Chesham United FC

Wow it is hot!

We have at long last received our fixtures for the new season that starts in just three weeks’ time. You may recall that last week I talked about the fact that some clubs are going to be left with little time to prepare for a potentially long trip down west on a Saturday in the heart of the school holidays, well guess what? That’s us!

We will be kicking off our campaign away to newly promoted Plymouth Parkway in Devon – a fantastic away day for supporters, but a logistical headache for the club as we have to consider holiday traffic and transport options – the last thing we want is to start the season disorganised! Rest-assured we will be prepared, and now that we have the fixture list the excitement can really build-up.

Our first home game will be against Hartley Wintney on Saturday 13th August before another away game the following Tuesday, this time much more local just down the A40 to Hanwell Town. The full fixture list is available on the website.

The team have been back in action over the past week as pre-season gets underway with the management using this early opportunity to effectively field two different sides for each half of the games – partly to trial new players and partly to help cope with the heat!

Last Saturday we beat Egham 6-3 and followed that up on Tuesday with a 1-0 win over Northwood, it is very difficult to take too much away from these early pre-season games, but one stand out observation to me was how impressive Karl Oliyide looked having apparently lost 10kg over the summer, he is certainly preparing himself to be the lethal weapon that we signed 4 years ago and it is exciting to see what he will have to offer this season.

Our next game is this Saturday away at Bedfont Sports, with the weather forecast being as it is both clubs have agreed that this match will kick-off at 10.00am and then next Tuesday (another cool day in the forecast!) we travel for a local derby at Berkhamsted – it would be great to see as many Chesham supporters as possible at these games as the team develops, please keep an eye on the usual social media platforms for any changes to plans.

It is not just the players suffering from the heat, the grass on the pitch at The Meadow is needing constant watering at the moment. We have had a few very kind supporters working a rota to pop down to the club to move the sprinklers, but it is proving a challenge to stay on top of all of this so I took the decision this week for the club to invest in an automated watering system that will fully water the pitch in eight hours, without any human intervention.

This was an unbudgeted for investment costing over £1,100, but we simply cannot let the investment in the pitch go to waste and risk having a poor surface for all of our teams, and Aylesbury United who share our ground, for the entire season. I have received very kind combined donations of £450 from two supporters towards the cost and would appeal to anyone else who may like to contribute, be that as an individual or as part of one of the other sections of the club. For more information, please contact me at chairman@cheshamunited.co.uk.

We are also in desperate need of volunteers for our two home pre-season friendlies against Hemel Hempstead Town and Wycombe Wanderers and our home league games in August as due to holidays we are in need of additional stewards – again, if you can help, please get in touch. I was delighted this week to receive the offer of matchday help from a past Chairman of the club, Les Mangan – welcome onboard Les, your help is much appreciated.

Like everyone at home we have been budgeting and re-budgeting for our utility bills over the coming months. We had allowed for a 100% increase on the, already large, electricity bill, but it seems that is in fact going to be more like a 150% increase. We have however managed to maintain our gas rates until 2023 thanks to the persistence of Neil Calder, although knowing commercial rates out there currently we are going to have to prepare ourselves for a hefty increase when that arrangement comes to an end.

It really has been a hectic summer, but things are coming together and now we have our fixtures for the season the real planning can begin.

Thank you for your support

Peter Brown, Chairman