercial Director Michele Brooks for the hard work that has gone into striking up this partnership. My thanks also to Gavin Jones, who has done a great job working on the design of our new kit and ensuring that we have all the relevant sponsorship and logos in position to comply with league and FA requirements. These things are never as straightforward as you might think and by the time announcements like this come to light, many hours of work, negotiating and planning, have already been carried out. We are very lucky to have such a committed team behind the scenes, which can never be taken for granted.

As a club we were very saddened to learn of the passing of supporter Tim Baldwin last week. A big supporter of the club and an even bigger family man. Our thoughts are with his family at this time, and it is yet another reminder that as exciting as this season has been so far, it is just a game and there are some things more important in the world. As a club we will be showing our respects and remembering Tim with a minute’s silence before kick-off, please listen out for this and be in your match watching position in good time.

Finally, thank you to our matchball sponsor tomorrow, Phil Morgan and thank you also to you for your support, let’s all get behind the team with our support and be that much talked about 12th man tomorrow.

Peter Brown, Chairman