This weekend we are preparing for an away trip to Taunton on Saturday, another game in which the outcome will have a huge impact on our chances of promotion this season.
Taunton are having a fantastic season, currently one place above us, fourth, in the Southern Premier Division South, but ten points ahead. In truth our hopes rely on staying in the last remaining play-off spot, fifth, and fending off those below us. A few weeks back there were a number of teams that could overtake us with their games in hand, but slowly that number has dropped, and it is in fact only Yate Town, six points behind with three games in hand, that prevent our fate from being in our own hands.
Another side hot on our heels is Weston-Super-Mare who visited The Meadow on Tuesday night and played out a 1-1 draw in a game between two very good sides. We missed a penalty in the first-half and had to come back from a goal behind, but going into the first fifteen minutes of the second-half we were looking much the more likely side to grab a winner, but as the game wore on our visitors seemed to become stronger and 1-1 was a fair score. That result keeps us three points ahead of Weston Super Mare with a better goal difference, and they have a game in hand. All to play for!
On Saturday there could be over 1,000 people watching the game at Taunton, it is a long journey, but any supporters that can make the journey and add your voices to our loyal band of travelling fans, I know it will be very much appreciated.
We continue to work behind the scenes on progressing our plans for a move to new facilities. In recent week we have had constructive meetings with the council to discuss our pre-planning applications and we have been responding to, and acting upon, that initial feedback to make sure we do everything right to get the application through. As always, I will look to give you more details as soon as that is possible.
One thing I would like to confirm is that we are absolutely adamant that any new ground we move to has high quality and modern facilities, but equally we are very aware that often when we travel away to new grounds to play fixtures the facilities are of high quality, but from a supporter’s perspective they lack the character and some basic requirements that, I think, make The Meadow so special. In particular I am thinking about our terracing around the ground and ample covered spacing – It is our intention to build what I would call a “proper” football ground, with the added advantage of facilities that can be used by the wider community.
Finding the time and people to achieve everything we want to do remains a challenge. This week I have started conversations about our marketing for next season to ensure that our existing volunteers receive the support they need. We do still need a programme editor for next season, we need help with the website, promoting the club in general and expanding our social media communications – this has been a challenge for many years because, like most clubs I am assuming, we do not allow for much in the budget when it comes to marketing. For 2022/23 we are looking at changing that, a little bit of speculate to accumulate, a little bit of looking at return of investment and the benefits of not putting all the burden on volunteers. It is early days, but I am quite excited at the direction that is heading.
Although due to heavy pitch usage and scheduling we are unable to host this particular match, I would like to urge all Chesham United fans to get behind the England Fans FC v their Ukrainian counterparts which takes place at Bedfont & Feltham FC on Friday 25th March, 7.45pm.
The match is in aid of the crisis in Ukraine and as a show of support by England fans and football in general to the besieged people of Ukraine. The game will be played for The Anglo-Ukraine Friendship Trophy and, although admission is free, cash donations and donations of non-perishable items will be accepted at the gate.
The EnglandFans FC group, led by their popular and charismatic founder, Garford Beck, a man now very familiar to those of you who are regulars down at The Meadow, are organising a humanitarian run to the Ukraine border in order to deliver much needed. Our own Tanya will be part of the team driving over to eastern Europe. If donating goods, the message from Ukraine is that baby’s nappies, ladies’ sanitary products, toiletries, jelly babies (yes, jelly babies, there’s a developing shortage of insulin and they are vital), warm clothing and small toys (teddy bears, that type of thing), are all urgently needed.
The team hope to leave Chesham on, or around 30th March and all donations, however small, will be gratefully received. I urge you all to spread the word and to turn out in huge numbers and show the people of Ukraine that we care.
Peter Brown, Chairman