On behalf of Bishop Auckland Football Club I would like to congratulate Marske United and Morpeth Town on their promotion to the Evo-Stik First Division and wish them continued success next season.
Well, our League campaign ended last night with a heavy defeat at Dunston UTS leaving us all with one eye tonight on Social Media following the score of the Sunderland RCA v Jarrow Roofing game. A Club’s fate is in its own hands and the League table doesn’t lie so we are where we deserve to be and that sometimes happens in football. When you look at every single League whether professional or semi-professional you will find Clubs either relegated or who have just survived where people say, ‘that Club shouldn’t be there’. That’s us this season and our focus without delay will be to ensure we are not in the same position next season.
I would like to say a huge ‘thank-you’ to our tremendous supporters who despite the varied results and performances on the field have supported the team to the very end. We have an average home attendance of around 300 and the number of supporters who travelled to away games, from the very first to the last away game of the season last night at Dunston UTS showed we have a core of true supporters and that bodes well for the future of the Club.
I would like to, on behalf of the Board of Directors, say a big ‘thank you’ to our sponsors North East First Credit Union in their role as our main sponsors for this season. I know Mick and Sid from North East First have become firm Bishop supporters, attending most games this season and to their colleagues and the guests they brought to HP this season – many thanks for your support.
Richard Cooke, as well as being a Director, has supported us once again this season both on a personal level and through his company Comtek Systems Solutions – thanks Richard, Karen and Antonia.
Bishop Auckland College has supported us again this season and we are currently working to extend our partnership with them next season.
Gavin Vest of Vest Construction has helped on a number of projects this season and provided much needed advice. Can I also thank both Gavin and Michael Finch of A-Fab Structural Engineering for designing and manufacturing the screen which protects our new Catering Hut.
Our ‘Man of the Match’ award was sponsored by Darlington Building Society and we welcomed many of their staff and their guests to games throughout the season. Your support has been much appreciated.
Grateful thanks also to all our other sponsors, too numerous to mention individually, who have sponsored games, match balls, advertising boards, provided services and equipment to us. We also have a number of supporters who have given us cash donations. One person I must mention is Graham Skinner who has, for a number of years, made a cash donation in addition to his season ticket and whose health hasn’t allowed him to attend many home games this season. Many thanks Graham and we all hope your health improves.
As well as playing Under 23 / Under 18 matches at Heritage Park and the valuable income that provides, Middlesbrough Football Club have been very supportive this season. We have received valuable professional advice and financial support regarding pitch maintenance and the refurbishment programme that is scheduled to take place from next week and Boro truly went out of their way to provide indoor training sessions at Rockcliffe Park when the weather affected the playing of our matches.
We have established some great working relationships with suppliers this season. Our strips are supplied by Motif8 and whilst our choice of first team strip didn’t go down too well with a number of supporters we are sure everyone will be delighted to see our new, more traditional, strips next season. Locally we have received great service from Cre8tive, The Laundry Basket, Taylored Signs, Lorimer Sports.
Despite the frustrations of this season we have, once again, been supported by a loyal, enthusiastic and hard-working group of volunteers who have ensured our games at Heritage Park have been completed without problems (the only issue I can recall is that somehow, we lost one corner flag!). To those volunteers and the volunteers who work at the Middlesbrough Under 23 games – our heartfelt thanks.
Once again, this season we have seen our young players and their families attend home games, along with their coaches from our partner Club, Bishop Auckland St Mary’s Juniors. The players were mascots at games and without doubt enjoyed their Heritage Park experience. We look forward to welcoming them back next season.
A big thank you to our employees who work diligently throughout the year to keep the Stadium operating and especially this year when we have seen a massive increase in meetings and functions being held in the ‘Colin Rowell Suite’.
And to our Supporters Club, many thanks again for your support this season. The ‘500 Club’ provides a very appreciable source of funds to the Club. Let’s hope that along with the team performance the ‘500 Club’ goes from strength to strength next season. On Cup Final Day, the Supporters Club is organising a 17 kilometre Sponsored Walk with sponsorship money going to the Butterwick Hospice and the Supporters Clubs’ funds. There are still places available so if you want to take part contact John Rowell at tonight’s game.
I would like to thank my fellow Directors for all the hard work they have carried out on behalf of the Club this season. As well as being Directors, we are also supporters and our position in the League hurts us as well.
Whilst everyone is unhappy with the way things have gone on the pitch this season no one is more upset and disappointed than the team management and the players. There is a lot to review after tonight’s game but it would be remiss of me not to thank Colin, Dion, John, Amy-Leigh, Michael and the players for all their time and effort over the season.
I hope everyone has a good break over the ‘Close Season’ and I look forward to seeing you all back at Heritage Park in July when we expect to be hosting a number of pre-season friendlies before the season commences again, no doubt with the FA Cup, at the beginning of August.