A word from our Chairman…
Posted: 2nd May 2017
Following on from Saturday's Play-Off success I just wanted to extend my thanks and appreciation to all of you who have sent messages to the club, either through social media, committee members, staff, or to myself personally. Your support and ongoing following of the club is much appreciated and it means a great deal to all of us.
I also want to make sure that I recognise everybody either at the club or closely associated who have contributed to another successful season, so here goes…
First of all, a big thank you to Chris Moon and his team for match day operations. Our hospitality is excellent and receives regular compliments from visitors; Chris, this has been a stand out feature this season.
Toby Francis who had the unenviable task of looking after a pitch that had over 100 games - well done Toby, it will be easier at Meadowbank!
Paul Manuel and his son Hugo, passionately starting our new club shop and helping the club raise essential funds, working tirelessly to promote the club throughout the local area - thank you both.
Frank Burgess, our gate manager of nearly 10 years, your enthusiasm rubs off on everybody - thank you.
Martin Clarke our Secretary and kit man keeps us all in order to which we all appreciate.
Dan Ford and his youth section have supported the senior section all season. Dan, this is so appreciated and is having a big impact on the community.
Thanks also to Jordan Clark who (along with Alan Tate recently) has been instrumental in setting up our brand new academy which will compete with the very best in the South East of England. Furthermore, both Jordan and Alan have supported the first team and u16’s on match days, along with training at youth level (thanks both – your efforts are much appreciated).
Steve and Linda Sullivan also joined us this season. Snapper Steve and his wife don't just bring the club (and games) to life in pictures, they also provide infectious enthusiasm whenever they join us home or away. They are both now a key part of our team.
Rob Cavallini continues to produce excellent programme content week in, week out, aided by our talented website manager (and Designer of fixture posters and club collateral) Graham Bedbrook (thanks both).
A special mention also to our sponsors, including our primary club sponsors Selachii LLP. Your kind support is highly appreciated by all within the club, and we look forward to working with you again throughout the coming season.
We are also really thankful to our neighbours Old Dorkinians and Dorking Cricket Club who regularly facilitate us to enable the smooth running of match days. Fortunately we won't need this much longer due to the brilliant support of Mole Valley District Council who (driven forward by Richard Burrows and Sally Hewetson) are going to provide a fantastic brand new footballing facility next season for the benefit of the whole community, which we are extremely grateful for. On this note we are already enjoying working alongside Caroline McRoyale, Chief Executive of the Surrey FA, who has been instrumental recently in helping the project progress at this key time (thank you Richard, Sally and Caroline).
We’re also very grateful also to Nick Robinson and Kellie Discipline from the Ryman League who provide such a great support mechanism for their member clubs. On the subject of support, Lee Wilmot and Kaylee Seckington continue to help fly the Dorking Wanderers flag and have done for several years now through local press and this is much appreciated. Further press coverage is received via Richard Spiller at the Surrey Advertiser, along with James Friend and his colleagues with live updates and broadcasts via Radio Wey (thanks guys for your invaluable support).
A special word of mention also to the newly formed ‘Back of the Net’ live broadcast team. Ben, Remy and the team have produced some unbelievable support for football clubs in the South of England, and this increased above the line exposure really gives non-league football clubs like ours a significant boost.
Of course it would be extremely relevant for me to mention the support given by our colleagues within the DFDA (Dorking Football Development Alliance). Jason Rabbets and his team, which includes Roger Mahoney, Alan Gout and Nick Torpey, have been tremendous and have helped to take football in Dorking to a (united) different level all together (exciting times for all those involved).
Then of course we have this season's Management Committee of Jeremy Pain, Kris Lea and Roger Brown, whom alongside the operational committee of the club work tirelessly for the project. I can honestly say these guys go way beyond the call of duty, all as volunteers to enable the club to function - thank you team!
My personal First Team Management team are brilliant and like the above work around the clock to ensure we can be as successful as possible (Gary Pascoe, Tom Duke, Dean Milton, Tony Prime, Grant Steele and Karen Marshall - what a team - your contribution has been enormous, long may it continue - thank you).
Finally a big thank you to all of our supporters young and old, who make it all worthwhile. The fact of the matter is we don’t take for granted the things that some clubs do, especially when it comes to our fans. We started out on a park field with zero fans, so to now watch so many of you follow us home and away in wind, rain and shine, including long away days to Kent or even Guernsey, is the most rewarding element of our success, and it encourages us to deliver on so many levels moving forward.
On a personal note I would like to say thank you to all of my friends in football circles. I had over 750 congratulations messages before Sunday lunchtime, including ex-players who have been part of the journey, ex-leagues whom have supported us along the way, clubs old and new that we have faced (and stayed in touch with). Thanks to all of you for following the progress of our club, it’s very much appreciated.
So where does this leave us now? Well, not a bad season eh? Our tenth promotion in 18 years, a brand new academy brimming with talent and ready to start and a new ground on the horizon as part of a united Dorking football scene, after just 2 seasons spent in Ryman South (one as runners-up and one as joint Champions). We are very proud of this.
Hard work brings success and luck, and we will need to step up considerably on all levels to be able to compete at the next step. Ultimately we will continue to progress as much as resources and talent allow us to.
The players this term have been outstanding. Many of them have been at the club for over 3 years (with some as long as 7). They will also need to step up for the season ahead but deserve all the credit they get for providing such an excellent season for all of us to watch. They don't need the praise though, as you could see from the number of players visibly struggling to contain their emotions what it meant to be mobbed by local children desperate for their playing shirt and signature. One local 9 year old described Saturday in his homework as 'the best day of his life' - it does not get much better than that for us.
Last but not least Slav Huk in the Wanderers goal this season. What a hero and worthy of a special mention. Last season he was our number 2 playing only a handful of first team games. He was only 22 years old at the time, and he never complained once, trained harder than anyone else in the club pre-season to be given the chance to be our Number 1. This was my personal highlight from Saturday and incredibly rewarding as it epitomizes everything the club stands for - if anyone deserved to be the hero of the hour it was Slav.
So that's the season over - time to start planning for the next!
Thanks again everyone,