A happy new year to all our fans players and hardworking staff.
For me it has been a boyhood dream come true to be involved in the club that I grew up supporting from the age of 8, having been brought up by my wonderful parents in Eden Park. The early days at Stanhope Grove have fond memories some of the players can be found on our wall of fame in the club house including goalkeeper Dave Wentworth , Frank (Dotty) Morris and still in my opinion the greatest player ever to wear the club colours the deadly pole Jan Warasaski Jan could have walked it at Crystal Palace but just hated training his training was match days only, in our current team he would have been knocking in 50 + goals a season he was that good.
Mum knitted me a red and white club scarf which I proudly wore to all the matches and Dad made me what was known as the loudest rattle ever (It used to drive everyone mad) in those days we even had 2 match reporters Tony Flood from the Beckenham Journal and John Hulls from the Beckenham and Penge advertisers along with 2 photographers at every home match. Away matches were great fun trips on the team bus to Whitstable Town Herne Bay were by favourites for me it was like a trip abroad. The bus would rattle down the newly built M2 with Radio Caroline blaring out of the speakers Eric Jarvis our club captain would offer me 2 shillings not to talk for the entire journey. Home matches against Cray Wanderers or Crockenhill were my favourites as they would bring a couple of hundred away fans along with plenty of chanting and banter, which brings me on to this day and age.
As we enter 2019 at the top of the league the club has many ambitions for the future, which I would like to briefly address.
At present we are stuck in what I would call a fake made up pyramid league where half the clubs are ambitious and the others just making up the numbers, in my opinion, the way forward is to fight to return to a traditional Kent Premier League can you imagine the amount of great local derbies that will create? Sheppey United vs Sittingbourne, Whitstable Town vs Herne Bay matches week in week out! Against the likes of Deal Town, Tunbridge Wells and Canterbury City, potentially, we can even create a YouTube channel to show one match a week LIVE, which would drive gates revenues up and attract new sponsors.
The current system is not financially sustainable the smaller clubs are being forced into a league that they cannot afford to be in and top clubs are being left in a league that hardly anyone is interested in. What is the reward for being promoted its being kicked out of the FA Vase what madness that is we would be forced to enter the FA Trophy a competition we would have no chance of progressing in, North Eastern clubs have for years refused promotion and have a vibrant league with a fantastic fan base that what I am certain we can achieve with a new Kent League over the coming weeks I will be talking to like-minded progressive clubs/chairmen to see how we can take this forward and will update on any progress.
Finally, to let everyone know that the main goal over the next 12 months will be to start raising funds for a new clubhouse consisting of changing rooms bar VIP area boardroom and offices along with other facilities progress is already being made. In fact, it has to be made our current clubhouse was built in the 1920s and is nearly 100 hundred years old what a fitting tribute it would be to name a new clubhouse after our wonderful sadly missed club secretary Geoff Ward.