Since last writing back in April we have seen many changes in our lives, all of us have had to adapt to a different way of living, effecting both our families, jobs and businesses. We hope all our supporters and their families are well as we look forward and get closer to some form of normality and hopefully football returning.
My following update will outline what’s been happening at our club over the last 3 months …
So no better place to start than to say a special thank you to one of our own players Cam Ricketts who works for the NHS. Cam explained to me the challenges he faced as the pandemic took hold of our hospitals. We are all proud of him and all of the Thousands of key workers who have done an amazing job these last 3 months.
The club itself has supported a local NHS Care home during lockdown raising £800 which I know they are extremely grateful for.
Our commercial team of Andy Morse, Richard Iles and Rachel Hopes have done an incredible job during the past 3 months. Throughout these uncertain times they have been creating sponsorship opportunities for the upcoming season, and during lockdown supported local businesses through free advertising using our social media platform. We also achieved an increase of over 1000 new Twitter followers taking us over and above our initial 3000 target. We also were named the fourth best supported team in the Western league, which is a fantastic acolade for us as newly promoted team and only highlights our progression over the last 4 years.
We had our awards night via Zoom with Mike Grist winning (players player) , Ash clark (Managers player ), Jordan Anstey ( Supporters player) and Matt Brown ( Top goalscorer) It’s fair to say it was a challenge to do, but we got through it and it was great for the lads to get together again albeit virtually.
The players have been doing their bit to stay fit during lockdown as they recorded a series of 5k and 10k runs and posted them to me so I could see their times. on the whole, they have been very impressive, you could see the progress being made. I took part myself but the less said about that the better.
Unfortunately we have said goodbye to Andy ‘Garc’ Clark who has decided to leave the club. I thank Garc for all his efforts, always a committed coach who was part of our team that won the league, he leaves with all our very best wishes for the future.
On a positive note Josh Bruton has stepped up into our Management team after a successful tenure as our reserve team manager, Josh will become an integral part of the first team. As a club we are constantly evolving and Josh’s appointment epitomises our attitude to creating a pathway within our club, he will bring a different voice and new ideas to the team, I believe this is a great appointment for both the club and Josh.
This can be an uncertain time of year for managers and clubs, as players decide to stay or go. I have spoken to all our current squad and to date, everyone is looking forward to picking up where we left off last season, as we really started to settle into life in the Prem. Of course we will be looking to bring in some fresh faces and I have been speaking to some prospective new signings during the summer, but as a club we have chosen not to name new signings until the forms are available and crucially the player signs it. Until then we will hold our cards close to our chest but I have every Confidence will be announcing some great additions as and when they happen.
The lengthy lay off has enabled some of the players with long term Injuries to recover, Especially Nathan Curnock who didn’t kick a ball for us last season. He has used the time well working hard to regain his fitness along with Harley Purnell, Cam Ricketts and Ben Harris who will all return to pre season injury free.
So with the lads returning to pre season ‘ ‘ social distance ‘ training on the 30th June we will start to plan for hopefully a September start as indicated by the fa in line with government guidelines.
In the meantime I hope all our supporters stay safe and well, and we look forward to seeing you all at the AJN for a match day.