After a mild winter, we're back and ready to rock and roll. Since the disappointment of relegation last season, there have been a fair few changes both on and off the pitch. Pre-season has gone pretty well for Alan Mathews and his revamped squad. Most who attended a few games came away with renewed optimism. What has pleased a lot of people is the inclusion of local talent which makes the season ahead even more interesting. This Friday night, we head up the M4 to take on Shelbourne and a good crowd of travelling support is expected. Hopefully we can start positively with a good display and something on the board.
We had our AGM in the Clubhouse on Monday night last and while there was a good attendance, it was disappointing that many of the younger supporters failed to attend. While the average may have dropped, there's still plenty of room for a younger generation to come on board. Kevin Carberry stepped down as Chairperson after a few years at the helm and was replaced by the enthusiastic Avril Gilchriest. Sinead Keegan is now Head of Merchandise and there will be a special section in the shop to cater for the demand. The Treasurer's post is still in the hands of the ever reliable Johnny Nevin who is the longest serving post holder. Obviously his army training has helped Brendan Finnegan who remains in charge as Clubhouse Manager. Davina Dardis as assistant secretary brings the average age way down and we await the appointment of the actual secretary. The PRO position remains as was. And of course we have many well known expert consultants to keep us on the straight and narrow. We'll need all of you.
Johnny Nevin in his end of year report illustrated just how vital the Supporters' Club is. Since its foundation, it has contributed the guts of €250,000 to the club with €15,000 being donated last season and that didn't include paying for various expenses like paint etc. It's only €10 to join or half that for children. Your contribution obviously helps the running of the Club but it also entitles you to a 10% discount on merchandise and all paid up members will be entered into a draw to present the Player of the Month trophy. It's hoped to add an other initiative shortly. Until summer this year, Kevin Carberry is in charge of membership. We hope to have the same new system as the club season ticket in place, which means you get you get your membership card straight away with a number rather than your name on it.
BAG OF MONEY
Once again Pat Wall has kicked off the season with a very generous donation of a bag of money. Pat has been doing this now for ages and it certainly adds up to a very tidy sum indeed. Thanks again Pat.
Sadly, when we re group at the start of the season, there are always vacant seats or supporters whose spouse/partner/ family friend has passed away. The Town supporters are a relatively small band of friends who have a bond as strong as many families, so each passing is deeply felt. We'd like to take this opportunity to offer our condolences as we face into a new season togther.
NEVER TOO LATE
Just because the AGM is over doesn't mean, we don't need more help. Of course we do. We're involved in running the Clubhouse, organising various fundraisers, the player of the month awards, promoting the club – the list is endless. Our car boot sales are thankfully very successful but we need more volunteers both during and after the event. Even if you can help for one event, it would mean a lot. For too long, too few have been doing too much. Can you help ?
TOUGH SEASON AHEAD
Despite the feel good factor before the season starts, everyone realises that the 2017 season is going to be extremely demanding. Only one team will be promoted. Waterford have been spending vast amounts to ensure they'll be number one and other clubs too have stepped up their efforts to escape from the horrible first division. We too hope to get back to the top division but we really need your support. We have a new proven manager in place, a new squad, local lads, fantastic facilities so will you join us?