07 Sep 2019 in General News
Good afternoon friends and a warm welcome to Woodhorn Lane for today’s encounter with North Shields where we are proud to be supporting the Inside Out campaign, which is aimed at raising awareness of mental health and suicide prevention. This is a truly worthy cause, and we are pleased to donate 50% of todays’ gate receipts to the If U Care Share Foundation to support the vital work they do.
Turning to events on the field, it has been a difficult start for our senior side, with tough draws in the FA Cup and FA Vase which resulted in us being knocked out of both competitions. We performed really well on Tuesday night, and were unlucky not to take all 3 points, and I know Ian, his staff and the players are committed to delivering hard working and exciting performances for our supporters.
Our reserve side continue to grow and have played some excellent football since the start of the season, and our junior sides are in the process of kicking off their seasons during September. I would urge everyone to keep an eye out around the club for details of the reserves and juniors playing at Woodhorn Lane this season. This is the future of our club; we have to build the foundations and the structure before we can put the roof on.
Off the field, the last 12 months have been extremely challenging, and I’m pleased to report we are making good progress overall.
My ambition for Ashington AFC has not changed. We strive to be the best we can be, and I want this facility to play a central role in our community linking the juniors, the reserves and the first team together as one club.
Achieving this ambition relies solely on organic and sustainable growth. We have seen in recent weeks the financial crisis at Bury FC and Bolton Wanderers, with other Football League clubs teetering on the edge and spending beyond their means. In our own league in the last 18 months a number of clubs have closed down due to the financial pressures that come with trying to maintain a club at this level of football.
While it is important that we compete as best we can in the League, without financial security and sustainability, it is irrelevant. We are making great progress towards this model, but we are not there yet. As a club, we are still in a period of transition, and I would ask for your continued support and patience during this time. There have been, and will continue to be, changes to the functions of the club that you may notice over the coming months. All decisions being taken at this club are carried out in good faith and with the sole interest of improving and prospering the long term future of this club.
I have always been clear; we are as open and transparent as we can be. I’m always available for you to talk to and answer any questions that you may have. It is true that we are safe from the immediate threat of closure; however, we have significant challenges still ahead. The support the club and the team have received since I took this position in October last year has been fantastic. I would ask you all to continue to back the team, and the entire club in the same vein this season.
Friends, all of the volunteers, the players and staff at Ashington AFC are working tirelessly in good faith. I hope results improve on the pitch for the first team, but we must remain focused on the wider picture.
Enjoy the game, and please give what you can to our partners Wansbeck Valley Foodbank, and today’s Inside Out campaign.
With very best wishes,