This column looks forward with optimism, confidence and pride; words that I am sure are shared by chairman Dale and manager Ady Pennock.
Everything I have heard about Ady impresses me. He has worked at a variety of levels and his extensive Stoke City experience shows he can work successfully with experienced players.
He knows this club has the potential to move beyond the Conference and I believe there is no limit to what this club can achieve with him in charge. I suggest this is the view of our chairman also.
Yes getting out of the Conference will be the first challenge, but with that accomplished we need someone at the footballing helm that will take us onwards and upwards.
Some will dismiss these words as idle dreams but without ambition and hope nothing will be achieved. We now have people in charge who can lead us forward. It is going to be an exciting journey.
Excitement was very much in the air when Ady met the press at the end of the victory against Dartford. “I cannot wait to get on the training ground” he enthused. He had learned a few things from Tuesday’s game stating the players would have to work on aerial defending at set pieces. At last we were hearing someone admitting a fault and saying it would be worked on.
It will take some time for the squad to be properly assessed but with the admirable Scott Bartlett about, the new men will have the best advice. Scott knew exactly what to do in his two matches in charge. He picked teams that could dig in, work hard and win. Too many matches were being lost too easily. Headlines like Scott stops the rot, or Brave Bartlett’s battlers are easy to write, and are so very correct.
A word about another unsung hero – Yan Klukowski. Yan has this season been asked to play at least three roles. Firstly as a wide man in the front three, secondly in the hole, just behind the forwards, breaking forward when an opportunity arises and thirdly as a member of the midfield four. Never complaining and always working hard he has been a valuable team member. Yes, he can frustrate at times but so can everyone else. I do not think he is among the highest earners in the squad but by his service to the club he sets everyone a fine example.
Shortwood have done exactly that with their astonishing FA Cup run.
The night at Meadowbank was amazing. I failed a fitness test but have heard so much about it. I hope it will stimulate an interest in local football. Too many of us take an interest in a remote metropolitan team with which we have no meaningful connection.
Supporting your local side, whoever they are is much more rewarding. Just remember the home fans on Monday, clad in Shortwood’s colours and cheering their team, playing on their pitch. It beats all the sofa watching of competitions that are both distant and irrelevant.
Thanks to John Evans, Alex Sykes and the team. They may have lost the game but in their cup campaign they triumphed.
Thanks also to Colin Peake, his advice, guidance and leadership ensured everything ran well. He gets my man of the match award.