The season has been finished for just over a month now and we felt this would be a good time to update our supporters on what has been happening during the closed season. Although this is a time of rest for the players it is arguably the busiest time of the year for those responsible in managing teams at this level. We are pleased to let our supporters know that having met nearly all of last year’s squad they have all currently agreed to stay with the club next year. Due to logistical reasons we are still talking to a couple of players but the vast majority of players who have done well for the club over the last two seasons will be back at the start of pre-season looking to help us push on next year. As you have probably seen from the website we have signed our first new player in Jack Penny. Jack is someone who fits the profile of players we like to sign at the club and is someone that can certainly improve us as a team next year. We are lucky that we already have a good base to build on but we are still talking to a number of other players who we feel can improve the squad and create further competition for places n. We hope to have news of more signings as they happen over the coming weeks.
We have also been busy finalising our pre-season schedule. This has been released on the website and contains some exciting games. As ever we are looking to challenge ourselves and are playing 5 games against teams from higher leagues. It is crucial that we are fully up to speed for the start of the season, especially with a financially lucrative FA Cup game taking place in the second week of the new season. We would like to thank all those clubs who have agreed to play us pre-season and we look forward to hosting or travelling to all of our opponents.
Last season was our second best league season (after the 17/18 season) for over 15 years at the club and demonstrated the progress that has continued to be made. The SCEFL was recognised as one of the strongest in the country at this level last season with two sides making FA Vase semi-finals and a number of other very strong sides in the league. We were a little disappointed with our final points tally but having beaten both Cray Valley and Canterbury during the season it showed that with a little more consistency this group of players is more than capable. Our away from was the best it has been for a number of years but having gone nearly a year without losing at the Charles Ground it was our home form that dipped a little. This is something that we will be focusing on again come the new season.
Talking of the Charles Ground it is great to see further improvements throughout the year. The ground is now looking very impressive and Dave Chmura and his band of volunteers do a great job in constantly upgrading facilities at the ground. The improvements in the ground since coming to the club in January 2015 are very impressive and it is nice to hear so many positive comments from visitors to the ground.
In other areas of the club we have continued to work with Deal Town Rangers in ensuring that the best young players get given the opportunity to play first team football if they are good enough. There are a number of very good players between the ages of 16-18 currently and if they continue to work hard at their game it is hoped that we will see some of them in the First Team over the coming years. It is very important that a club like Deal Town is able to produce its own players and although this is never a quick fix, the groundwork has now been put in for these players to be given an opportunity. It was also pleasing to see Deal Town Rangers Seniors using the Charles Ground this year as they achieved a top 4 finish in their league as the link between the two clubs continues to develop. It was great to be able to attend the Festival of Football at the ground at the start of this month and see all of the teams at Rangers play at the ground on the pitch, another day that showcased the excellent work done by all at the club.
Finally many thanks to all of our supporters both home and away last season. It was great to see the average attendance increase and it would be brilliant if we could increase that again this year. Your support is always appreciated and if everyone could encourage their friends and family to join us next season they will be assured of a warm and friendly welcome.
We are looking forward to the draws for the FA Cup and FA Vase which should be released at the start of July and we will give supporters a further update at that time when pre-season will be well underway.
Enjoy the rest of your summer. Come on you Hoops!