(3 weeks until the National League kicks off)
With players (bar maybe one or two) in place, the management team raring to go, and the stadium looking fit for purpose everyone is looking forward to the trip to Hartlepool on October 3rd to kick off the new season. Of course there is a concern about what Boris will say next in respect to the coronavirus outbreak and the impact it might have on attendances. We had planned on accepting a number which would cope with last year’s average although maybe some seats will be in short supply. Were Boris to cut this to 1000 maximum for a period then all our season ticket holders plus a few more, would be able to watch but undoubtedly there will be some disappointed.
Fortunately this week we have announced a live streaming service to ensure nobody need miss out. Full details of this service will be announced shortly, but all the information we have released so far can be found HERE.
Whilst on the subject of televising our matches the BT Sport cameras are due to film our home match with Macclesfield Town on October 10th . This will probably result in a revised kick off time which we will broadcast just as soon as we know it.
October is a manic month for games with eight scheduled, one of which is the FA Cup 4th qualifying round. There is a slight respite in November but then 7 more in December including a home Boxing Day game with Woking. The return takes place on January 2nd . We had hoped these games might be played over the Easter period with a chance that crowds could return in force but it is not to be.
We have been in the process of applying for grants to help at the stadium in coping with the coronavirus outbreak. We are hopeful of being able to announce some good news here. When the day comes and fans return we will have all the necessary systems in place to ensure compliance with the procedures laid down. We just ask that our great supporters do their best to respect the rules on social distancing, to follow the correct entrance and exit routes, listen and concur with any announcements and help the stewards in doing their jobs when requested. Failure to adhere to these processes could well result in the elimination of supporters which could be devastating on the club’s finances but, even more important, could spread the disease to others.
On a more upbeat aspect our youngsters are now in full flow with matches. The U19’s, having won their last friendly 6-3, now start their league campaign with a match next Wednesday against Woking! Three days later the U23’s start their own league schedule versus Corinthian. On top of all this the Academy has secured the education programme for its boys for at least the next two years.
These next three weeks will see Danny decide which of the many trialists he might engage in his squad and from there he will work on his preferred first team squad. There has not been a ball kicked by the first team in a competitive match for almost five months. Never has there been a break of almost half a year in the history of the club, we even managed to play football during the war. It would be great to see live football in just three weeks.