Firstly, we hope everyone connected to the club and those close to them are keeping healthy and safe.
Apologies for the long gap between updates, whilst a lot has been going on behind the scenes with the uncertainty over our playing status and managing the financial impact of COVID-19, there hasn’t been a huge amount of news we could share publicly.
Last night’s announcement from the National League confirming our promotion is fantastic news for the club and everyone connected to it. Huge congratulations must go to Dean and Stuart, along with Kirk, Gary and Matty for delivering a side which played exceptional football and exceeded all our expectations for the season. Not only did the football put smiles on the faces of all our supporters but so did the way this management team conducted themselves and integrated themselves into the club.
Given the changes made last summer, the financial structure we put in place and the scale of the squad rebuild, it is nothing short of phenomenal to have achieved what we have achieved this season. Whilst not being able to win promotion in front of our fans will always be a disappointment to us all, we must celebrate accordingly once restrictions allow us to.
Thanks must also go to the wider footballing team, Tony, Abigail, Elise and John who have all played a big part in supporting the management team in their success as well as everyone who has volunteered or helped the club in the past 12 months.
Stepping up to the National League will be a huge challenge for us as a club however, it is also an amazing opportunity. Despite the considerable progress we have made as a Board in the last 18 months, we know that our resources are spread thinly and we don’t yet have the infrastructure on or off the pitch that we aspire to have.
We will need to demonstrate some of the characteristics that makes this club so special if we’re to succeed at National League level. There is significant work to be undertaken and funded at The Vale, we need to try and replicate the amazing financial contribution that was made by supporters last season to help us when we most needed it. More than ever we will need more people to get involved and help where they can.
Like most clubs, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our financial position however, we have taken all reasonable steps to protect the club and will continue to seek support to ensure we can continue to grow our role in the community.
Dean, Stuart and the management team have used lockdown to devote even more time to planning for next season and we will share details of retained players and any other squad news when we’re able to. We have continued to maintain our excellent playing surface ready for next season and have made a start on basic ground improvements within the government guidelines regarding coronavirus.
We will be engaging with supporters soon to plan for next season, we will also be launching various fundraising initiatives and an event to celebrate the fantastic achievements of last season.
Stay safe and we look forward to seeing everyone back at The Vale soon when we can celebrate and look forward to getting back to football when it is safe to do so.
Rory Fitzgerald, Dominic, Nick, Andy & Mark
Credit: Wealdstone FC