News & EventsLatest NewsCalendar
Chairman's Festive Update

Chairman's Festive Update

Liam Kent21 Dec 2023 - 23:00
Share via

Season's greetings.

Season's greetings to you all in this very busy period for the football club.

I am writing this before the huge game against Swallownest on Saturday. With such a big "6 pointer" to come, followed by a local derby against Shirebrook Town on the 27th, it'll be difficult to completely shut off from the club over Christmas, and in truth, the Swallownest game has the potential to make or break the festive period for many of us. We find ourselves bottom of the NCEL Division One at the moment, with "Swall" just above us, and both teams will be fully aware of the magnitude of the fixture, and the potential for a vital three points. Our only win of the season so far came against Swallownest and I hope the lads will be using that to instill the belief they will need to repeat the feat on Saturday.

We all knew at the start of the season that taking this league on with no budget would be an incredibly difficult task, but it was a sacrifice we had to make to ensure the long term future of the club. That being said, we cannot simply accept being bottom of the division and now is the time for the whole club - committee, management, players and supporters - to unite together, roll our sleeves up and fight to turn around our fortunes. These players have the ability, and we have been very competitive and close to a result in many of our recent games, but now is the time to get points on the board and restart our season.

I touched on the club's finances there and I'd like to thank everyone who bought a ticket for our recent Christmas raffle. We raised a considerable amount and whilst we have been unable to spend it on any improvements to our Walesby Lane home, the money raised did help us pay some sizeable bills which keeps the club in a fairly secure financial position for a few more months.

The rest of the committee and I have been frustrated by how slow progress has been in growing the club financially but we are continuing to explore all opportunities open to us. Talks are ongoing behind the scenes and though I'd never count my chickens before they've hatched, I am hopeful there will be some positives news in early 2024. If you would like to learn about the different commercial opportunities we have available, please drop me an email on the details below.

At this time of year, it is common to reflect on the previous 12 months and it has been well-documented that 2023 has been a tough year for the football club. But it is how you react to adversity which defines you, and I am proud of the way the club has stabilised and united behind a shared vision for the future. This football club could have easily folded on more than one occasion this year but we are still fighting on, and though we will face more difficult moments, our shared belief and confidence in our current path will guide us through those together.

The biggest success this year has been the reintroduction of junior football to the town. We currently have an under 10's and under 13's boys team playing, with an under 11's starting games soon. Under 7's training will also be commencing over the next few weeks which should take us in 2024 in a strong position. However we are not resting on our laurels and we are continuing to expand, with hopefully another boys team, and an under 11's girls team, both joining us next season at the very least. We want to grow the club and ultimately create a pathway which allows children from Ollerton and the surrounding area to represent their home town club from junior through to senior football.

I could not reflect on 2023 and not give thanks to the rest of the committee for their hard work this year. They have all gone above and beyond at times, all whilst juggling careers, families and other commitments. To do so, whilst we have been struggling, shows a heroic level of dedication to the club which I am truly thankful for. We are a small but passionate team, and though it may appear at times that no progress is being made, or work being done, we are like ducks frantically paddling underneath the water. We are always on the look out for further help, across all areas of the club, so if you think you could help then please get in touch.

Returning to the festive football, I hope you can find the time to join us for a game or two over Christmas and New Year. The next few weeks are a vitally important period and we'd greatly appreciate your support, on and off the pitch.

To end, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from us all here at the football club.

Yours in football,

Liam Kent

Further reading