The new Season is upon us and I’m pleased to say just how positive and exciting the last few months have been around Cherrywood Road.

The momentum we gained the last few months of the season has really given everyone a massive boost.

Most recently we have had the fantastic news of the match against Premier League team Crystal Palace to look forward to. This is an indication of how much all the hard work behind the scenes has paid off and how much senior figures in the game now respect the Club again. This will surely give us the opportunity to highlight what a great Club we are trying to rebuild after difficult times.

As I hope most of you will have read, during the off season we have been busy assembling an extremely competitive and already successful squad of players. This being made up of the core of last season’s successful run-in squad, some returning local, high profile players and of course the best of our excellent academy players, something we are very proud of.

Winning the Hendon Invitation Cup was an indication of the future success this squad is capable of.

As I have previously said, I am determined that the Club will not run up huge debts chasing unrealistic goals. However, this season we have committed to a squad budget that far exceeds last season where we often struggled to even cover players expenses. It is a budget that will still only be mediocre for our division but our expectations, and I know those of the dressing room, are for a very good season ahead. Therefore, I am calling on all fans to play their part in ensuring that we are able to keep this exciting squad together.

Football is a spectator sport, and there is a simple correlation between the revenue from gate receipts and the standard of players a club is able to procure and keep. Last season our attendances did not come anywhere near to covering the cost of players wages and in some weeks, not even the cost of staging the game. This is understandable when the team struggles but good and bad times are part of football and our supporters are the core of our club. I am so very grateful to those who still came but I now hope we can attract those who didn’t back to the Boro.

In the last few months of the season, in order to give us any chance of escaping a double relegation, I personally invested heavily in the squad, contrary to our mantra of only spending what we have. This was a calculated business decision which paid off with some fantastic performances and a great run of form and that loan has since been repaid over the summer.

For the coming season, I ask all of you to personally support the Club in any way you can. Your support is integral to the success of the Club.

Apart from the obvious need for fans to attend games in greater numbers, FaST have launched “Boost the Boro”, an excellent way for you to have a direct influence on the player’s budget. Any extra you can give to this common type of scheme is gratefully received and will make such a difference (forms are available with all the information from many locations around the club and online).

I sat with the FaST board recently and I am determined that we should work far more closely for the sake of the fans and that also includes our newly rejoined junior section.

Now that we once again have a stable squad, we have also re launched the “Sponsor a Player” scheme, as well as the “Clean Sheet & Goals Sponsorship” scheme.

Everything is in place for us to have a successful season. We have a fantastic Stadium, a strong group of staff and players, the most fantastic group of volunteers, all we need now is your support again. It really is a case of “Use it, or lose it” this year.

We need the levels of support to justify the squad we have assembled or players may have to leave. As I have mentioned, the level of financial support the Club receives from fans and sponsors, directly correlates with the level of player we are able to attract and sustain, this is the same at nearly every club unless they have a wealthy benefactor.

So please, please get behind the team this season, support the Club’s new initiatives, attend the games and bring friends and family!

Up the Boro!!

Rob Prince

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