Chairman's end of season message

08 Apr 2019 in General News

Chairman's end of season message Chairman's end of season message

It’s the end of another football season and the 136th of this great Football Club. I don’t think many in that period have been as difficult or challenging as 2018/19 has been.

The seasons end and summer break gives us all as a club to take stock of the overall structure and place ourselves to come back much stronger next year.

As a club we were delighted to be able to confirm our management for next season in Ian Skinner for the first team and Doug Thoburn for the reserve side. Ian has been a great help to me since October and he has the desire and passion to make us much better across the entire club, not just the first team. I am also looking forward to working with Doug who comes to us with a reputation second to none for developing young footballers.

Since taking over as Chairman on October 14th 2018 we have undoubtedly made positive strides, although not visible to everyone the changes have stabilised and strengthened the organisation throughout. Some very difficult decisions have been made in that period. We did not hide from these issues and although not taken lightly, were out of necessity, not choice. We have tried to be up front and honest with everyone about the situation we were and are in. Has everything been perfect? No it certainly has not but every decision has been taken in the best interests of Ashington AFC.

On the football side I would like to thank all coaching staff and players who have given their all this season in difficult circumstances. Not many clubs in our situation would be able to keep a good portion of their playing staff and to that end I would like to thank those that have pulled on the black and white this season. It has also been pleasing to see products of the Ashington Juniors system break into the first team squad in addition to excellent young players we have brought in from outside of the club. The performances and results have improved towards the end of the season which reflects the effort being put in by Ian, his backroom staff and the players. We have some exciting developments which we will be able to fully reveal in the near future that will make the club much stronger as a whole.

Off the field those that keep the club operating, we couldn’t do it without you. Whether that be bar staff, those on the football side, helping on matchdays, producing the programme or keeping our pitch in great condition. Thank you!

I would also like to offer thanks to our sponsors, without you we would struggle to do what we do in providing a community football club for the town of Ashington. I look forward to furthering our relationship with our sponsors and community partners to include them more in the direction and development as a club. On that note we will be announcing a commercial appointment into the club next week.

Last but certainly not least, I would like to pay tribute to our amazing supporters. The level of backing throughout the season given our circumstances has been phenomenal but especially since New Year when we have regularly been backed by 250+ supporters including crowds of over 300 in our last three home games. Your patience and understanding have been a huge help in moving this club towards a level footing and I will always be thankful of the backing you have given us.

Finally we have an end of season function at the football club on Saturday 13th April for which I would like to invite everyone associated with the club including playing staff, sponsors, volunteers and supporters to join us in saying goodbye to 2018/19 and looking forward to 2019/20.

Brian Shotton

Chairman, Ashington AFC

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