Hello all, and thank you for taking the time to read this.
It’s been just over four months now since I was elected as the football club’s new chairman and it has been difficult, yet somewhat enjoyable first few months.
I was fully aware of the size of the job at the time, aware of the difficult position the club had been left in, but I have still be surprised by just how tough it has been at times, with the club facing several challenging moments in my fairly brief tenure.
That is not to say progress has not been made. At the start of the season we had no youth teams, now we have two with another two or three in the process of being set up, meaning there’s now options for the children of Ollerton to come and play football at their local football club. For too long, parents from Ollerton have had to take their children to Walesby, Robin Hood or further afield to play football and we have already made a start on correcting this. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Sean, Neil, Hayley, JJ and everyone who has helped to get this all underway.
At first team level, it has been a struggle at times but new managers Craig and Tom have got a group of young, committed and hardworking players who turn up in good number to training and games and give their all every week. As one of, if not the only, club in the division not to have any sort of playing budget, the club is punching above it's weight and whilst people externally might write us off, inside the club there is an inner belief in the squad and optimism that results will improve in the near future.
I hope that someday we will be able to rejoin teams who offer player expenses etc. but the club has to be in a financial position to be able to support it and, due to ongoing issues and areas of concern, that is currently not the case. To achieve what we want to achieve, we are having to build from the ground up and prioritise other things.
We want the club to be sustainable, with long term future just as important as short term success. We want to build a club with a pathway from youth football, from 6 and 7 year old's, right through to the first team. And we want to create a football club that the community is proud of, and a place where people want to come and watch football not only on a Saturday afternoon but on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night as well as a Sunday morning.
And that’s where you come in. At this difficult time in the club’s history, the football club needs the help of the local community.
If you’re free on a Saturday afternoon, get yourself down to Walesby Lane and cheer the team on. For just £10, you could get entry, a couple of drinks and a decent game of football. It’s a much more affordable option than the obscene prices in the professional game.
The club has different advertising and sponsorship opportunities too. If you’re a local company, and can offer some support, please get in touch about the different options available. I am also on the look out for official club partners to come on board on an executive level, to help me push the club forward. If you'd like to set up a meeting about this, please drop me an email.
Finally, we have also launched our Christmas Raffle with tickets available for £10, and some fantastic prizes to be won like a day pass at Center Parcs, hospitality at Mansfield Town, four ball golf at Rufford Golf Club and food vouchers for several local pubs.
I know it’s not an ideal time, and the £10 ticket price might seem a bit steep. Christmas is around the corner and the cost of living crisis already means that people are struggling. But if you can stretch to just buying even one ticket, it would be massively appreciated by us all at the football club.
I'm also fully aware that when you show us generosity, we are entering into an agreement. You are giving us money because you want the club to be successful and grow and you want your money to be spent in the right areas. I promise you that it will happen.
I am confident that if the club can get through what will be a challenging winter period, we will head into 2024 with promise and hope, with a strong platform upon which to build, as we enter the back end of the season and look ahead to what will be a big summer for the club.
I'd like to end by thanking the rest of the committee for their continued hard work and for the passion they have for the football club on a daily basis. Anything that we achieve, shall be achieved together.
Thank you once again for reading, and I hope to see you down at Walesby Lane in the near future.
Up the Town!