SECRETARY ANNUAL REPORT 2020/21
Secretary Annual Report 2020/21
Despite everything that has gone on this year with COVID19 there is only one place to start this year’s Annual Report and that is to place on record thanks to Andy Piercy for all his hard work and efforts in contributing to making the League what it is today. Andy was a Management Committee member in the first season of the League in 1993. In 1997 he took up the role of Publicity Secretary which prior to Full Time meant receiving phone calls from Clubs reporting the match scores, which included on occasion a phone call from a Night Club at 1.30am Sunday morning.
In 2011 Andy also became a Registration Secretary, a role he has conducted for the last eleven seasons. Not only has Andy put in thousands of hours of his time his contributions at Management Committee meetings have been really valuable. Over the time I have been on the Committee there have been some really difficult decisions to make, more often than not Andy having listened to everyone would give his views, delivered with his dry sense of humour which would often summarise exactly the decision we need to make. Subject to AGM ratification I am delighted that Andy has agreed to take up the role of Vice President so we don’t lose his expertise.
Personally, I would like to thank Andy for all his support to me over the year’s and being someone I can always rely on, whatever the ask of him.
On the field.
Despite Steve Newlyn’s efforts to front load as many League games as possible the December to April Lockdown put paid to another season. We made the decision to run with our “offer to play football” so we could give as many games to people who wanted to play games but no penalties if people didn’t. Overall this seems to have been received well by all the teams we spoke to when out an about watching games. Again this was only possible with Steve Newlyn’s hard work in getting the fixtures out so quickly.
Discipline and Fair Play
Incidents of violent conduct rose following the return to football in April, whatever the reason hopefully we will see things return to normal in September
Bill Shankly once said “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” On 1st May towards the end of the Shenfield Reserves v Burnham Ramblers it was literally a case of life and death when a passer-by in the park collapsed and stopped breathing. Due to prompt actions of players providing CPR until the Emergency Services arrived, the gentleman concerned regaining consciousness to weeks later with no brain or heart damage. We cannot thank these players enough for the swift and courageous actions.
Administration was generally good within the League, although we did have to chase some results sheets and fines at the end of the season. Please can we ask that everyone ensures Results Sheets are completed by Tuesday at the latest, we really don’t want your money as it just creates extra work having chase people, with over 140 teams in the League next season we really need all the help we can get from you.
Chris Crawford and Ryan Anderson took over as the League Referee Appointment Secretaries, they have done an amazing job in covering all the games they did. Thanks also to the Clubs who helped with supplying Referees or changed kick off times so one Referee could cover two games. With the large increase in the League again next season coupled with two years of no new Referee courses being run it will be a real challenge to cover games next season. If Clubs know any Referees who would cover games even the odd one please and you kindly let Chris and Ryan know.
I would remind all Clubs that should a Referee not be appointed then they have to agree between them who will referee the game. No Referee is not a reason to call a game off.
The League is really lucky in having such a strong Committee with all the hard work that is put in. I would like to thank each and everyone for their time and efforts again this year. If I could just give you a gentle reminder that all the Committee Members are unpaid volunteers so by each team completing their admin promptly and accurately it does help reduce our work load. Having said that if you do have any queries or questions please do feel free to ask as it is easier for us to get things right rather than having an issue after the event.
I will finish this report with the same lines as last year and I wish you all well for the coming season, with the request that we all follow the Government/FA advice on playing football in a COVID secure environment so we can keep everyone including our families safe and well, whilst enjoying the benefits that being involved in football gives to our physical and mental health.