Gloucester City News – July
Well the World Cup is over with England reigniting the imaginations of the entire nation and despite a penalty shoot out loss, the conduct, effort, professionalism and ethos behind the team have given the nation hope for the future. On Monday, another team, who’s professionalism, effort and playing ethos made us proud and despite the penalty shootout loss to Bristol City’s U23’s, our squad for the coming season certainly gives us hope.
Despite the usual naysayers, Marc, Will and Tom have been busy in the off season and have put together a team who look hungry, fit and ready to compete and we think, shock the bookmakers.
Our season begins, with an away trip to Concord Rangers and as usual, our Supporters Trust have organised a coach to provide Ricco and the team with travelling support, so please contact Dave Jones at the Trust to book your place if you haven’t already.
Beginning of Season Note from the Chairman
Here we are at the beginning of the season and what can I say, that was a very busy summer.
Lots of interesting new signings and despite the high profile departures, I carry a quiet confidence for the coming season. Despite us being written off by bookmakers and amateur pundits alike, I think we’ll surprise a few people this season and woe betide anyone who underestimate us.
I can’t help thinking that the lack of confidence in us is no reflection of the football we produce on the pitch but a lack of a home. Trust me when I say, we’ve been working hard to resolve it. There’s been a lot of pre-construction meetings with engineers and grandstand suppliers, test holes dug out and drainage experts to enable us to put together a program of works which will give you a thorough and accurate timeline of our return to Meadow Park.
Yes the mast has provided us with more than frustration over the past few months. We’ve been passed from administrative pillar to red taped post but the intervention of Richard Graham, with whom I’m now in very regular contact, has helped to express the urgency of the mast dismantlement to the telecoms companies. I’ve heard talk that it is a delaying tactic.
Just to be clear, nothing could be further from the truth. We have no wish to delay any further and are doing absolutely everything to get the Club back for the beginning of next season. The management board have worked tirelessly over the summer and we have made a lot of progress.
In order to keep you up to date, we’ve now got a Twitter account set up through which we hope to keep you updated with ground developments (follow @MeadowPark1883). This would’ve been done via the official account but quite frankly, I’ve asked a lot of Chris over the past 8 months and this was just perhaps one step too much.
This does bring me on to Chris and the work he has done for the Club over the past 8 months. A lot of you will have seen him at virtually every game, especially at the back end of last season, will have received the monthly updates (which he keeps me in check with writing for!), the mid week twitter, the Gloucester City TV channel and most recently the fantastic kit launch photo shoot he’s produced, (We’ve seen a taster but I’m assured we’ve got lots more imagery on the way). Not to mention, the work that he’s put into organising the formation of the Gloucester City AFC Foundation which will form the community branch of the Club so ably kept going by Joe Parker.
Long story short, the Club was in need of a Vice Chairman, I was in need of someone who’ll provide me with a sounding board (and essentially manage me), and I’m pleased to announce that with Eamonn’s blessing, I’ve appointed Chris as my Vice Chairman. I hope to many of you this will be welcome news and will joining me in offering congratulations on this appointment.
To end, we are getting there. We’ve got a great off the field playing set up, in my opinion the best Management and Coaching team in non league football, an exciting and promising squad full of the blend youth and experience, progress on the ground (despite the mast) and some new sponsorships on board which will turn into multi season long term partnerships.
As Ever, I’m always available for anyone to talk to. Either at matches or via email. So please take the opportunity to speak to me.
All the best and I will see you on Saturday, to cheer on Marc and the team.
Meadow Park and the Mast
Since the last update we have been in direct contact with the CEOs of Orange and Vodafone’s network infrastructure.
We are top priority, and they have accelerated the fitting of Vodafone’s equipment at the new mast which is anticipated before end of August.
Once BT install fibre to the new mast it will be commissioned and the old mast will be dismantled.
We have been escalated by BT Openreach thanks to assistance from Richard Graham and we await an update as to how soon they can install the fibre. Current estimate is late August but we are trying to bring that date forward with pressure from Vodafone. As soon as a firm commissioning/dismantlement date is known we will make it public.
You can now follow all progress on the ground and mast on our Twitter account @MeadowPark1883
The Season Begins for City
Our first fixture sees us travelling all the way down to Essex to Concord Rangers on Saturday, Kick Off 15:00, followed by back to back home games against local rivals Oxford City (Tuesday 7th, KO 19:45) and League newcomers Slough Town (Saturday 11th KO 15:00). We then go to Bath City to where we face a side including a face familiar to all Tigers fans in Robbie Cundy.
Lets have a good crowd down to Evesham for the double header to support Ricco and the Team!
The Supporters Trust
The Club would like to take this opportunity to offer our congratulations on the land mark achievement by the Supporters Trust where by a ninth star was added to their badge signifying that the Trust have now raised over £900,000 since 2001.
Sometimes with the daily rigours of running a Football Club, we forget to praise the huge efforts of everyone involved with the running of the Trust in raising such a huge amount of money to support Gloucester City AFC. Therefore the Club would like to take this opportunity to offer our congratulations and thanks for your staunch support, dedication and hardwork over the years.
After the Supporters Trust AGM on Sunday, members of the Trust Board met with both Rod and Chris to discuss your thoughts, views and concerns. As always the views of the Trust and Supporters were passionately expressed by your board members and also the view point of the Club was heard.
Amongst numerous points and views expressed, one thing both sides agree on is that the relationship between both organisations needs improvement. The Club would like to take this opportunity now to state that we are committed to working with the Supporters Trust Board members to improve relationships and communications between the Club, its Trust and the Supporters it represents.
The Gloucester City AFC 2018-2019 Home and Away Kits
As you may have seen from our Twitter conversation with one of our supporters, kit production was delayed due to some rule changes and branding changes from the National League so we were up against it to get the retail offering for our new kits in place for Pre-Season as was our wish.
All kits will be available in both the Club shop, the X-Blades shop in the Quays and online on the X-Blades website and the release date for the kits will be announced soon. However, early indicators are that an early September release is likely.
Over the coming months we will also be looking to expand our merchandise offering with new scarves, beanies and hats etc all being available in the Club shop, sponsored once again for the 2018 -2019 season by Cherry and White.
The Gloucester City AFC Foundation
Our Community arm is moving from strength to strength and we are happy to have announced our Summer Soccer Camps as run by one of our own, Joe Parker. In order to book your Young Tigers on to a course, either message our Foundation Facebook page or email email@example.com, dates are below.
Tuesday 31st July, Wednesday 1st August, Thursday 2nd August,
Tuesday 7th August, Wednesday 8th August, Thursday 9th August,
Tuesday 14th August, Wednesday 15th August, Thursday 16th August,
Tuesday 21st August, Wednesday 22nd August, Thursday 23rd August,
Tuesday 28th August, Wednesday 29th August, Thursday 30th August.
Gloucester Academy, GL4 6RN
9am – 3pm
£15 per day
£40 for 3 days
We’re also happy to announce that we are in partnership with Victim Support and the Police and are in the early stages of planning a Football match in the City to engage with the local immigrant and Asylum seeker population. Victim support give emotional and practical help to people who have been affected by crime in Gloucestershire and we’re working in conjunction with them to help host, ‘The Inclusion Cup,’ a game which will seek to reach out to those in our City who speak limited English, have been recently affected by race hate crime and unite them through the medium of football. This is the start of our expansion of the community arm of our Football Club as we seek to re-engage further with all of the communities residing in our City.