Notes from ETFC Supporters Society Members Meeting, Thursday July 8
60 plus members present
Chairman Paul Reed began the meeting by outlining the agenda and then introducing Billy Highton, who runs our academy and is also the Enfield Town Ladies’ manager.
Billy updated the membership as follows:
We have re-entered the conference under-19 alliance after being top of the league at Christmas, with 3 games in hand, before lockdown forced the season to end.
Our goal is to support the local community and get as many academy students as possible to level where they could be considered for the first team. Seven of the current 25 have undergone trials for the new ETFC season. Three of those seven are now training with first team squad.
All academy students undergo Monday, Tuesday and Friday general education, 4 hours a day.
Completely restructured the ladies’ section and goal is promotion having been in top 3 in the league in last 4 seasons.
Going forward, growing need to build a bridge between the men’s and women’s section
Billy was personally thanked by Director Les Gold who described his work and the finance he has generated as a “lifesaver” for the club. The chairman also expressed his gratitude to BH for growing talent.
Mark Thompson has stepped down as a board member but is still very much involved and supportive working primarily on our website.
ETFC’s first two full-time local employees have been hired initially for 6 months via the government’s Kick Start scheme, they work 30 hours a week. They will carry out various tasks around the club including stadium maintenance and community work .
Improvements to the ground over the close season include painting of terracing, a new walk-in club shop, and marquee to sit in front of main stand to be used as outdoor bar. PR thanked our volunteers who had undertaken this work.
PR thanked supporters for generously waiving their refunds on last season’s season tickets which has helped the club to stay on a firm footing and budget accordingly for next season. He admitted there had been “dicey” times financially during Covid but we are now on solid financial footing.
We would have liked to celebrate our 20th birthday in June at the time but restrictions rendered that impossible. But the Spurs game on July 20 will reflect our anniversary and a stand-alone one-off party will be held later, possibly on Aug 7 following our final pre-season fixture against Grays for the FSA Shield. At least one coach will also be provided, with Covid safety measures, for the prestige trip to FCUM on July 24.
On funding, PR explained how we’ve been able to balance the books by putting last season’s 2 contracted players on furlough, obtaining significant rate relief and acquiring a number of crucial grants – essential funding with £1,500 needed to run the club per week even without playing football. PR also thanked supporters for contributing to the current whip-round. As a thank you last season’s Season Ticket holders and GoToTown members will get free admission to friendlies, League Cup and Middlesex Senior cup games.
PR also gave encouraging news about sponsors, with Powerday continuing and potentially an important new big sponsor to be named imminently — another factor in being able to provide a competitive playing staff budget. A new sponsor is also coming on board for the youth section.
Season tickets are being offered to local NHS staff and care workers as a thank you for their work during the pandemic.
On the playing side, all first-team players have committed to take at least one youth training session to build relationships. PR confirmed Scott Thomas as the new club captain.
Q and A:
Paul was asked who is running the bar now and he confirmed Director Ciaran Glennon has taken over.
On tickets, PR said those for the Spurs game will go online shortly with a provisional capacity of 1,000 . Only if there is still capacity will tickets be sold on the night. Contactless payment will be encouraged.
Season ticket holders will no longer have to register for games and just show their cards.
Season scheduled to start Aug 14 and conclude at the end of April followed by Play offs. The Isthmian league planning to put in place contingency plans for ending the season with promotion and relegation if there is another lockdown.
The squad will be slightly smaller but we expect to retain the nucleus of last season’s squad including Nathan McDonald, Jeremiah Gyebi, Josh Urquhart, Lee Chappell, Percy Kiangebeni, Junior Mubiayi, Lewis Taffe, Sam Youngs, Billy Bricknell, Adam Cunnington, Neville Nzembela and captain Scott Thomas.
Andy said Scott Thomas was the obvious choice as club captain . We are hoping to add several other players to the squad including three with National League experience.
Those not returning include Adam Pepera, Lyle Della-Verde, Jared Small and Ryan Blackman. We would have liked to retain some of those players but once our league was curtailed last season we could do nothing to prevent those seeking to play National League football. James Potton is still some way off playing after reconstructive knee surgery. Other key signings will be announced once they are confirmed. The aim is to play a possession-based game but fresh energy and pace is needed in wide areas which is a position being focussed on. Game management will also need to improve and the coaching staff are working on this.
AL paid tribute to the fans and cited the FA cup game at Hitchin a few years ago where our supporters generated so much noise it sounded like several hundred. On those occasions our support still gives him goosebumps.
On coaching side, Ian Hart (previously with Southend) has been brought in as first-team coach which AL regards as a crucial appointment, not least because of his experience but also level of contacts. He is also involved in our Academy set up so provides a key link between the first team and our youth set up. Excellent feedback from the players already. Mario Noto, Graham Dodd and John Abbott all remain as part of the management team.
Q and A:
Teams to contend with will include Worthing, Hornchurch, Bishop Stortford, Horsham and Lewes but ETFC’s minimum goal will be to make playoffs. ETFC’s formation will vary depending on the opposition.
Vice-captain has not been decided yet. Probably three candidates.
Wants to have an impact on and off the pitch in terms of the culture of the club and its values. More connection between players, staff and fans . He particularly wants more inter-action between players and fans such as transferring the away game experience into home games.