Merry Christmas & Nadolig Llawen to all current and past players, staff and everyone else who has helped make this club successful in the past six years.
I have decided to write to you as 2018 as been one of the most challenging since we formed in 2013. We have stalled as a club on the pitch after a sustained period of success and I feel I need to address some issues as the club’s Chairman.
The turnover of players this year has been significant. We have also brought in a healthy amount of new players on a yearly basis but this year we have seen a lot of players leave who were massive parts of the club, whilst it appears other players who may have been at the club for a long time have just fallen out of love with playing/playing for the club. When times are tough it is harder to motivate. I have had the same issue in the past twelve months as my life has changed dramatically. I believe all it will take is a few wins and the club will start moving forwards again, the win against Glamorgan recently I hope will be the start of this. The first team will be built around those 14 players going forward. The second team has made some improvements but still has a long way to go to be considered a success but does seem to be moving in the right direction.
I feel one thing players need to be reminded of is that I am the person who signed every single last one of you to the club. I signed you because I believed you had taken onboard the philosophy of the club and that you were going to work hard and you would make a difference. You may not play for or with me regularly but I still signed you. I created this club and I planned for it to follow the Digs League model had at my previous club, whereby we had a good social scene and worked hard for each other on the pitch and we were generally all good mates. I think with the success we had in 2016 and 2017 we went too far the other way and have lost of sight of the fact we were originally supposed to have fun on and off the pitch despite the result. How can you expect to foster a good spirit if nobody wants to do anything with each other? I expect better attendance at our events in future, whatever they might be. I firmly believe this will help improve results. I like the fact both teams do things together, that players can get promoted. You should be aiming to play at the highest level, not whichever team you can play the most minutes for.
A lot has been said about training recently, we moved to the new venue this season as a common complaint was that the previous one was too small. Unfortunately the time couldn’t be changed as there was nothing available. This is a common theme in Cardiff due to the volume of clubs. I hope you are in agreement that the training has improved with further input from the coaches. I can’t speak for Dixon but I always wanted people who were keen to coach take these sessions as they are not my forte, and in the past we have had a player-coach. I will remind you however that when we were winning things we were just playing games in training. I think the bigger issue here is the consistency of availability, having the same players turning up every week will be more important in the first instance then training, but training would then be important with those players.
We’ve gone from losing our first ever league match 8-0 to winning all of the cup’s in our league, gaining three promotions and playing at Cardiff City Stadium and The Hawthorns in just five and a half seasons. Don’t forget that. We’ve been filmed several times, we’ve been on the Radio, we were in a BBC advert, we met Robbie Savage and John Hartson. We still do more than 99% of other clubs.
My main targets for 2019:
1. Stabilise the two sides as a minimum in mid-table in each league.
2. Challenge in the cups, both teams are still in all cups
3. Have final conversations with some players who just don’t want to be at the club anymore
4. Sign replacement players who do want to be at the club
5. Improve the social side of the club
6. Get the players to clear their debts in a more timely manner
I would like to thank all of you for your efforts this year but in particular Will Eastwood and Will Brown, Lee Phillips, Aled Jones and the Commitee and Andrew Dixon.
Let’s remember who we are and what made us successful, and improve what needs to be improved. I hope for a successful 2019.
Chairman, Club Secretary and 1st Team Manager