Despite it seeming like the season has just begun, we are already into October and almost at the end of the first quarter of the league campaign. I therefore wanted to provide this update to supporters on club activity.
In terms of first team football, whilst the team has had a number of good performances, we haven’t always achieved the score lines we all would have wanted. However, there have been very few matches where we haven’t competed well which gives us confidence going forward. We need to tighten up in one or two areas and the consistency of results will follow.
We continuously review the performance of the team alongside our Manager Brown Ferguson. Everyone is committed to continual improvement and we are looking at advancing up the league table over the next quarter.
Since my last update the squad has been strengthened with the signing of Kevin O’Hara, Conor McBrearty and Harry Paton. Mark Ferry has also returned to the squad following his pre-season injury. This now gives us a larger available squad than we have had for a few seasons, and crucially it gives us options in a number of key positions.
As the squad continues to gel and develop, we should see some good results and some entertaining football.
Financially, the club is meeting the targets and objectives set out in our budget. We have increased the player budget in order to make the additional signings mentioned above. However, we are not overstretching the club finances, but instead are challenging ourselves to work harder and smarter and achieve more.
I attended a recent meeting of the Warriors Supporter’s Trust, and also chaired a Meet the Manager night for supporters. One of the great strengths within our club is the very positive way we all work together. A couple of seasons ago, some supporters suggested starting a Manager’s Fund, where supporters who wished to, could pay into a fund to bolster the manager’s budget for signing players. We have picked this idea up and recently launched the fund. This is a great initiative that works well for other clubs and is another way for fans to have direct involvement in an area of the club that is important to them.
On the community side of the club, we have recently launched a new cerebral palsy team. Football is for everyone and this new programme opens up new opportunities for another part of the community. We are right in the middle of in-service training for club coaches, and we are ensuring that our club values are recognised right across our extensive community programmes.
Finally, we recently heard of the sad passing of a local Stenhousemuir lady, Janet Walker, who had supported the Warriors for over 80 years! Not only did Janet follow our scores every week, but she also made a regular donation at Christmas which was to go towards the team’s festive night out. A wonderful gesture. A few members of Janet’s family attended our recent game against Arbroath and they handed me an envelope containing a donation that was once again to go towards the players Christmas night out. I was very humbled to learn that this donation was from the collection at Janet’s funeral.
To me, this demonstrates that football is more than just a game. It’s about community, family, and belonging. It’s about supporting each other as part of a team, and encouraging and inspiring others.
Our club mission statement says “We are a professional football club with the community at its heart.” Janet’s recent act of kindness reminds us how important this key objective is.