Sport

We're back: Alex Petheram, co-chairman of Gloucester City AFC

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 18 August 2020 6:00

It’s been a good week at Meadow Park… the pitch “grass” has started to go down … no doubt the recent rain will help it grow ahead of the first home fixture.

Joking aside the rain has been a royal pain this week… “you can’t make money in the rain”, is a standard line I use. We had hoped to get all the grass all laid, jointed and glued this week, but that will now be completed on Monday ahead of the internal lines being cut into the pitch. The next job is to fill the grass which is 50mm in height up 35mm with sand a rubber, leaving 15mm of grass on show.

The drainage system has been tested to the maximum this week and we’re delighted with the results… we knew it tested well following the on site testing I’ve spoken about, but nothing beats it working in ‘real life’!

The external timber fence with concrete posts is still going up, again, I was hoping this would be complete this week, but the high winds and rains has pushed that into this coming week… The concrete ramps and players steps are being poured with concrete as I type and Monday the last of the windows and doors start go in…

On Wednesday night we’re expecting to turn on the floodlights and commission them, so providing that happens, the pitch continues as it is and the fencing is wrapped up next week we’ll be using the pitch from the first week in September! We’ve got goals, corner flags and dug outs arriving next week. If anyone wants to help put the goals together, please contract Dave Jones… That’s not a job for me!! I can’t even do Ikea flat pack without throwing something out the window!

The clubhouse itself will also be close by the end of next week… Graham Mitchell has joined the painting team and is busy painting away.

The floors have been repaired and poured this weekend, thank you to Guy and McCauley who stayed into 02.00am Friday night making sure they were finished to allow John and Dave to start skirtings Saturday morning. And no … before you ask… none of you are getting overtime, but you can all keep your jobs for another week… as always, I’m very fair in these situations.

The new look City squad start training this coming week, it’s all become real now … for such a long time Meadow Park was just a dream … blue sky thinking … as in truth it was never going to happen without the boat getting rocked and changed course …oh and money always helps build things I find… but now it’s happened and we as a board have backed the management team on the pitch with signings and players, this week adding Gavin Gunning to the ranks, we start the season with hope… our hope remains the same as always … don’t go bust, don’t down, be sustainable, mid table no drama … I’m a very simple chap to please!

Season tickets remain steady, our plan is to get them printed over the next couple of weeks and get them delivered to the club.

That way season ticket holders can collect them from Meadow Park and have a sneaky look around … following all the Covid rules and regs of course! The adult season tickets will be linked to the tills, so they’ll give you 10% discount at the bar and in the club shop. Children’s cards won’t be linked to tills, so they’ll need to use their accompanying adults to gain discounts, this way it will stop children being at the bar for example and give a level of control we hope…

Now here’s the complicated bit … If you’re a season ticket holder, you’ll be asked if you required a seated ticket or standing ticket … why I hear you ask … this is because on the day seating prices will be £15 not £13. So season ticket holders get an even better deal than they expected … and it allow us to know how many seats we have left to sell … as if we need to social distance the seats, we need to know how many we’ve sold in advance. I’m sure this will cause a stir, so stand by your keyboard’s warriors and march into battle!

The FA have launched the ‘heads up’ campaign for this coming season, you’ll have seen the ‘mind’ logos no doubt on the back of the EFL teams shirts … https://www.thefa.com/about-football-association/heads-up I undertook a session this week with Steve one of our sponsors at Greening Consultants https://greeningconsultants.co.uk/ …

I work in the very stereotypical macho world of construction and in truth, talking about me and my feelings is not something I would do naturally … but I must admit it was enlightening and something I will continue to do with Steve, encouraging his to work with my own staff, the players and staff at the club.

The media have been really supportive of late to us, ITV and BBC have both interviewed and filmed me again this week, I’ve been on the Radio twice, Gloucester live have written some really good articles and we’re back in the Independent again today… thank you all… I quite enjoy public speaking, in fact I really enjoy it … just give me the mic, point me to the stage and whatever you do don’t get the drink first, else all the Elvis moves come out …

This coming week we’ll get the 3G booking diary started, so please keep getting in touch if you want to book the pitch … sadly due to the surrounding and quality of our pitch, we can’t and won’t compete price wise with others in the local area, as our starting point is £90 an hour.

The exciting news this week is we’ve decided to splash out and buy the LED scoreboard … I ordered a 3x2m video screen yesterday …. I’m hoping it arrives in time for the first home game!

Thanks for supporting us, we’re back!

AP

First published on the Gloucester City AFC website on August 16