For many weeks during the Spring the last thing on many peoples’ minds was football. As the Covid-19 virus spread like a wildfire through our communities our thoughts were concentrated on the health and well being of our families, loved ones and work colleagues. How quickly did our thoughts turn from waterlogged pitches and fixture congestion to the simple matter of life and death?
We’ve all become used to words/phrases that six months ago none of us had ever heard before, “furlough”, “coronavirus”, “social distancing”, “second spike and zoom meeting” roll off the tongue now as if they’ve been part of our vocabulary since long before March 23rd 2020. But now, thankfully, and with fingers firmly crossed, we’re starting to get the feeling that football might be coming back earlier than we dared hope only a couple of months ago. We haven’t been informed of a date when the new season will start, but there is cautious optimism that it could be within the next two-three months. It very much depends on the numbers of fatalities and confirmed new cases of infection not rising in the form of a “second spike”. The Club sends it’s deepest condolences to anyone in our supporters’ family who has lost a loved one during these tragic times.
Behind the scenes work has continued despite meetings being held using Zoom. We’ve had to make some tough and difficult decisions and this newsletter I hope will keep you all informed of events regarding the Club. The plan is to send out a regular monthly newsletter to supporters to improve communications and dialogue between the Committee and our supporters. When we as fans took over the stewardship of the Club three years ago it was with your blessing and approval and it’s as important to us now, as it was then, to act in the best interests of the Club. We remain a supporters run club that needs active involvement from supporters, members and our volunteers to survive.
The Spartan South Midland League allowed member clubs to start registering players last week. Gareth and Ryan have been busy securing the signatures of many of last season’s squad, which is hugely encouraging and testimony to the philosophy behind what the Club is trying to achieve both on and off the field. We fully expect Gareth & Ryan to be ably supported by Ivan, Tasos and Rory to help them carry on where we left off last season. That final flourish of four wins, two draws and one defeat giving an average of two points/game is the level of consistency that the gaffers will be demanding from the squad of 20-21.
You may already be aware that Luke Little and his family suffered a terrible loss during the Spring. We all send Luke and his family our deepest condolences and keep him and his family firmly in our thoughts.
Eric Ameyaw has secured a trial at a Championship club. We hope he can replicate the form he showed so consistently last season and join the illustrious list of ex DTFC players, Peter Kioso at Luton, Nathan Harness at Charlton, and Nick Hayes at Norwich who have gone on to gain professional contracts.
The Committee made the difficult decision to go through next season without a Development Team. Covid-19 has claimed many thousands of lives so the loss of sponsorship money does need to be seen in context and kept in all proportion. The projected loss of income gave us no other tenable option other than scaling back on the playing front. We haven’t been the only SSML club to be in this position as Tring Athletic have also had too make a similarly tough decision.
We went on the record to express our sincere thanks to Colin Lauder and Val Qoku for the hard work that they had put into the Development Team. We will always have the memories of the silverware they brought to Creasey Park in their exhilarating and nail- biting Bedfordshire Intermediate Cup final just over a year ago.
We wish Colin every success in his new venture with AFC Dunstable and Val in his appointment at Langford.
The Committee has a somewhat more slimline look about it as we said goodbye and thank you to Nikki Lauder for her work as Events Manager and Tyler Dunnell who was the mastermind behind DTFC TV. Chris White (aka Cupcake) stood down as Social media Manager due to work commitments but remains the Club’s official photographer. Our unreserved thanks to Nikki, Tyler & Cupcake for the hours of unpaid work they’ve contributed over the last three years.
The Club has had to act quickly to try and plug the potential loss of commercial sponsorship for the forthcoming season and has set itself the ambitious target of raising £20K in the next month using a Crowdfunding initiative and a 20Km sponsored walk around Dunstable on August 31st.
We have made the firm commitment that whatever money we raise, 60% of it will be passed on directly to the Luton & Dunstable Hospital. It’s our way of saying thank you to our local hospital for not just the extraordinary work they performed during the Pandemic but also for the care they give us every single day of the week for every week of our lives.
Starting on July 31st and finishing with a 20km walk around Dunstable on the 31st August the Club will be offering a range of packages and rewards to supporters and members of the general public who would like to say thank you to our NHS Heroes and help support Dunstable Town FC. Please give as generously as you can afford to. I will update you all again as we edge closer to July 31st “launch day” but expect to see posters and flyers around the town and a concerted effort on our social media channels to gain maximum publicity.
If you can volunteer a few hours to help or would like to collect sponsors for the walkers or even join us on the walk please let me know.
Season ticket prices for next season will be announced soon as will details for Club membership. We’re still some way off reaching a full house on the 100 Club so please join up when you receive an invitation letter in the next few days. I cannot stress enough that this Club can only thrive if we all do our bit and help by contributing to our fund raising schemes. Unlike other clubs in the non league pyramid who rely financially on having a clubhouse to bring in money by hiring it out for functions, and match day food and drink sales, we do not have this luxury. We pay a fair rent for all of the wonderful facilities and the excellent pitch and training facilities, but we have to work extra hard to ensure that we have the finances in place to deliver a quality product on the pitch.
Thank you for your support.