7 weeks until the league kicks off
One week on and in these ever changing times we are still working to a start date of October 3rd. A number of supporters have expressed caution that our capacity could be cut from that which we are planning. Anything is possible at the moment but we at the club are trying to be both practical and positive. Too much negativity and many of our football loving supporters will just give up and continue to spend Saturday afternoons either online shopping or driving to the beach! We all need some hope and encouragement in our lives and we want you back to support the Shots.
Maybe this is ambitious but most of the surrounding “all seater” Premiership, Championship and a few Division 1 clubs have no chance of coping with their usual attendances with approximately 30% of their seats available. If you are impacted by this come and watch the Shots during this period! Football has started at Aldershot with the U18s beating Ascot 7-1 and the U23s beating Abbey Rangers (men’s team) 2-1. The first team reports for training on Monday 31 st August. With the possible return of Covid-19 one day we have ensured our players contracts take effect a month before our first fixture and that were the season to be suspended or terminated we would not be liable for ongoing wages. That may sound that we are taking tough measures, but we have to do all we can to secure the long term future of the club.
Danny is keen to add to the squad and is talking to a number of players. One player who will not feature is Ethan Chislett who joined AFC Wimbledon this week. These events are always “bitter sweet”. We are sorry to lose a talented player but pleased that we have been able to develop a young man who can display his talents in League 1. We would always wish to develop players for bigger things and not stand in their way if an opportunity arose. Conversely we would want something in return either financially or on the field, always a hard balancing act.
Mentioning Danny’s team we now have a new kit man and a new physio on board plus a number of volunteer analysts. The Foundation has taken their staff off furlough and has secured funding for a number of new projects. Meanwhile Development Centres and the Pre Academy starts again in September with online bookings encouraged. The younger boys, the 9 to 16s are back in training at Alderwood school with fixtures lined up with Leatherhead youth at the end of the month.
Next Monday we will be carrying out some remedial work on the pitch as we continue to prepare for the season.
Finally a huge thank you to our sponsors nearly all of whom have been able and willing to support us
financially over this incredibly difficult period. Most of them have seen their own businesses suffer
yet still have helped us as much as they can.