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Chairman's Newsletter

 

Chairman’s Pre-Season message to all OWFC Members – 2019/20

Last season in review

The highlight of last season was that Old Wokingians first team won the hugely prestigious London Old Boys Senior Cup for the second time in three years, beating Dorking 2-1 in a thrilling final. They nearly did the double but lost 1-0 after extra time to old rivals Nottsborough in the final of the Surrey and Kent Senior AFA Cup.

In the League the club had a relatively modest season, but after a considerable number of promotions in recent year it was maybe not surprising that this was a year of consolidation. The 7th team did best, finishing 3rd in 7 South, all the other seven teams finished between 6th and 10th in their various divisions. The 3rd team deserve credit for finishing 6th in 1 South after two successive promotions. Our Sunday veterans finished 7th in their Farnham and District division 5. Joe Dixon scooped the Golden Boot with 26 goals and Matt Bobbett claimed the golden Gloves with 10 clean sheets.

The club’s disciplinary performance was similar to 2017/18 and included just nine of the newly-introduced Sin Bin offences. There were no misconduct or more serious offences at all and just four red cards throughout the club. We paid over £700 in league fines for disciplinary offences, a little up on recent years. Discipline needs to improve. We receive too many yellow cards & get too close to an overall mark that could result in the club being hauled in front of the league discipline committee. Our Charter Standard certification, the difference between us & many adult football clubs in the area, depends on it.

The club once again scored very highly on its Spirit of Football. Opposition teams give us marks every game for the spirit in which we have played the match, on a scale of 1 to 10 and we once again ended in the top 25% of all clubs with a score slightly up on the previous season and well over 8. We were also highly rated on the other headings which are scored, ie Organisation, Facilities and Hospitality.

Socially we had a terrific club dinner last October at the Holiday Inn, once more attended by well over 100 members who enjoyed a decent meal, short speeches, lots of awards and plenty of laughter. Other events included a 90th anniversary celebration, a quiz night, a Beer festival and an end-of season drink-up. Many thanks to our Social secretary Joe Eke for his sterling efforts.

The WOPAs continue to provide support to the home teams and a welcome boost to bar takings too! The club is fortunate to be so well supported by our alumni.

The annual 6-a-side tournament was once more thoroughly enjoyable and very well attended. Over 20 teams competed and our first team came out winners. Many thanks once again to Matt Lane and his doughty volunteers for organizing and running the event so well.

Looking Ahead

Old Wokes is in great shape as a football club serving the local community by providing football for 16 years old and above. We are proud of our reputation for fair play and respect for our opposition and match officials.

We have some changes in team leadership for next season. Chris North continues as Club Captain and first team skipper, but Dave Lane steps down after many years as his vice captain, to make way for an exciting double act of younger players, ie Sam Edis and Jason “Frankie” Hewitt. Jack Farrelly and Zak Inyang continue as second and third team skippers respectively whilst Martin Meighan takes over from Matt Cooper running the fourth team. Tom Butler steps in to run the fives and Mickey Hulse will be leading the sixes. Neill Johnstone will guide the sevens until a permanent replacement for Liam Hockham emerges and Andrew Douthwaite continues to lead the eighth team. On Sundays Mike Edis carries on running the vets first team – and we have a new Vets second team entering the fray, led by Graham Payne. So the club will field no less than TEN sides each weekend next year!! This could be a stretch when all have fixtures so players are asked to make themselves available reliably and consistently to assist their skippers in fielding the strongest side possible.

New players are always most welcome and we have a Trials Day on 31 August and an inter-club friendly against Dorking for seven teams on 7 September (competing for the first time for a new trophy!). Members are encouraged to bring along new players to strengthen our club – all are welcome.

Match fees are to remain at £10, with no annual subscription, reducing to £5 for under 21s and for all players in games between two OWFC teams.

The AGM in May re-elected the club committee and elected a new Honorary Vice President in Neill Johnstone and also a new Hon Life Member in Paz Morreale. John Billing remains as President with myself as chair, Paul Hewitt vice chair, Warren Smith Hon Secretary and Mike Edis Hon Treasurer.Dave Lane has completed his stint as chair of MSOW Ltd and is replaced by a trustee from Meadow Sports. Our trustees are Dave Smith, Rich Martin and Martin Dunkley.

Dennis North has been working on a project to improve the pitches.This is a joint effort with Meadow Sports and Woking Borough Council, the owners of Loop Road, and SERCO, their contractor. I think we will see a significant improvement this season and in seasons to come.
The club dinner is set for October 19th and I hope we will have another great turnout and another great evening. Mike Edis has a small stock remaining of the new club ties (£10 each) if anyone would like to buy one for the occasion. (michael.edis@ntlworld.com) .

Old Wokes is a fine club to be part of. Let’s make 2019/20 one of our best seasons yet. COYW!!!!!!!!!

 

John Stent, Chair OWFC