Welcome to the end of another week without live Chesham United football, are you like me missing it already? The Champions League certainly proved an entertaining distraction this week with a couple of entertaining semi-finals, but it does not come close to watching your local team play – roll on the start of the new season!
Our congratulations go to Farnborough and our former player Adam Martin who secured promotion via the play-offs, beating Hayes & Yeading in the final on Monday. These are always good fun times for supporters and non-league enthusiasts as we all start to predict how the league pyramid will look next season, what new clubs will be in our league, and is there any potential that we may get switched to a different geographical league?
At Chesham we are very much on the border between leagues with the Southern League Central boundary coming very close to the Southern League Premier South division – although I do not anticipate us switching leagues, you just never know these days! By the end of the month we should know exactly what league we are in, what opposition we face and what travel plans we need to begin making.
One thing we do know for sure is that we will be back in more of a claret and blue strip next season and all being well we will be playing under new floodlights at The Meadow. Thanks to online and offline donations towards our fundraising we felt in the position to be able to place the order yesterday for the new lights, with grants available and the kind donation of supporters we should all benefit from the better view of midweek games next season. We have not yet reached our fundraising target and would still very much appreciate any donations or help with spreading the word. Details of the GoFundMe appeal can be found here.
Elsewhere around the ground the cleaning, tidying and maintenance goes on. If anyone is available this Saturday (7th) from 9.00am to 1.00pm we are holding a work party to paint the white lines on the edge of the terraces, required for health and safety purposes. If you were able to come along with 3-inch brushes, paint pots and brooms your help would be very much appreciated!
As we budget for next season we have upped the ante on the selling of sponsorship with our flagship Claret Club our main focus at this stage of the year. Later we will have our first monthly draw for members with the first prize being your company name on the back of the First XI shirt for all games during the 2022/23 season. If your company, the company you work for or anyone you know would be interested in this unique package, please do get in touch. Full details can be found on the website here.
I notice that next week is Keep It Local Week, a national campaign instigated by a group of office products and stationery shops aimed at raising the awareness of supporting local businesses – needless to say I am hugely in favour of that and believe it is really important that we all look to support local jobs, our local community and our environment. I know that Ray Williams at JPS Stationers in town is very much involved in the campaign and keen that we all get behind Keep It Local Week – why don’t you try to take the 7-day Keep It Local challenge available on the Keep It Local website here and see if we can win £250 for a local Chesham charity?
For the players it is the close season period with no games or training, which is probably just as well as they are off to Dublin this weekend for what I am sure will be a quiet affair with maybe the odd half of Guinness. In the near future they will also be out on a couple of stag weekends as manager Michael Murray and Steve Brown both get married in the close season – good planning, that is what I like to see!
In between weekends away the management are working hard on pulling together a friendlies fixture list and establishing a squad capable of pushing for promotion again next season. In the true spirit of what our club has become they also gave up their time on Wednesday evening, management and coaches, to run a training session with our senior youth team – sharing their knowledge and experience and ensuring that everyone feels a part of the club. A fantastic evening was had by all.
A reminder that seasonal memberships are now on sale, the take-up so far has been great and I urge you to take advantage of the early bird booking discount, full details on the website here.
On Monday next week 2 tonnes of grass seed will be distributed onto the pitch, that is then quickly followed by a 120 tonnes of specialist sand. This is double the amount of seed and sand used last year. We need our pitch to be immaculate for the season start, so if anyone had the odd half hour to spare and can by arrangement move the 4 sprinklers down the pitch during the day you help would be greatly appreciated. Please volunteer yourself to me, email@example.com We have 3 already but more makes the job easier.
Finally to finish, a quick health round-up with some good news from a health procedure had by fellow director Roger Payne this week where the prognosis looks to be very good. Hopefully today also stalwart supporter Fred Wallis will have had a successful operation in Harefield and upon a satisfactory conclusion will be taken back to Watford Hospital for continuation of chemotherapy for his controllable condition.
I wish all our supporters well, thank you for your ongoing support, please continue to spread the word about seasonal memberships, work parties and sponsorship opportunities – together we can look forward to an exciting new season.
Peter Brown, Chairman