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Club News


An update from Chairman Kelvin Thomas

3 November 2022

Chairman Kelvin Thomas says the club's investment in to the training ground and the work of the first team staff to create an excellent footballing environment have played a key part in the club's ability to be able to both attract new signings and to encourage key players to extend their contracts.

Already this season both Jon Guthrie and Mitch Pinnock have signed new contracts and in a wide ranging interview, the Chairman said this had not happened by accident and players would not sign if they didn’t feel the club was heading forward in the right direction.

"It has been a very good start," he said when asked about the start to the season.

"We have had a tough little period with illness, injury and some very harsh suspensions affecting us and our best run came a few weeks before when we had stability of selection available to us.

"I said to Jon (Brady) this week that we are in good shape, we are in a position 21 other teams would want to be in. It has been a good start.

"We are starting to see a bit more of Jon Brady's style coming through this season. He has signed or has re-signed every player in the group and as a coaching staff, they are stamping their mark on the team. This is a good group of players who give it their all and give it a go and the fans are responding to that

"Attendances are up, our away followings have been good and you can see the togetherness throughout the whole club which is key. The fans are identifying with the club and with the players.

"We have a young squad that has been constructed to play the way Jon wants to play, with pace, and at a tempo and we have recruited to that template. Young players can have their ups and downs but generally we have been good.

"We are really pleased to extend the contracts we have. We are generally a young group but Jon Guthrie was a key player to keep hold of, Danny Hylton has an impact in the dressing room and on the pitch he has changed a couple of games in our favour and we have missed him these last two games.

"Last week we had a recruitment meeting. We are not looking for wholesale new players in the January window. We are just looking for two or three additions rather than wholesale changes and then that will carry on in to next summer too. I think we are in good shape with a solid group in place and under contract for the next couple of years.

"Getting players to sign is often easier said than done but we treat players well, we are football orientated and we look after people. We do things sensibly and the players are buying in to that. We are a solid football club that is moving forward and taking care of the medium to longer term.

"I went to the youth cup game with Graham Carr on Tuesday and it was a great performance. The under 18s had a few injuries to contend with but they overcame that and were fantastic on Tuesday. Fair play to the under 18s, they enjoyed it as they should and it was great to see good representation for the whole club there and it shows how together the club is.

"I will also be at the Women's game at Sixfields on Sunday and I am looking forward to it. Hopefully there will be a big crowd here to support a team who are a huge part of the club."

The Chairman also spoke about his pride at the club's Tackling Loneliness project making the final four for the European More Than Football Award.

"It is really hard to describe how impressive it is to be in the final four across the whole of Europe," he said,

"You look at all the clubs we have beaten to get to this point and it is remarkable. I spoke to Keith Curle who is part of this award as he helped make these phone calls and it fills all of us with immense pride. The recognition is fantastic, the EFL have recognised our work and there is some national coverage to come. We have made and continue to make a difference in the community and that is what we are.

"We are moving forward with the training ground plans and we want to be in our new buildings this season. We are also continuing to invest in the training pitches and that work is coming to bear. Players won't sign contracts if they don't want to be here or they don't think the club is progressing but players want to be here and are happy to be here and we have a great footballing environment at this club now. The whole club is together and working together and it is so encouraging."


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