As we come to the end of the footballing year it’s time to reflect on what a year 2019 has been for our football club.
The year started on the pitch with us having a flying start in a league that Billericay were unfamiliar with and had gone from being the big fish in a small pond to the reverse. This flying start began to get hopes high, and our hearts started to rule our heads … was a double promotion possible?? However, being on the end of a few losses and perhaps feeling that our promotion/ play-off chances were starting to slip away we began to make changes behind the scenes that maybe shouldn’t have been made, but we felt we were in a position where we felt we had to make them.
To sum up, I firmly believe that we have more than exceeded my expectations for the season and overall I am happy, albeit the heartbreak at the end by finishing just 1 point out of the play-offs.
Coming to the end of this season, my biggest achievement I feel is that we are now at a point where we are another step closer to being self-sustainable, and with the playing budget now being reduced further, Harry, Glenn and Jamie have a mammoth task ahead of them building a team as soon as possible so that they can begin bonding and mentally preparing for preseason during their summer break.
Within this season round up, I want to especially congratulate Kim Coster and Nick Hutt and all the youth coaches for their success with the ladies and Colts teams for what has been an unbelievable season for them all and I truly believe that my best moments this season has been seeing the progression paths in the Colts and ladies sections and the success it has brought with all the silverware.
The results on the pitch, and the final table position are the cold facts of the 2018/19 season but they don’t reveal the reality or the reasons behind the successes or failings of a team. What I witnessed this season was similar to what I had previously witnessed in the changing rooms in the 2017/18 season, what I believe is the “X Factor” that is required and without which a team or squad will ultimately fail. There was/is a closeness within this squad which the players themselves refer to as their Billericay family. You can’t win titles without talent and ability of the highest order but it doesn’t matter how talented a team may be it requires a ‘glue’ to pull it all together. It is Glenn who is this Glue and sadly we had to go the majority of last season without his influence and personality. However, he is now back and working closely with myself, Harry and Jamie and we are all pulling together as one unit in the same direction and now it is time for the team of 2018/19 to stand down, it will return in 8 weeks’ time as the team of 2019/20, and the difference this season is we will have Harry for the whole season and GT back as our “Glue”.
The squad of 2018/2019 ; Harry Wheeler, Glenn Tamplin, Jamie O’Hara, Craig Lewis, Christos Mead, Miles Mitchell Coop, Alan Julian, Mark Smith, Joe Kizzi, Callum Kennedy, Jake Howells, Paul Rooney, Lloyd Doyley, Michee Efete, Cole Kpekawa, Charlie Wassmer, Sam Deering, Daniel Waldren, Billy Clifford, Alfie Potter, Kieron Cadogan, Connor Smith, Connor Hunte, Sam Kelly, Jamar Loza, Jack Paxman, Moses Emmanuel, Ross Lafayette, Adam Coombes, Nathan Minhas, Jake Robinson, Adam Cunnington.
It was difficult at the club’s presentation night to be able to only acclaim a few players individually when every squad member deserved huge credit as 2018/19 was very much a squad effort, so an opportunity to record the effort of the squad exists here.
The club could not survive without key personnel so I’ll take this opportunity to thank our Secretary Ian Ansell who has been assisted this season by Keith Riley who have both kept things professional, cleared up after me and GT and generally run things with extreme efficiency while producing the most accurate and unbiased match reports that I have witnessed outside of professional journalism, a club can’t function properly without a reliable and conscientious Secretary. I would also like to thank Denise Bishop, Kim Coster and Rob Rank who’s efforts behind the scenes often get overlooked but without them I am certain we wouldn’t have the club we have now. I would also like to thank the match day boardroom team, Pat Ansell, Sandra, Bob, Graham, Derek and each and every volunteer and employee who helps make this club what it is.
A special thank you to all of our sponsors and all of you fans who put your hand in your pocket to support us, and as GT always says, without you supporters we would not have a club, don’t forget that early bird season tickets are now on sale so don’t miss out one what I’m sure will be an amazing season!
Now ten stress free weeks before we turn to the 2019/20 season…………We expect to retain a strong backbone of the squad and I’m sure Harry, GT and Jamie will have a few tasty additions for us so we look forward to 2019/20 with some optimism but safe in the knowledge that the club is now another step closer to that all important self-sustainability……………………………Bring it on!