After a busy summer the season is finally underway. By all accounts it has been a great start for all of our 18 teams and I am sure we can look forward to an enjoyable and successful 2016/17 season. A special mention for all our younger players in the U7 boys teams and U10 girls teams playing football for the first time. It is fantastic to see them enjoying themselves so much and they should all be so proud to represent our special town.
All of the hours spent preparing the pitches by our excellent volunteers has paid dividends and it is great to see so many people up at Greensfield. Almost every evening, and at weekends, the site is packed with kids training and playing matches. There seems to be a buzz about the place and Greensfield is starting to feel like our home. For those of you not aware we currently use the pitches at Greensfield under licence from Northumberland Estates. I am pleased to say however that as part of our facilities project we expect to sign a lease for the site in the next few weeks. This is the first step towards Greensfield truly being our home and is an exciting step forward that will facilitate further development of the site.
The last few weeks have seen significant progress in our development plans. Our proposals to build a floodlit synthetic pitch and changing facilities have been received favourably by the FA, Northumberland County Council, The Duchess' High School and Northumberland Estates and we have reached a point where a funding package has been agreed in principle by all parties. Whilst we are not quite at the point of choosing the colour of the wallpaper we are tantalisingly close to making this a reality. Formal decisions will be made over the next few months and should all go well there is a chance development could start in 2017. Detailed feasibility studies will commence in October and by the turn of the year I should have much more detail to share with you. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the committee members who are giving so much of their free time to try and provide the facilities our club and this town so desperately need.
There are a couple of other things for me to update you on. Firstly, Mark Hedley has decided to step down from his role as Head Coach of the Girls Section. This season our U10 sides will be managed by Amy Hately and Nicola Howarth and the U11 sides by Jason Belisle and Mick Keane. I am glad to say Mark has agreed to remain involved with the club and manage our U14 side. Everyone at the club thanks Mark for all he has done in developing our girls teams over the last couple of years and we wish him all the best for the coming season with his U14 side.
Finally tonight sees a 'mop up' photographic session with Club Legends. This will be taking place at the clubhouse between 18:00 and 18:30 and I encourage all those who missed the original session to attend. It would be great to have complete team photos for all of our 18 squads.
Good luck to everyone for the next few months and I will update you further as things progress with our facilities project.
Peter Hately - Chairman, Alnwick Town Juniors FC
Updated 10:20 - 27 Sep 2016 by Paul Davidson