Pre-season fixtures announced.

If you haven’t seen them the pre-season list is here.

I have blogged about the Leeds game in my previous post so won’t spend any further time on it except no doubt the sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that we do not have a game against Dagenham & Redbridge.  This was a fixture originally planned but one that had to move because of the Leeds date, all being well we will play that game next pre-season.

The game against Watford on 18 July will be Gordon Bartlett’s testimonial.  Gordon is a living Wealdstone legend (does this qualify as a vote of confidence?) and holding this game is long overdue.  I know that Watford are sending a team to Hampton & Richmond Borough on the same day but hopefully we will once again a good sized crowd to watch us host a Watford side for the third year running.

Our plan will be to hold a similar testimonial match for Leo Morris next year.

Watford and Leeds isn’t a bad start and otherwise we have a good balance of fixtures to get us ready for the new season – now all we have to do is to sell hundreds of tickets for both the ‘big’ matches.


Leeds, Leeds, Leeds

Quite a day yesterday, and working in Madrid as I was made it even more interesting with the phone buzzing with messages – thanks to everyone (including the Harrow Times) who helped keep me up to date.

So first things first, and before we get to Jermaine it was ironic that yesterday was the day we finally confirmed the Leeds friendly date as 21st July – little over 7 weeks away.  Plenty to do on this and plenty of blog postings to follow, no doubt.

I guess it will be interesting to see if Jermaine is playing for Leeds that night.  Yesterday’s announcement clearly might have big repercussions for us.  But as I have said whenever I am asked about this, whilst people can speculate about transfer fees and sell on clauses all they like it is really nothing to do with us and all we can do is watch the developing situation with interest.

I have blogged a few times about how well Leeds have treated us whenever we have dealt with them and we are excited to welcome them to Grosvenor Vale for the friendly.  I believe that the relationship between the clubs will continue to grow regardless of what happens to Jermaine over the summer.  I hope so – these relationships are worth a lot.

But let’s not hide it, should Jermaine move for decent money it will make a big difference to everyone at our Club…and it will bring a host of other issues to sort but that is another story for another time.

It’s started

News this week that Tonbridge’s Chairman has resigned after a crisis meeting and budget cuts at Tonbridge followed hot on the heels of news of AFC Hornchurch going into administration.  Also this week all Ryman Clubs were circulated by a regular first teamer from Maidstone United leaving because of further budget cuts.  That’s just this week in the Ryman Premier.

Elsewhere this week we’ve heard of big budget cuts nearby at Hemel Hempstead, and in the Blue Square League we know of both Chester City and Northwich Victoria who have also gone into administration.  This follows Fisher’s recent winding up and well publicised problems at Merthyr Tydfil and reportedly also at St Albans

It is still only May.

Match of the season?

Thanks to Willie Wordsworth for voting our Boxing Day win against Harrow Borough as his match of the season on the Non League Show’s awards.  Given all the finals, play-offs and other big games across the leagues it was a pleasant surprise to get this recognition and you can listen to it here (approx 20:30 minutes in).

We are hoping that at least Willie and Dave Anderson from the Non League Show might be at the Vinnie Jones golf day.

Enjoying your holiday?

Have you ever wondered what goes on at the Club in late May?  Do we all go off on holiday?

Well, I thought I would try and list just some of the many things going on around the Club at present (there will no doubt be plenty that I’ll forget).  The pitch improvement work has started (Fingers reports that the first blades of grass are coming through) and you may have seen the calls to help with the various groundworks that kick off this Sunday – please come if you can, just like last year there is plenty to do.

Planning for the Vinnie Jones evening is going into overdrive (contact Leo Morris to get your ticket) and Mark Lloyd is busy planning the second Wealdstone Junior tournament taking place over the weekend of 4/5 July.  Discussions with players have already started ahead of next season and we are putting the finishing touches to our pre-season programme.

A mailing will shortly go out to remind season holders to renew and tomorrow night I am attending a meeting looking at improving our commercial efforts.  We are currently talking to Macron to organise our kit situation for next season and of course we are still doing everything we can to push 100:400.

So keeping busy then

Hollywood comes to Wealdstone

Great news

I am delighted that former Wealdstone player, and current Hollywood film star Vinnie Jones has agreed to spend a day helping the Club.

The date for your diary is 11 June and the plans are as follows:

During the day Vinnie will host a WFC Golf Day at the Stockley Park course with tickets priced at £65 each.  The ticket price includes breakfast on arrival, 18 holes of golf and then a meal at the end of the day together with the prize giving.  Vinnie has promised to play one hole with each 4 fourball so even if you might not normally come to a golf day, this is a unique opportunity to play golf with a real celebrity.

If nothing else, if you have some golfing clients then this should really impress them.  Vinnie Jones comes homeIncidentally Stockley Park are also one of our advertisers so we are pleased to support them as well.

After the golf Vinnie will be ‘hot-footing’ it over to Ruislip to take part in what we might best describe as a relaxed club evening.  Tickets for the evening are priced at £20 each and include a buffet.  We are hoping to sell a lot of tickets for this evening – so please buy yours quickly.

It goes without saying this is a rare opportunity, both to meet and talk to a real live A list celebrity and also to help raise money for the Club.

We are grateful to Vinnie (of course) and well done to Dennis Byatt for organsing the day.  It should be huge!

No rest for the wicked

Of course still plenty to do.

This week we will have a board meeting (or conference call), a meeting with Gordon and Leo re next season’s playing budget and of course on Saturday the presentation evening.

Work starts on the pitch on Tuesday and we are hoping to confirm the date for the Leeds’ friendly this week.  We are also talking to Macron, in terms of setting up how things are going to work for next season – David McKensie being at the Hastings game and hopefully will be announcing a big event due in eatly June.

Plenty of other stuff happening too, and we will try to keep everyone up to date through the blog, website and soccerline over the summer – and the local press, and mailings and carrier pigeon if that works!

All over now – only 15 weeks to go

With the play-offs over the Ryman League season is officially over so we can all enjoy a well earned 3 month rest (if only).

First things first, congratulations to Alan Boon and Staines who crept through the play offs on Saturday.  Carshalton missed a penalty in the 87th minute which would have given them promotion but an extra time goal sent Staines up.  You can’t argue that Staines don’t deserve it, according to the table they were clearly the second best team in the league – though it does means we lose a local fixture and one which produced two memorable games this past season.

It occured to me just how quickly things change.  For several weeks leading up to the end of the regular season everyone was focused on the play-offs, not only from our club, but no doubt from all the other clubs challenging.

For Tonbridge and Sutton (particularly winning their shoot out game against Hornchurch) there will have been considerable excitement on reaching the play-offs but this excitement was swiftly extinguished in just 90 minutes three days after the regular season.  For Carshalton one expects the pain will last the longest.

Does all this mean anything for next season?  We can expect that Tonbridge, Carshalton and Sutton will all be there or thereabouts.  I’m not sure how strong the teams coming up will be so whether Kingstonian or Aveley (or Cray or Waltham Abbey) will be planning to ‘do a Dover’, and we don’t know how finances will impact on club’s ambitions, with rumours around clubs like Maidstone and Hornchurch existing – not to mention our own financial position.

For my money, I make Dartford my early favourites as I was impressed by the strength of their squad and feel they will do better next season, but if we can keep everyone together at Wealdstone then who knows how well we can do?

That brings me back to budget – and I won’t go back over that again now.