Chairman’s Review

2019-20

Well where to start to review the past year!?

I write this review as The Fleet Supporters’ Trust Board have agreed that it is impractical to hold an Annual General Meeting because of the restrictions imposed due to Covid 19.

The accounts have been approved by The Board and can be found on the Members area of our website. As you will see we are in a healthy financial position at the moment. If any Member has any queries please contact me.

The Fleet rollercoaster has been on so many ups and downs in the past year as we experienced every emotion as Supporters.

One thing has remained, however, the loyalty of the true and dedicated Fleet supporters.

 The last two games of season 2019-2020 provided hard earned victories against Hartlepool and Halifax.

Those Supporters who enjoyed the weekend trip to Hartlepool were witness to a brave performance in what became an increasingly hostile atmosphere with a 1-0 win giving a sliver of hope that the great escape was possible.

By now the effect of Covid19 was the subject of much conjecture and speculation; and it was in an atmosphere of complete chaos that most fixtures were cancelled. In the event the Fleet at Halifax was the only game on live TV on 14th March 2020. Surely that must be a quiz question in the future!

The hard core of die-hard Fleet Supporters present saw a well- deserved 1-0 win against Halifax in what proved to be the last game of the season. Again the Academy minibus, kindly loaned to us, was the transport. On the return journey those of us on the minibus found ourselves giving three players a lift from Thurrock Services to the Kuflink Stadium which only added to the surreal feelings of the day.

This, however, was just the beginning of the strangest of times for the whole Country as Covid 19 changed everything.

Kevin WATSON, who had taken over from Gary HILL, did a good job in trying circumstances but was replaced by Dennis KUTREIB from Germany in a move that few saw coming.

The Fleet were relegated by the most slender of margins as decided on points per game. The new season started late as efforts were made to ensure compliance with Covid guidance was achieved with a view to limited crowds being admitted to games. This was achieved by great co-operation between supporter volunteers and the Club but it was to no avail as all crowds were barred at Elite level.

The new season has seen some good football being played as the new Manager and Players strive for an early return to The National League.

Games have been played and streamed for supporters to watch remotely if you can work the technology. I have to say it just isn’t the same watching at home from an armchair! Ed Miller has done a great job with this for which we are all very grateful.

The Club began to hold viewings in the hospitality suite for away fixtures which were well supported and enjoyed by those supporters who went along. As I write this a new lockdown is but hours away meaning these can no longer take place.

Other happenings in the season saw the Fleet Supporters’ Trust Members bar re-locate from the Old Boardroom to the Old Offices in order that the Club could rent out the Old Boardroom. This move was made easier by the help of Members and their wives and much work was done by Chris Judge with the decorating.

Tracy DOWN published the first of her Newsletters which have been well received and are sent to all Members and can be found on the FST website.

Thanks also go to Tracy for her hard work with away travel, Sharon and Ann for the 50/50 sales and of course Sandra and Josh for the Golden Goal – a task in which Sandra’s husband Paul played a significant part. Sadly Paul passed away at Easter. He will be sadly missed by everyone at Ebbsfleet.

The departure of Dave ARCHER and the arrival of Damian IRVINE led to a renewed determination to do all that was possible to help the Club through the uncharted waters.

The hard work from Dave during his time at the Club was much appreciated.

A good working relationship was quickly established with Damian as evidenced by the work done by volunteers before the season started and on match days since. Thanks to all those who volunteered and are helping still.

Our proposed end of season bash and the vote for Supporters Player of the Season and the decision for the recipient of The Bruce Sewell Award all fell victim to the Covid 19.

I would like to thank Ann CLARK, who has stood down from The Board as she has moved away; Ann worked hard helping with 50/50 and away travel and her efforts will be missed.

The remaining Board Members have all agreed to continue until the next AGM – whenever that might be!- and I thank them for that and all their hard work over the past year.

My dearest hope is that it might be possible to attend games before the end of the season but I am certain that whatever the outcome one thing will remain constant as it has through the past months – the loyalty and dedication of the true Fleet Supporters.

UP THE FLEET!

John BURGESS.