It’s been a few weeks since I last penned something to blog, indeed the arrival of Harry Kewell and Dean Brennan at Barnet FC the last time I sat down and put a piece together.
Granted the world of non-league football is now in its ‘quieter’ period after the culmination of the National League play-offs but is there ever a quiet time for clubs even when a season has finished?
Of course there isn’t! Whilst this has been the strangest season in my lifetime just played out, playing games ended for most before the Xmas decorations had made it out of the box.
In that time no doubt clubs made decisions to make improvements to their surroundings, to upgrade areas around stadiums whilst some were actually lucky to complete a supplementary cup competition around April and May time.
Those involved behind the scenes of a club will know the groundwork begins almost as soon as the last ball is kicked on the pitch and it’s not long before attention turns to commercial activities, the hiring of function rooms and clubhouses to help turn over the summer months into profit.
This is still of course causing clubs problems currently with restrictions still in place nationally for what you can or can’t do unless you’re a government minister, loaded with cash or in bed with UEFA.
Then comes the paperwork and affiliation work to complete to ensure the club kicks off the new season on time and before you know it, the players are back for pre-season, signing on forms become the bane of your life although if I remember correctly just as I was leaving Wick a couple of years ago the process to move details online instead of a paper form was well underway.
Then it’s referee’s for those games, splitting costs, finding venues if the pitch work is not yet complete and ready for action, the very beginnings of these thankless tasks are the reason 22 players take to the pitch every August and beyond.
This year we have a slightly earlier start for clubs at Steps 5 and 6 on 31st July whilst the rest fall in line over the following three weeks with the expectation that the National League will not be finishing up in June this time around.
Whilst I’m not a fan of pre-season friendlies I am going to get to some, merely for catching up with fellow supporters, players and managers that I’ve hardly seen for a year, in some cases longer.
I was lucky enough to get three games watched in May, a double return to The Hive and a friendly at East Preston.
For many this coming season will be one they hope returns a sensible level to their mental health. I consider myself a strong person but at times this has tested even my resolve, granted Barnet FC have had a lot to test me with but we got through that!
It’s not the place to get all political despite the earlier notation but a reminder as a football fan we’re not far away from action once again and appreciation for those who make it happen for us all to enjoy, it might even be ‘coming home’ I hear……..