April 2020 Club Update
Dear Fleet Town players and fans,
First of all I hope everyone is safe and well. It’s a very difficult situation we are in as country and is taking some time for us all to adjust but football and our lives will get back to normal when it is safe to do so.
I just wanted to write something about how I feel the season went and the current situation we find ourselves in.
This season has been a mix of positives and negatives but we have certainly learned a great deal after relegation last season. We always knew this was a season of rebuilding not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well. We have had to upgrade floodlights, decorate the club house, clean and tidy the ground re-paint fences and decorate, tile and re-floor the home changing room. As a club we were lucky, we had some great people who came in and helped us with donations and more sponsors coming in was massive in helping us achieve as much as we did.
Squad wise we managed to retain some of the players from the previous season. Some players went and established themselves higher up the non-league ladder, 4 players playing step 3 and 1 played in the National League South. This shows how good our recruitment of players has been and the coaching team we have at Fleet that have managed to help these players move up the ladder. We have also brought in some more young talented players that have been excellent for us throughout the season.
Over the coming weeks I will give a month by month overview of the games and the season. For me and the coaching team we feel we have progressed well through the season. We managed to get through to the FA Cup 1st qualifying round again which we put in a good performance against step 3 Chesham United who would go on to be in the top 2 for most season. In the FA Vase we played 2 excellent games against Ascot United with a great comeback from 3-0 to get to 3-3 sadly losing the replay 3-1.
League form was much improved despite a slow start. There wasn’t much panic from us as a group and this showed with some great performances throughout the season including big wins away at Solent, Horndean and Lymington. Our home form should have been better, certainly felt we should have picked up more points than we did but the Bournemouth and Christchurch results were good wins.
In other cups this season we didn’t quite do as well as we would have liked but did get to the quarter final of the Aldershot senior cup beating step 4 Staines Town 2-1. A personal highlight was being able to bring through 3 youngsters from the youth team, this has been great to see them progress.
With the season now officially being null and void it is disappointing that we couldn’t finish the season. With 9 games left we were looking to get to 50 plus points and with only 13 more to get we felt we could achieve this which would have seen the club get the most points it has got in the last 5 seasons. It is also frustrating as we expected that we would have been moved to the Combined Counties League for next season which would have put us in a more local league with far less travelling. The FA re-structure has now been put on hold for what looks like another year this means we will be likely to go back into the Wessex Premier League for another season.
We are currently speaking with players and hoping to retain the majority of the squad for next season, over the coming weeks we should be able to announce who will be staying. The coaching team and myself have all committed to staying on for another year which I’m delighted about and I’m hoping to add more staff to help us develop this squad even further for next season.
I just want to say a massive thank you to the players who have played for me last season whether it was 1 game or 30 you have all played your part in helping us this season.
The coaching team Tommy, Chris, Stu, Nathan, Ed and Darren from the 18s who has helped us on match days this season who without the support they give me I am not sure where I would be.
The committee for the support that they have given me and the players but for what they do on match days making the experience so enjoyable. To the volunteers who have supported the tea bar, building and maintenance work throughout the season. To the sponsors with your support the club would have not been able to achieve what has been done and survive.
Lastly the fans who have been incredible all season the new younger fans have been brilliant, our fleet massiv and the fans who have come week in week out through the season new and old it’s been great to see you at so many games cheering us on through the good games and bad. If we are still in the Wessex Premier League next year there should be another trip to Cowes….
I for one cant wait to see what next season brings, I know we will have again a young exciting team but will also have some experience that will help us progress even further.
We have a GoFundMe me page which we are using to raise money towards helping pay the bill’s during these times. I would like to thank the players who have kindly given us half there final wages plus their fines money during the season which was £371. The link is below if you would like to contribute in anyway wherever it’s your ticket for your home game or what you pay for a burger every penny counts.
Everyone please stay safe, stay at home till it’s safe to go out.