October 3rd for the big kick off could be optimistic considering changes to the Covid rules come thick and fast from our government, but we have to work on an assumption and this date is the best we have to go on at this time.

We are also told that the fixture dates will be published next Monday (10th August) with the actual details of the games published on 8th September. Twelve games next season are scheduled to take place midweek.

Meanwhile there has been huge activity around the ground to establish not just how many spectators could be accommodated but also how they book tickets (before the day online), how they access the ground, arrive safely at their standing position or seat and how they leave in safety too. Add to this the
need to have a “comfort break” and some refreshments and we have a full product offering.

The pitch maintenance and renovation starts on Monday by TurfTonics and our loyal volunteers are sprucing the ground to welcome you back.

There are still many questions to answer and clarify. Unfortunately most of these are outside our control with no definite date when they might be resolved. However on the positive side we have a stadium with considerable capacity in relation to its average crowd size so our team who has been drawing up socially spaced seating and standing plan is very hopeful that we will be able to welcome all our regular supporters to our matches. No promises but it does look encouraging for us.

Unfortunately, as part of our planning for when the matches recommence, with the increased costs of stewarding and reduced supporter capacity in the short term whilst the Pandemic is restricting our normal operations, we are suspending the current offer of  U11’s entry free with a paying Adult.

Danny is very active putting his team together and for those who enjoy totting up names and playing positions you will know that we could now field a very effective team.

There has also been intense activity within the youth and academy section. Despite Covid we could even exceed last season’s number of boys signing up. We do still have space for Year 12 boys on our education programme. Our U23s have their first friendly this Saturday and our management team is all the richer for their Zoom calls from Championship Club coaches giving advice and technical support.

Finally a great thank you to parents who provide key items like Veo Cameras and finance, and who support their youngsters by sending them on our holiday camps which are now well underway.

The press is full of stories of clubs struggling to survive. We have been asked whether we are in that category. We can assure you that we have tackled our overheads and ongoing costs. At one stage we had just two people working full time with others on furlough, coupled with the fact that all our stakeholders have been incredibly supportive during this time. Keep well, keep safe and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in two months.