As promised last week, I’m updating where we’re up to now, Wick FC that is! A week is a long time in football so they say, I’ll admit the last few 2-3 weeks have felt a very long time.
It’s been a tough few weeks, things I’ve learnt throughout this time and things I wasn’t expecting to happen did happen. But difficulties make you stronger and at least that’s the hope that things are now behind us and we move forward as we were before the end of August hit.
Where to start first, off the pitch or on it? Well, let’s go with on the pitch! As you can see from the graphic above, we have a very important game this weekend. Over the years I’ve been involved at the club, watching and committee based, FA Cup and Vase runs are few and far between, in fact I can only recall 2 where we progressed beyond the first round we had been drawn in.
Two weeks ago, we beat Godalming Town 2-1 to move into the Buildbase FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round where we face Hackney Wick (battle of the Wickers) this Saturday. Both clubs reside at Step 6, the same level as us so progress to the 1st Round Proper is achievable. With it brings more prize money, extra to what we have expected this year and even should we bow out in this round we’re better off to the tune of £250, not much money you would feel but pays off a third of the beer bill for the month.
The admin side to these FA Competitions is more than you would expect! Separate match officials from those for league games, match forms to fill in before and send off before you get fined, a different team sheet to use on the day, more text messages to send off after the game with the result, you need 4 pairs of arms and the equivalent pairs of eyes as well to ensure you don’t miss anything.
We sit mid table in the Southern Combination Division One with 9 points from 5 games after a 3-0 win over Midhurst last time out, but still very early in the league season. Over the next 3 weeks, we will face more cup games on a Tuesday night, long trips to Hailsham and Newhaven in search of more progress.
Off the pitch, we continue to make progress to grow the club. Last week, BT Sport was installed into the clubhouse across 3 screens. This gives us the opportunity to open the clubhouse beyond just matchdays as we open next Tuesday at 5pm for the start of the Champions League matches and will open on both matchdays until the end of the season.
It also offers us the live Premier League game on a Saturday kicking off at 5.30pm which hopefully will encourage players and supporters to stay after the action on the pitch to watch the action on the TV, again bringing vital income into the club.
We have plans for a Halloween party with details to follow in the next few days, plus more events planned after home games, again all vital to a grassroots club survival. At our level the football side has to be supported well by off the field work and maximising income streams wherever they can, not enough money is generated by the football alone.
One of our next aims to get the supporter numbers up, make the club known more throughout the local area, simple signs to be added to the lamp post at the bottom of the road and onto the main gate leading into the car park so people know where we are, no good having a club if no one where you are to be found!
We know we’re not finished at this point and there is more work to carry on with as the season progresses both on and off the pitch, the updates will continue as they seem to be well received judging by the views and visitor numbers.