Saturday 9 December 2017 represents a momentous day for the Club with our new Stand being open for the first time. I’m delighted with it and I think it sends a clear statement that this Club is moving forward on and off the pitch. We are nearly there in terms of funding having secured a headline sponsor, Identity Consult, who have kindly agreed to sponsor the stand for 3 years. We now just need that final push on Seats for Life so if any of you wish to make a donation please contact either myself or Martyn Tweddle. What better Christmas present! The target is £5k between now and Christmas.

With progress comes change and regrettably, the old stand is no longer available for spectators to use it on match days to watch games. We secured a grant from the Football Foundation on the basis that the existing stand was a Health and Safety risk. We have therefore taken the decision to mothball the stand so please take note of the signs and don’t use it.

This is just the start of our journey to be the best we can be. I have commissioned Architects to develop plans for our new Community Clubhouse which represents a massive part of the strategy to be self-sufficient. I want the Clubhouse to be our major sponsor in the fullness of time! Subject to a business plan we hope to submit a Planning Application in the Spring and start work in the close season.

On the field, we have enjoyed a fantastic FA Cup run and I will never forget the scenes in Banbury’s Clubhouse after the game. I felt so proud to be your Chairman! We are well placed in the League and Dan and his Management team are on board with our target of achieving promotion by the end of next season at the latest. We welcome Matty Waters to the Club, Dominic Curl has signed a long-term contract and we are close to bringing another quality addition to the squad. These players know our ambitions and have joined Shildon AFC to help us progress up the Leagues!

Attendances have improved which I’m delighted with and we just need to kick on with this. I want to make coming to Dean Street a really enjoyable experience, that’s why we are investing in our infrastructure so please spread the word! Bring a friend or two!!

The Club wouldn’t exist without Volunteers and that’s why I’m hosting a Christmas Party after the game against Dunston. It’s an opportunity for me and Di to say thank you. We can’t pay our Volunteers but we can offer them a Volunteer package and an invitation to the Christmas Party is just one of the benefits on offer. I will be unveiling what the package is all about before the end of the season and what roles we need fulfilling around the Club. If anyone is interested in Volunteering then please feel free to have a word with me.

That’s about it other than to wish you all a happy Christmas and let’s see what the New Year brings to our very special Club. These are exciting times to be a Shildon supporter.