Friday, 15 May 2015

Building for a successful future

It seems like a long time since a thousand or so of us heard the news that Hendon had drawn and our result at Dulwich had virtually made us champions. 

It is difficult to describe my feelings of relief and elation because I had never before felt such an overwhelming sense of achievement. Oliver, Bill and I will be eternally grateful to the staff, the stewards and volunteers who gave so much time and commitment to get the club to where we are now. 

Being able to share the moments after the Dulwich match and after the final game at home to East Thurrock with the supporters, who have followed the team in such great numbers throughout the season, meant all of our efforts have been worthwhile. I am so grateful for being part of those joyous moments. 

The minute we knew that we would be promoted we put the finishing touches to the fundraising and plans for the east stand extension. 

Work starts on Monday (18 May) and we expect it to be complete by 7 August, the day before we play our first match in the NLS. 

We have a new lounge with 52 seats and we have 175 seats in the stand extension that we have been able to offer as season tickets. Incredibly all these seats have been sold for the start of the 2015/2016 which has vindicated our decision to spend £600/£650k on this development. 

There will be about 100 seats that we cannot sell as season tickets because we must offer them to our opponent's supporters when games are segregated. These seats will be available for sale on a pay on the day basis as the majority of games will not be segregated. 

Although the schedule for completion is tight we will be working all the hours necessary to fulfil our commitment to those supporters who have bought seats for the start of the new season. 

These works, along with extending the terraces at the north and south ends, will increase our capacity to 2,600 but to achieve the required capacity of 3,000 we must also install new stairs and new turnstiles in the north east corner. 

We have submitted plans for this work and are hoping to schedule this in alongside the east stand extension. We have until March 2016 to get the capacity to 3,000 to satisfy the requirements of the NLS.

To sustain all of our successes we know that we must continue to support Jay in his ambitions to secure the club in the NLS and put a team together that can challenge for a place in the higher league. 

We have the support and we have the infrastructure to play at a higher level and we intend to reward that support by putting together a team that we can get behind and be proud of. 

We will be facing opponents with substantially more money to spend on their squads but we have given Jay a budget that we feel will give him every chance of winning matches.

We have enjoyed three exhilarating years and had an amazing journey and we fully intend to have more years of excitement and success.