Thursday, 17 March 2011

The ups and downs of football

Bill Williams
For the past three or four seasons our club has had a “relegation” tag firmly attached to our shirts and over that time it has been necessary to change our club management in an attempt to save the club from relegation.

The bottom line has always been the same that we have had managers who have not been able to address the goal spread across the team. When a team is assembled it has to have the ability collectively to score at least 45 goals to keep you in any league. The more goal spread you can get around the side obviously the higher up the league you go. This statement isn’t as simple as it sounds and the recipe for success obviously has more ingredients, tight defensively, good players, tactical awareness, team spirit – it goes on.

When Terry, Oliver and I made the decision to appoint Andy Ford and Steve Butler we all believed that this was the correct decision for all the right reasons. We never imagined for a moment that we would have to be reviewing what other managerial options were available to us again so soon.

We are disappointed that the appointment did not work out and are still mystified as to why it didn’t work as we thought their experience and knowledge would be enough to assemble a team to keep us in this division.

Decisions of this importance are never taken lightly and are always made in what we believe are the best interests of the football club. Unfortunately you don’t always get them right.

Our next permanent manager must be the right choice as it is paramount to the future development of this club that this downward spiral is corrected.

We have decided that in this interim period to put Jay Saunders in charge as a caretaker manager and work along with him with a view to offering him a permanent position.

There will be those who will say that Jay is far too inexperienced and that we need a vastly experienced manager with a proven track record. We have just been down that road recently and it may still become an option.

Jay Saunders wants to become a manager; he has great rapport with the players and years of experience playing at this level. We will find out if he has the tactical awareness and knowledge of identifying a talented player in the weeks ahead.

My first bit of advice to him would be to select a very good assistant as playing and managing is certainly not an easy job. So let’s get behind this decision and give Jay every opportunity as it will allow us to have a look at each other, see what ability he has and give the Board the added opportunity to have some time to deliberate before we make an important decision.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Bourne again

Terry Casey
The move back to Sittingbourne in some ways might seem like a backward step but there were numerous factors behind the decision.

We have not been able to be too detailed about the move up until now because the Ryman League only met last week to ratify the proposal and we did not want to pre-judge their decision.

Whilst the move to Ashford was one that I initially agreed with it soon became obvious to me that the distance and the location of Homelands meant that playing on the outskirts of Ashford could never work. The facilities at Ashford were an improvement on Bourne Park but its location, so far away from the town, has asked too much of the club and its loyal supporters. Whatever happens in the future another season at Homelands would have meant that the attendances would have dropped even further.

We looked at Chatham and Sittingbourne and would have liked to re-locate to Chatham but the ground would require a great deal of money spent on it to bring it up to the grading required for Ryman Premier. I have been assuming that Maidstone United will not get relegated as it is certainly not part of my business plan!

We then went back to Andy Spice at Sittingbourne and he was prepare to offer a very competetive rent as he was keen to get the Stones supporters back to his club house. The hoped income from bar and food sales at Ashford never materialised so to let our landlords at Sittingbourne have these takings is no loss to us. I also feel that because of the much closer proximity of Bourne Park we might, if we start to win some matches, add 50/100 to the gate.

Bill and I have completed our presentations to local businesses and the next couple of weeks will determine whether this route will enable us raise the funding for the stadium. We are looking at all options regarding the fundraising and whilst a number of the responses are positive it has become clear that, in the current economic climate, raising £1.6m will be a lot to ask.