ATFC 6 weeks until the league kicks off

So are you confused about what leagues start when and whether crowds are allowed in and if so how many? You are not alone. However following a 3 hour Zoom call with the National League today we are making progress.

We are still confident we will be able to accommodate at least our average crowd from last season. The overarching group which lead on this are known as the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) but stakeholders who input include the FA, the National League, Rushmoor Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, Fire, Police, ATFC medical provider and other ATFC club officials. Of course all this could be superseded by HM Government who have a habit of intervening at the last minute. Rest assured everybody wants to see football return with good sized crowds but it has to be done sensibly and safely.

Talking of football Danny has added three players to his squad this week and is talking with two or three more. His key determination this year is to “progress”. Last season saw what was almost certainly the youngest squad in the National League consolidate following the season before last where we escaped relegation through a technicality. This coming season a stronger squad is planning to push on significantly. His non playing team now includes Physio Georges Berthonneau and Kit Man Nathan Lugg. Danny also mentioned two others who had helped considerably as volunteers in Steve Francis and Ian Morsman. Mentioning just two of the many fantastic volunteers who help at the club will probably cause trouble so there will be more names to come!

Three more wins for the U18s, a defeat for the U19s and more games scheduled for all age groups including the U23s. Playesr from the U14s and U15s in line for selection for various district teams and a great boost for Ben Schroll, Joe Rabbatts, Leandro Jardim and Lewis Booth from the academy who will be training with the first team pre season. The establishment of a Ladies Team will surely see more publicity.

At a time when businesses are often struggling and our income over the summer has been very little a special thanks to NATTA and Barons BMW, two of our major sponsors, who have maintained their generous sponsorship arrangements with our club – thank you.

Two ways you might be able to help us financially. With the Covid-19 processes it will benefit everybody to arrive at the ground on match days with a season ticket so please if you are considering it then please go ahead. Secondly, Matt Wigman, who does a fantastic job in the shop, takes delivery of the new shirts next week so lookout for the announcement.

So for your diary we are looking to hold one pre-season friendly with spectators designed not just to prepare for next season but also to test the procedures at the ground to comply with the Covid-19 issues – date and opponents to be finalised. By September 8th the new fixtures will be published. At this stage we know that we will have a home game either on Saturday 3rd October or Tuesday 6th October – make a note.