Chesham United FC

No game last week due to the weather and in fact the frozen weather has been causing us problems in recent days as the training facility we use and the artificial pitch there is frozen solid with ice and snow so we have had to hire an indoor arena to keep the players in prime condition.

We took the decision to postpone early last week, in fact it was at 3.00pm on Friday, knowing the frosts expected and the ground by the Popular Stand was frozen all along that side with no sun penetration, and had been for most of the week. Tomorrow we were due to travel to Hartley Wintney, but that game too has bit the dust. The fact that as early as yesterday our hosts were pre-empting a postponement by advertising for opponents on a 4G pitch for a friendly was a good indicator that this game was unlikely to go ahead.

The weather forecast was looking warmer and dryer for Christmas, but now it seems we have a good chance of a white Christmas which puts our Boxing Day match in jeopardy. These fixture cancellations for us, and Aylesbury, cause a financial headache. For instance, we would expect a gate of 4-500 on a Saturday whilst in midweek that number reduces down to more like 300-350 with less admission fees, food and programme, you can soon start to see how this impacts the club’s finances. I appreciate that it is not always as easy, and is less of a routine, but please, it would be hugely appreciated if you could make an extra effort to try and still attend these re-arranged midweek matches, and bring your friends and family, there is something special about night matches under the lights.

On the injury front we just have our two major season long injuries now, Jake and Roddy. A vast improvement from the Salisbury game a few weeks back when we had eleven players on the injury list. Our form at the moment has been exceptional and it is a real shame that the weather has prevented us from carrying that on, but player safety is paramount, and we do not want to risk any further injuries by playing on dangerous surfaces.

After I had a discussion this week at the instigation of our bar manager Tanya, we will be offering free hot drinks and squash to all people of Chesham and surrounding areas with the use of our warm clubhouse with Christmas films on the big screen between the hours of 11.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday this coming week. Please pass the message around the area, especially to anyone you know who is seriously struggling with the cost-of-living crisis at the moment. We are very grateful that the Chiltern Foodbank will be supporting the event – #OneClubOneCommunity – at Chesham United.

We have now booked Saturday 4th February with a 7:30pm start for our Race Night. This is a first ever for the club with the Ladies, Youth and the main club working together to host and event and share the profits between us. The share of the money for the main club will be put into our Players benevolent fund, helping those players that suffer from injury and need an operation or financial support if they are unable to work for a period of time. Over the coming days you may well be asked to own a horse or sponsor a race for the 9 races, with the horses and owners being auctioned for the last race on the night. Included in the ticket price will be a hot meal. Put the date in your diary, tickets are expected to sell out fast.

Personally, I am back home in the Rhondda for a few days this week and had a brilliantly successful meeting with the Treorchy Male Choir, and yes I did sing with them, although I did not lead the singing with a solo effort like I did with the national anthem at our recent Friday night game. Tickets will be on sale from early January with only 250 tickets available for this highly cultural event at St Mary’s Church, which will be to raise funds for our charity partner, Bucks Mind. So that’s another date for your diary, Saturday 3rd June 2023.

Our next game will now be on Boxing Day when we host Hayes & Yeading United with a 12.30pm kick-off. 2022 has been a tough time for the club with some horrific player injuries and more than our fair share of deaths amongst our supporters and friends & family of our playing staff. We had another health scare this week when our kit man Peter spent yesterday having scans at Stoke Mandeville hospital with fears that he had suffered a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or “mini stroke”, but possibly a very bad migraine and high blood pressure, but after a full day at SM it is found to be nothing too ominous and he should be back with us for Boxing Day.

I for one will be hoping that 2023 brings us less health and injury worries from our Chesham United family. On behalf of the board, may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy Happy New Year.