We’re back! Well, maybe not right now, but we’re certainly on our way back to seeing competitive National League South football at The Aspect Arena soon with the news that our 2020/21 season could start on October 3rd with an FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round fixture. Obviously, this is dependant on the COVID-19 guidelines and FA approval, but the fact that we have a possible start date is massive, especially as this date is a lot earlier than many of us believed it would be.

While that is positive news, there’s still no information on the FA Trophy Semi-Final fixtures yet, maybe it’ll end up being a pre-season fixture some time in September, or maybe it’ll be held later in the season and no 2020/21 Trophy competition will take place. Whatever the FA do eventually decide, I know I’ll be waiting with baited breath, hoping that we as a club get our opportunity to earn a place at Wembley.

Off the pitch there’s been some big news around season ticket prices that I feel must be mentioned here as well. The times we’re in right now have been difficult for everyone, and have led to a number of physical, mental and financial struggles for us all. Well, the officials at Concord Rangers are obviously aware of this and wanted to make sure that Beachboys football remains affordable for everyone during these troubled times, and as a result have reduced the cost of all season tickets ready for the 2020/21 season. You’ll find a full list of the prices in our newsletter, on our social media channels and here on the website, but just to highlight it, I think it’s fair to say that £125 for an adult season ticket, which includes all 21 home league games, is an absolute bargain at this level of football. Concord Rangers are setting a fantastic precedent with the price reduction, even with the fact that the club will have suffered significant financial losses during this time as well, so it’ll be interesting to see if any other clubs do the same for their communities/fans.

The new season can be seen there on the horizon, so while work has been going on around the club during the “down time”, things are starting to ramp up again and get very busy. We’ve seen new dugouts installed at the club, a new stand (and new seats…..) installed behind those new dugouts, a re-laying of the pitch (which looks beautiful by the way), a new toilet block, and a fresh coat of paint or two around the ground.

The management team have been working hard to put together a squad that will not only be competitive but will also quite possibly challenge for the upper playoff places next season, massive credit to them for that as it couldn’t have been easy given the current situation. The players we’ve retained from last season will be huge, guys like Blanchy, Haigh, Roasty and Temi up top, and the “new faces” that have returned will undoubtedly be key players for us as well, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t happy with the returns of Tyrone, Alex, Tosan, Sam and Frazer.

Oh and one more thing, I’ve started work on the base layout for the 2020/21 matchday programme (assuming we can have enough fans at games to buy them!), I have been known to complain about the work involved with the programme, but after all this time away from football, I’m looking forward to putting together our first issue of the new season! So there’s loads going on right now, while the football may have stopped, the club has certainly kept on going.

So to close these notes off, we still wait for the official confirmation that the league will be back under way, but there’s positive signs pointing to competitive football for us in October. Until then, we as a club will continue to prepare for the new season, we wish you our fans all the best and hope you, your friends and families all remain safe and virus free, and we look forward to seeing you all back at the Aspect Arena soon.