Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Wonderful progress at Whatman Way

Terry Casey

The progress made on the Whatman Way site has been wonderful. The hundreds of us that can’t keep away are seeing developments every time we visit. Our thanks and admiration go to the team at Gallaghers who have worked incredibly hard and skilfully which has meant that, in this part of the stadium project, we are ahead of schedule.

The Gallagher performance has enabled us to order and pay a deposit on the floodlights.

The surface is now ready for the final layer of stone and the 3G carpet to be laid. We have confirmed our order with the pitch manufacturer but laying the carpet will be one of the last jobs that we do. We are also endeavouring to lead a lobby group of clubs who will start to get the FA to realise that the future in the game for the smaller clubs has to be playing on a surface that can be used all year regardless of the weather.  

We are currently looking at final designs for the club house and we are very close to starting work on the grandstand. Whilst there is a long way still to go, it is beginning to take shape and the excitement amongst the people of Maidstone is growing daily.

Our sales campaign will start after Christmas and we will be looking at selling advertising boards and a whole range of different items that will relate to our historic homecoming. One of our priorities is to ensure that we come up with a system that enables all of our loyal and regular supporters to get first opportunities for the high profile opening friendly matches. There will be more information on this next year.

We have been close to making the books balance this season for the football club but the historic financial problems still come back to haunt us making the job of making the football club viable more difficult to achieve. We have set aside a fund to build the stadium and I am optimistic that the team’s performances will continue to attract sufficient gates which will allow us to keep our stadium fund intact.

As well as all the excitement off the pitch, the performances of Jay and the lads has meant that we are getting better crowds than we have for some years and I am hoping that we continue to see an increase in attendances for the rest of the season. There is no doubt in my mind that because of the way that the team is playing we are getting fantastic entertainment. I felt that the during the Ramsgate match, with the noise from behind the goal and the general banter from the Stones faithful, that we were beginning to regain some of the old swagger that always went with Maidstone supporters in days gone by. There was a pride that I hadn’t seen for a while which comes from being top of the league, playing exciting football and knowing that we are coming home to our rightful place in the town.

Football can be a great game!