Following on from Wednesday’s announcement I have taken a little time to digest on where we stand.
We as a board share not only your frustrations as supporters but the frustrations of management and the players, however with such little amount of league games completed this season, it was inevitable that the season would be curtailed. The plus side is that it seems the Isthmian League alongside it’s fellow Trident League members have learned from their previous mistake of null and voiding the 2019/20 season, effectively wiping it from the record books and in doing so, it cannot be referenced with regards for promotion and relegation. This ‘curtailing’ the season means that the 2020/21 season, whilst uncompleted could be taken into consideration if we suffer another broken season.
We will be looking at the possibilities of some sort of local mini league but in doing so we will consult our coaching staff and players to see if this is desired in the Spring, a potential stop gap before we embark on a promotion challenge (again) in the 2021/22 season.
Right now, it would be remiss of me to ignore the talk of a potential restructure. Based on the little information out there on this matter, all we know is that it seems like any restructure will affect Step 4, with another league added, therefore adding promotions to Step 5 and Step 6 teams. On first look it doesn’t look like our efforts for the last two years will be rewarded, however you have to keep a little hope and until it’s done, never say never.
On a positive note, conversations with the Sussex Womens and Girls Football League have been extremely positive, they have a fresh enthusiasm to get the league back up and started. A questionnaire was sent to us today, and in that it asks for our thoughts on restart and playing potentially till the end of June. I can confirm we voted to restart and finish our Women’s campaign and are gearing back for a return to action in April, with or without league football.
I also know our Academy coaches are making plans to get started as soon as possible, which is positive news for all of our young players, who I am sure have missed being out on the grass playing the sport they love with their teammates. The Academy have had some exciting stuff lined up in lockdown for the players, this includes tonight’s Q&A with our ambassador and AFC Bournemouth captain, Steve Cook. I would like to thank Steve for his contribution to our future stars of tomorrow, it makes me extremely proud to see the growth of our youth division in the last 12 months.
I want to make it clear to each and every one of you, the passion, determination and will to succeed hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s been tough for us all, but the owners and directors have been working tirelessly to make sure we are pushing forward always, including some extremely positive meetings I have attended (on Teams I may add) with our local councillors. I publicly urge them to continue to deliver on their promises and I believe with that we can all be looking at an exciting future, with facilities this town has been lacking for far too long.
Last and not least a huge thankyou to our sponsors and season ticket holders. Throughout this period, you have been amazing and trust me it doesn’t go unnoticed. I will personally be in touch with each and every one of you in the coming weeks as we prepare for an exciting campaign ahead.
Keep supporting your local football club.