May I start by wishing all member’s a happy and successful New Year and thank you all for your hard work over the last 12 months.
2017 has been a very positive year for the club as we move forward on several fronts.
Our First Team finished their first season in the Hellenic Division Two West in a respectable position picking up 26 points finishing just below mid-table. Players and management enjoyed the experience. New players have joined this season and a youthful squad have shown good progress currently sitting in third position on 24 points with 11 games remaining. Moving to the Hellenic League looks to have given the club new enthusiasm which we aim to build on.
Our Reserves finished bottom of NBFL Div 2 last season with 4 points a league reshuffle for this season saw the reserves remain in division two. New management and a stronger pool of players saw some early promise with good preseason results, but a tough starting set of fixtures set us back. Recent form has shown improvement and our first league win took us of off bottom position we are anticipating a brighter second half of the season for the team.
We are one of the very few clubs who support 3 senior teams and a strong second half to last season saw the A Team finished 4th in division 5. This year’s reshuffle moved us into division 4 where things are a little tougher, but the new management team are learning the ropes quickly and a respectable mid-table finish is on the cards.
As previously mentioned fielding three senior side every weekend is a rarity. This season we have gone one better by adding a Veteran’s side to the list playing their home games at Clanfield on Wednesday evenings. Some old faces have dusted off their boots and are performing admirably sitting 2 points clear on top of their league with a game in hand.
This section of the club continues to grow year on year. Results and league positions are not published for the younger age groups, so it can be difficult to gauge progress outside the management set up of each team. But most managers report positively. Our under 13 achieved a double winning their league by 5 points and winning the cup beating Didcot 3-1 in an entertaining game at Oxford City’s ground back in March. This season has seen an introduction of an under 8’s side which has a squad of 16 so we will be looking to split this into two teams. We have the same issue at under 10’s with large squad numbers. Last seasons under 17 and 16 did not continue but many of the players have joined senior squads. You may have seen in the local press that last seasons under 13 keeper Charlie Lawrence has been picked up by Swindon Town and is now playing in their youth set up. We wish Charlie success in his future development.
Off the pitch
Faringdon Fun Run has fixed its place firmly on the calendar and last years run held in April saw numbers more than double those of the previous year. Live at the Park held at the end of June was widely acclaimed as the best yet. Some fantastic bands and lovely summer weather produced large crowds raising funds for local causes.
After years of planning, July witnessed the start of the new changing room block. The plan was to get everything secure and watertight for the winter. This has been achieved and we hope to start the next phase within a few weeks with the completion of the whole project by the start of the 2018-2019 season.
This year has seen a lot of sponsorship renewals and additions we are well supported by local business for which we are most grateful. Most teams are set up for the remainder of this season and season 2018-2019 with new kits and equipment. We are actively looking for a sponsor for our newly created under 8’s and will be offering advertising opportunities to all local business.
Running a club of this size is no easy task 14 teams 250 registered players and a major building project on top of the day to day business takes some doing. This is only possible by the dedication of a small but hard-working committee, managers, coaches and volunteers. We always need additional volunteers in coaching, managing, administration and just general hands on. If you feel you can spare some of your skills and valuable free time you would be made most welcome, please contact us.
Let’s hope we continue our forward momentum in 2018.