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Chairman's End Of Season Run In

As we approach the final stages of the season, our future lays in the hands of the players and management. We have three difficult weeks where we need to pick up points to preserve our deserved status as a Ryman Premier club. In the midst of this we have the opportunity to turn our season around and turn huge adversity into success. We have the London Senior cup semi final versus Bromley on Tuesday 9 April giving us the opportunity to add to our honours board, which in recent years would show just how successful we have been as a 'small club' in comparison to our peers. Despite the huge adversity and bad luck that we faced this season, which would have made much bigger clubs buckle, we have fought through thick and thin. When it becomes difficult you really see the true depth of support at a club. It has been difficult , yet we still are in a position of finishing the season and calling it a success. How ? Not by bringing in players who ask for too much money, not by increasing our budget or by bringing in an old pro whom perhaps other clubs cannot afford to ensure a higher league position. Not by following the usual non league merry go round of players. But by giving youth a chance. From a club perspective, winning for us was on bank holiday Saturday against our well-known, well-respected local rivals. Possibly one of the most famous clubs in non- league football in Wealdstone FC. Winning? We only drew. Saturday was the beginning, the start of the future. Playing a club who have had much success, have a huge following, will surely at least be in the play offs if not win the league. A footballing side who have attracted all the best non-league players and quite rightly consider themselves the top non-league side in the locality . Ravaged by injuries and suspensions, the squad (managed by a 28 year old) contained no fewer than five 18 year old local boys able to match the team of seasoned non-league players who not only sit second in the table but if they won their games in hand could have been top. We only managed a draw, however, read the oppositions forums and non-league reports and the reality is we should have won the game if we had not missed two or three golden opportunities. All but one of these youth players have come through our much respected youth system at one point or another, all are from the immediate area. Each and every one of them prepared to play for nothing for the honour of playing for the club they love. Our manager, knowing we have a tough finish to the season to maintain our position, had the courage to pick and have faith in these young men to compete against the best players in the Ryman league. Despite the fear and talk about being relegated, our position in this division (or any division be it higher or lower) must be sustainable. We must focus on winning when we can and consolidate our position. However, for me, we continue to win as long as we produce football players from our youth development. So to those who try and deride us as a club when I defend the club from their slanted negative comments I ask: Five 18 year olds in a squad that outplayed and thoroughly deserved a point or three from a team who may yet get promoted to the Conference south, whilst in a relegation battle? A young manager prepared to take the chance on youth? As far as I am concerned whatever our position we continue to win as long as we produce from within. The choice: give youth a chance and have a strong and consistent progression or pay a mercenary an extortionate amount of money for a few games ? As Gary Meakin stated to me : ' if you don't try them you will never know' Aron Sharpe Chairman

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