Chairman’s Message

Dear Club Member,

Welcome to the new season with Old St Mary’s FC, one which begins in the most challenging circumstances most amateur football clubs have ever faced.

At least we are up and running. At the time of writing, protocols for playing during the pandemic have been developed and games have started. As the season progresses, we hope that further guidelines on the use of changing rooms and showers will be put in place allowing post-match hospitality to begin again, albeit in a rather restricted way.

At the very least, let us hope that the season is completed. With the Intermediate South league title within the first team’s grasp, the national lockdown in March forced a premature end to all grassroots football. A trophy may have eluded the club, but the promotion to senior football was achieved. The annual restructuring of the league constitution saw the first team move into Senior 2 South which was just rewards for an outstanding season for Adam Botley’s men.

Away from the pandemic, I make no apologies for returning yet again to what has been a central theme in my recent annual addresses. Our three teams offer competitive football for players of all abilities and as players improve, we are always keen to promote them to higher sides. We have actively discouraged the development of close-knit squads. Indeed, it is an AFC rule for clubs to put out first teams made up of their best eleven players, second teams of the next best eleven and so on.

If you have joined Old St Mary’s just to play with a particular group of friends, you have joined the wrong club! Players must accept that the willingness to move up and down through teams is an important pre-requisite of membership.

I will finish by wishing you all an enjoyable and successful season. Please give our captains your full support throughout the year, making yourself readily available for whichever team wants you, and paying your match fees promptly.

Tony Linnett
Old St Mary’s Football Club