I hope you are all enjoying the long weekend, and making the most of the sun whilst we have it!
Another brief update from myself…
As you will have seen we have been strong so far in the transfer market, we wanted to make decisive and positive early moves to secure our top targets and ensure that we gave the new squad the longest pre-season together possible to give us every chance of a strong start to the season.
We have looked to blend experience with youth and retain our strongest performers from last season. That is not to say we have finished in this department, we are still negotiating with some existing and potential new players for next season.
As well as importing the best talent available, we will this season and moving forwards, be proactively focusing on and pushing through the younger talent at the club. Firstly by providing significantly better support for our grassroots and development sections, who have worked miracles with what they have had. I pledge on behalf of the club that we will be much improved going forwards in this support and I personally will be working closer with Eray and Cally to ensure this. I’d also like to thank every single coach, manager and parent involved for their continued support and efforts thus far.
Offering real opportunities and pathways for young local talent is a key component of our strategy and club DNA moving forwards. By nurturing and growing players in our grassroots/development and emerging talent squads, across both boys and girls sections, and supporting this by bringing in the best young local players, we will look to create a strong pool of home-grown talent to form the core of future first team squads. As part of this commitment, we will be exposing some of the clubs promising future talents to first team action, as at least one will be featuring on our bench for every match, to help give them that all too valuable experience and confidence.
We believe that are now in a strong position to be able to attract the best young local talent to the club, as we not only have a very good coaching infrastructure in place with talented and dedicated individuals throughout that structure. But we are also creating clear and visible pathways within that set up to first team football, at National League North level that isn’t available elsewhere locally.
As part of our player search and recruitment rationale, we looked for players who were not only strong on the pitch but who were also positive characters off it, who enjoy the interaction with supporters socially and who are excited about the project we have here at the club. We can say with confidence that every player we have brought on board thus far more than fits this criteria, as a general rule each club has one or two fan favourites we believe we have a team full of them!
We watched the same matches you did last season, and with no disrespect whatsoever to last season’s playing and management teams who were superb, we saw the areas that were in need of improvement and we have acted on this. I hope you agree that we have brought in some real quality players so far, who will give us a very strong team next season, and we as a board and the new management team and players are all confident of our best season yet and a much higher league finish.
The decisions in relation to our management team were made some time ago, the contracts have been agreed and signed. The new team have been involved in the recruitment process to ensure we bring in players that suit their preferred style of play and who have their approval before we bring them in.
We haven’t been able to announce this yet, which I realise has caused some questions and a level of intrigue. We are waiting on a signing off from the LMA but as soon as we get this we will be making the announcement! We are as excited to announce it as you are to find out who it is! Rest assured you will not be disappointed!
One thing I can tell you to quell this particular line of rumour, is that Pav Singh is our director of football, and in my opinion one of the best around! He is a hugely valuable member of the board who works across all footballing areas of the club from grassroots to the first team, developing players and coaches and creating talent pathways. He will be a huge part of the club going forwards for a long time to come in this role, as part of that role he will support the new management team, and he is not changing roles at the club.
As you saw last week we announced our new front of shirt sponsor, we have also agreed a long term deal with a new kit manufacturer who are Joma. We have made the change as our kit isn’t a main line with most manufacturers due to its design and colouration, but Joma were happy to work with us on this and the new kit will be being launched in the next two weeks! The away kit was chosen by our supporters club members who voted on a few different styles, and chose the one we are going with for next season!
We are also beginning some ground improvements, and modifications to improve the facilities at the site. We passed ground grading for the National League North last season so we are looking to improve further upon that for the forthcoming season. Part of this sees the function room getting some needed attention and a new brewery partner coming in to service the bar and introduce new stock lines.
We will be announcing season ticket availability and pricing for next season in the next week or two, again we have kept the prices as low as possible to help in what are tough economic times.