Chairman’s Update

We have not played a match of any sort since December, and so our online news has been very thin these past few months, but I wanted to take this opportunity to provide a small update of events at the Club.

First, you will want to know about the situation with the Manager’s post, which has been vacant since early January.  We took the deliberate decision to put off starting the selection process until we could actually meet the candidates.  As you know that CoViD restriction has only just been lifted, and the first meetings have been scheduled for this week, so we hope to bring you some good news before too much longer.

A closely related issue is that of pre-season friendlies.  We have pencilled in two or three games for July, in preparation for the new Pitching In Isthmian League season which is scheduled to begin on 14th August, but won’t be releasing these dates as yet, until the new Manager has had a chance to approve them.

With the 2021/2 season in mind, though, you will be pleased to know that the playing surface is being maintained, and in addition to Steve Honey’s expert work, we have also once again taken advantage of an offer from Weed Management Ltd, which has been promoted by the Isthmian League.

You may have read about a reorganisation that is taking place in the Leagues for 2021/2, and I know there has been a little confusion as to what the implications might be for Staines Town.  The FA had planned to introduce an eighth regional division at our level – step 4 – to rationalise the Non-League to a tidy 1-2-4-8 pyramid.  This should have happened at the end of 2019/20, but the abandonment of that season delayed it.  With a second season also failing to reach completion, the FA NLS have decided to push ahead with it anyway for the new season.  The extra division will be administered by the Northern Premier League, but of course clubs from all across Step 5 (such as the Combined Counties, Spartan South Midlands,  and Hellenic Leagues) are eligible for promotion, not just those in the north.  The FA announced their proposed methodology for selecting the teams across England that can be promoted.  It is certain that there will be teams moving sideways into the new division, say some of the midlands clubs from the Southern League’s Central Division One, and this will entail a slight reshuffling across all divisions at our level.  It is therefore quite likely that we will see at least a handful of new opponents for the coming season.

That’s all for now, but we’ll keep you updated.  Stay safe

Kevin Rowell

Chairman, STFC