In light of the announcement by the SFNL to cancel the 2020 season, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who have worked tirelessly over the last 8-9 months.
Firstly to the playing members, new and existing, who have trained with purpose and professionalism from November 2019. Credit to you all especially when the going got tough and there was doubt regarding the season ahead due to the Pandemic. We remained positive, fit, keen and well prepared if the season was to go ahead, right until the final week.
Secondly, to the Committee, officials and volunteers of our club who also worked tirelessly in doing everything they could to help us prepare during the most trying period of our recent history.
As a coach, I regularly refer to what our community club gives its players and members. Now especially, more than ever, let us not forget what it means to be part of the BNFC community:
The chance to be part of a team of players with a common goal
The opportunity to be part of a wider group – The BFNC community
A community that cares for and supports our physical and emotional wellbeing.
The sanctuary of ‘a home away from home’ and the everyday pressures of life and work.
The enduring friendships
A place we can banter and brag with our mates
These core values will remain despite the interruption to our training and playing season.
Although we didn’t get to play, I am not alone in suggesting that the team was better placed for a 2020 season than prior seasons. Our list was as good as it has ever been, and our numbers were loaded enough to have 3 senior teams. This is testament to the hard work we have put in over the last few years and our reputation as a club that values high standards and a commitment to its players. With some fifty-five Under 19s and two teams in this group, the future is as promising as ever and likely the envy of many other clubs. We have really built the largest and most inclusive sporting club in the South comprising of strong women’s teams in football and Netball. Our committee, assistant coaches, junior coaches and the junior club are to be commended for this and we are well placed to ensure this momentum continues.
Moving forward to 2021, our Club will face many challenges brought about by the implications of the Pandemic, COVID-19. The fallout will be felt across social, economic and mental health parameters. Our ability to unite as a community will be intrinsic to our strength as a club. Although some of us will not be affected, some of us will feel the full brunt of it. As a club, we are committed to guiding and supporting our members and sponsors.
The new heavily reduced local football salary cap will present challenges of its own. As a club, we are extremely well-placed to weather the situation with an abundance of fine youngsters coming through the ranks.
This brings me to the issue of club loyalty. I do not say this specifically on behalf of our club, but on behalf of all the local metropolitan clubs. I am very interested to see which players will support their clubs during the tough times and which players will just ‘chase the bucks’, so to speak. No doubt we will find out in due course!
Lastly, we would like to thank our sponsors and supporters who remain faithful and will continue to support us in the future. We are grateful for your on-going commitment.