By the time the 2014/15 season was coming to a close at the end of April, I felt the club had made considerable progress and we had a lot to look forward to, when the 2015/16 starts again in August.
The highlight for the year for me was finally completing a new lease for a further twenty years at Honey Lane, Otham, which was finally completed in May, with significant assistance from Julian Scannell.
Roy Benton has now completed our application to the football stadia improvement fund with the help of Colin Whitfield, and we already have a reference number and technical project manager appointed to our project, which we hope to approve by June.
The club has been able to ring fence £27,000 for this project from reserves, fund raising and the generous donations from our President John Mace and Vice Presidents, Ricky Carcary, Paul Rudd and Mike Anthony amongst others.
This sum represents the clubs 30% contribution for our ground improvements, which we will do all we can to commence prior to the start of the new season, but will have completed without fail, by the March 2016 deadline, set by the Kent Invicta League, but also required to achieve promotion if we are champions next season.
• Installation of our floodlights
• Security fencing and entrance gates for spectators
• Hard standing
• The introduction of our second 50 seated covered stand
The committee are also looking to introduce a public address system for emergencies, and complete the refurbishment of the kitchen and reception area by the start of the new season, to include a licenced bar to serve chilled bottled drinks etc.
We are pleased to confirm that Lesley Stevens has agreed to become the clubs Café/Bar manager from the start of the new season with an expectation of encouraging and developing a greater level of socialising post match to help contribute to club fundraising.
It is also proposed with Albert’s agreement to introduce some urinals to the gent’s toilets in the reception area.
With so much investment and improvement being pledged for immediate implementation, any contributions in materials or labour would be very much appreciated, to create a more welcoming and functional clubhouse.
Crisfield properties have also agreed to continue to sponsor the first team to the tune of £3,000 for the coming season and we are hopeful that both the Lion of Kent and Comcheck will continue their sponsorship at the same level as last year.
We also have a proposal this evening to increase team subscriptions for the first time in a number of years, which will enable the club to focus on improving resources for all of our 17 teams and our development squad at Roseacre School.
So now is a good time to acknowledge the generous donations and sponsorship contributions from parents, managers, local business and friends of Bearsted FC.
I would also like to thank all the clubs managers, coaches, and helpers for their support throughout the season.
The committee have done a fine job this season as well
• Roy Benton - Secretary
• Clare Maynard – Treasurer
• Julian Scannell – Fixture secretary
• Chris Hunt – Vice Chairman
• Colin Whitfield – Youth development manager
The clubs social and fundraising activities have also been very good this year, which has enabled the club to proceed with our ground improvement proposals.
• Allan Heffron
• Ricky Carcary
• Pat McCarthy
• Dave Cowan
• Clare and Colin
• Steve and Sarah
• Kevin and Lesley
• Del and Jo
I’m sure Clare will cover the large amount raised this year which included the best dinner and dance for years, two great quiz nights, a fantastic race night, Allan’s 100 club contribution, and a couple of good evenings at the Lion of Kent.
Well done to everybody and we must not forget that we still have some summer events which can both raise some important funds for new kit and equipment for the start of next season, but also strengthen and develop friendships between all our club sides.
• 6th/7th June – Bearsted FC tournament
• 21st June – Sponsored walk
• 2nd August – Bearsted FC golf tournament at Tudor Park
• 10th/14th – Summer soccer skills course
Although the club needs to increase the number of supporters we attract to watch our games, we have plenty of people who still help behind the scenes.
Albert and Joan have helped Roy to make home games happen on a Saturday.
Keith Willson staggers up each week to sell programmes, which raised more than £4,000 with advertising contributions, throughout the season.
As the club’s ambitions now require us to become more organised and professional in the management of our own ground, we need a number of stewards wearing Bearsted FC high viz jackets, with the authority to direct and instruct visiting teams and all supporters.
Those members who volunteer to become stewards, will be issued with official steward jackets and will be required at the ground one and a half hours before kick off and will receive free entry for their services.
It gave me great pleasure to announce that Chick Whitfield had been awarded the Dick Filmer award for the 2014/5 season.
Keith Filmer made an appropriate speech highlighting the achievements and development of the club in recent years as something his family would be very proud of.
Chick was a very worthy winner and had been nominated for his support and commitment to all aspects of the club.
The White Horse Trophy was awarded to Kevin Stevens and Andy Gardiner for their management of the first team, as they had guided the first team to our highest ever league position in the Kent Invicta League, where they finished runners up to Holland’s and Blair, who also narrowly defeated us in the league cup final.
In previous years I have duplicated the reports of others covering on the pitch successes, which I will leave to the others tonight.
However, I would like to publicly congratulate the first team and reserves for their improved performances and league positions.
The moral and attitude of the players and management was the best for a very long time and a credit to the club.
It should also look good for the future when both our under 18’s teams have had a good season.
The plan for the future has to be promotion for both our senior teams for the coming season, an improvement in the development of some of our junior sides, and a closer relationship with all of our club managers and coaches, to utilize our massive resources better.