These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL

Printed in the Southern League South and West Division league game v Burnham Saturday 16th August 2008. A fast and furious 2-2 draw in front of 315 - our best league gate for quite a while.

So at last our luck seems to have changed. Instead of having to play at our lowest ever level, Slough Town Football Club got a reprieve thanks to Halifax Town going into administration. We didn’t get relegated. We won’t be playing in the FA Vase or the Dog and Duck Division 12. Instead, it’s as your were, staying put in the Southern League South and West section.

It was strange that last game of the season. We lost to Fleet, yet as the Fleet players huddled in the middle to celebrate a play off place, it was the Slough players who were cheered off by at least 200 Rebels in attendance, fifteen of them who had walked 26 long miles to get there.

Let’s be honest. We deserved to be relegated, and each season clubs get a reprieve I feel that it can’t be right, especially with teams like Altrincham cheating relegation for the third season in a row. But what the heck. We deserve a bit of luck after 10 years of gloriously nose diving into oblivion.

But you must also earn your luck. After years of financial mismanagement which started long before we lost our ground at Wexham Park, we have got a chairman and committee who have started putting the building blocks in place to run a sustainable, successful, community run football club. Sometimes you just need to hit rock bottom to make some serious root and branch reform.

And about bloody time too! So with the new season upon us, I approach it with anticipation and hope that we won’t be in another relegation battle and could even reach the dizzy heights of the top half of the table.

The reasons to be cheerful?

Youth Team. A new Slough Town youth team playing in the Allied Counties League. A stepping stone into the first team; a chance to hold onto some of our promising youngsters.

Stall in the Observatory. For over five weeks this is a wonderful way of raising the profile of the club. I spent a couple of hours watching all comers, taking fixture lists, chatting to the stall holders, trying to attract business sponsorship and generally reminding people that Slough Town FC exist.

Lottery. A regular steady income raising cash for the club – and a chance to pocket some money yourself. Go on, it’s only a fiver a month standing order.

Meetings in the Herschel. Following the successful end of season bash in the friendly town centre pub, get togethers have taken place during the closed season. The landlord Tom has sponsored today’s game, and its got to be a good thing to have a presence in the town, again reminding people that Slough actually has a football club!

Adverts in Slough Observer. Opening the local paper to a full page coloured advert for the club. Brilliant – with apparently more to come. There are also match day posters available for people to put up in their local shops and pubs.

Season ticket promotion and sales. Luring us with a chance to win a thousand quid if we bought our season tickets before the end of July was a masterstroke. To date ticket sales are 136 compared to 82 last season – a 65% increase for a team that’s been relegated twice in two seasons!

Local Radio. Time106 FM will be promoting and covering all Slough’s matches this season, with regular news, information, promotions, match reports and interviews.

Supporters Trust. The Trust continues to back the club and at its recent AGM agreed to donate £1,500 to Slough Town juniors to help pay for match fees at Beaconsfield and £800 to pay the training fee facilities’ for the first team and the junior team at the Polish club. So don’t forget to renew your sub and throw any loose change into the collecting buckets at the end of the game.

The proposed new ground at Arbour Vale. Watch this space!

Our chairman. Final word must go to Steve Easterbrook who has brought his professionalism to the club. Steve is approachable and not afraid to get his hands dirty such as helping to run the Observatory stall.

So here’s too the new season – well it can’t be as bad as the last two can it? And it’s not just because I’ve got fingers crossed and blind optimism that I think we will do alright, but because of lots of bloody hard work that’s been happening behind the scenes over the past few months.

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