Newsletter - Sept 08 Print

Dear parents

Welcome to another season - and a new era for the club.

I am hoping that by the time this reaches you, we will be confirmed as a Charter Standard club - underlining our commitment to the best possible football experience for your children and opening up new doors in terms of support, events, discounts and grants.

That help will be vital as we take to the field with what we think will be the most registered players we've ever had, at 290, and 16 teams.


This season sees the launch of Respect, the FA's programme of activities to combat unacceptable behaviour in the game at every level - on the pitch and from the sidelines.

Driving out such behaviour emerged as the top priority in the biggest opinion survey to date of grassroots football in England.

The FA says it hopes that Respect will ensure a safe, positive environment for everyone to enjoy football.

Its website says it will have an impact on the following areas:

Referee recruitment and retention: By tackling abuse towards match officials, we hope to reduce the stream of referees understandably leaving the game.

Participation within youth football: Abuse and pressure from the sidelines needs to stop if we are to ensure young children enjoy, stay and progress in the game.

Coaching and player development: An encouraging and player-centred approach is vital if we are to improve coaching standards - particularly for the key 5-11 age-group. It's simple: better coaches produce better players.

Safeguarding children: Everyone in football has a duty of care towards children - ensuring they are able to play football in a safe, enjoyable environment free of abuse, bullying and discrimination.

The FA is bringing in the programme at professional and grassroots levels, so that everyone from the biggest Premiership star to the youngest mini-soccer newbie gets the message.

We have little information as yet about exactly how the theme will manifest itself during matches but it is more important than ever before that you as parents resist the temptation to shout from the sidelines at officials - and that you stress the importance to your sons of biting their tongues, too.  Any concern over the refereeing of a game should be left to your manager to express.


We have spent a fair bit of money updating kit and basic equipment such as balls and cones in recent weeks and will be spending another £1,000-plus in the next few months on items from new goals to training hurdles.

The committee recently held our first ever finance meeting to reassure ourselves that our annual budget - likely to be nearly £35,000 this season - is watertight.


Which brings me on to a fundraising event in November.

Please put Saturday November 22 in your diaries and calendars now.

We have a slot at Sainsbury's to bag-pack and will be looking to be there between 9am and 4pm.

Money raised will be divided between the club and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Appeal, which we chose as a thank-you after a player from what is now the under-16s team was airlifted to hospital following a nasty injury at a tournament at Bromham a few months ago.

In the next week or so, I will be dividing the day into age group bands, which your managers and their assistants will have the job of filling. Please be ready to help - both by sending your son, and if possible by lending a hand with supervision and packing.


Running a club that has 290 child members, 16 teams, a £35,000 budget and three sets of playing fields doesn't happen by magic.  Committee members give up several hours of their time every month to not just keep the club going, but to ensure that it has a future with the very best of coaching, facilities and investment.

At the end of this season, our treasurer Emma Mitchell will be standing down after three years in what is one of the most demanding roles on the committee. I would also like to stand down as chairman after two years in the role, and our vice-chairman and sportsfield chairman, Jon Clark, would also like to take a back seat.

Our AGM is not until May, but I'd like you to think about whether you might consider becoming a committee member.

I'm not suggesting you catapult yourself straight into the chairman's seat, but new blood to fill other roles could free up existing committee members to switch positions.

Please give it some thought - and feel free to contact me or ring me on 01249 445083 to have a chat.

In the mean time, enjoy your football - and, as always, thanks for your support and interest.

All the best

Paul Wiltshire

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 September 2008 13:19

Child Welfare Officer


Mike Poole

T: 07789 722610

E: poolemichaeljames@



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