BY RICHARD SLOANE, DIRECTOR AND FOOTBALL SECRETARY
The Club hope that all our staff, players, coaches at every level and of course our loyal supporters and parents of the junior teams are safe, distancing and remaining well during this very difficult time.
I am sure you will be impressed to learn that we now have 23 coaches all striving to develop our players to hopefully become First Team players. That is a tremendous number of qualified people supporting the club in its quest to regain membership of the National League.
It is very frustrating not having watched live Seagulls matches since we beat Wimborne at home on 11th February and then Taunton Town at Keynsham Town in the Quarter Final of the Somerset FA Cup on 25 February. We are now into our sixth week of football starvation and its going to be awhile yet before we see any real progress.
We recognise our season ticket holders have not had full benefit of their tickets this season. We will be considering how to address this when we have news of the potential start to the new season. Please bear with us.
We are planning to reopen on 1st June but that date may be optimistic. Now that Boris Johnson is back we may see some clarity on this.
Scott and his team continue to evaluate potential signings and this is a never ending task. There is no doubt that many players in higher leagues will be looking for new clubs but we don’t yet know how the EFL season is going to finish.
We are in discussion with clubs regarding the preseason programme but those clubs coming to The Optima Stadium will be from the National League mainly rather than the EFL because they may still be playing end of season football then. The National League have cancelled the remaining matches as a result of a vote by all clubs. They now have to decide whether to organise play offs or work on PPG (points per game) to provide divisional winners or just null and void the season. Either way they will probably start the next season around the time we expect the Southern League to start – whenever that is. So many uncertainties at this time. As much as possible is going on behind the scenes here at the Club to create initiatives and open for business as soon as possible.
Our season was mixed but we were coming into a rich vein of form. It did take the squad time to settle as Scott had to recruit a number of players in key positions. The Board and football management are doing everything they can to bring in one or two new players to ensure we are strong at the start of the new season.
The U19 squad playing in the National League Academy Football Academy had reached the last 16 of the Academy Cup before the season was ended. We have been asked whether we would like to continue the competition next season and we have said very definitely yes.
The U18 squad were in the semi finals of the Western Counties Floodlight Youth League when the season was ended in March. We are pleased to inform you that the Management Committee of that League have carried over the semi finals and the final of the League Cup. The Seagulls are in the Semi Finals and will play Odd Down FC at their ground on Monday 14th September. The final will be played at Wells City FC on Wednesday 27th September KO 7.45 when we hope to be in that match.
We said in the last briefing that we would bring you information as we get it and this we will continue to do.
We thank you for your patience and look forward to seeing you all soon. Carry on taking great care to stay safe.
Director & Football Secretary