Pre-Season training started on Thursday so we thought it was time for an update about what’s been happening at the club. Gavin reported that it had been a good first day and the players were looking fit and raring to go. Hopefully the new faces will fit in quickly and hit the ground running. He is still in the market for more additions and they will be announced when finalised.
The last few month’s performances were disappointing and after having discussions with James Fowler it was decided not to renew his contract. We had a plethora of applications but after speaking to people in the game and interviewing candidates , Gavin stood out as the man for the post.
This year’s Championship could be the most open and exciting yet and Gavin and the team are looking forward to the challenge.
Season tickets are now on sale and come this year with the new vouchers which will reward our loyal supporters. There are some great rewards to be had and we thank the local businesses who have taken part. As you will know we have brought out a new youth season ticket for 16-21’s in which we hope will be of benefit to the youths who have moved up from the Junior Blues and maybe don’t have the funds for a full season ticket yet.
We are hoping this will bring back the atmosphere which had dropped off last season. I know it has been mentioned before but we want the fans to come along and support the team and be as noisy as possible but without flares and bangers. The club want to work with the young supporters along with the Police and Stewards so that an atmosphere can be created but in a safe environment. We can be contacted through the club office for any suggestions or if anybody has any queries and we are willing to hold a meeting of all parties if required. Please give feedback so we can get the atmosphere back on track.
Match Day tickets will also be on sale at the Midsteeple Box office which will make it easier for fans to purchase tickets throughout the week up the town.
We have a new bespoke Kit this season with the appointment of Macron as the official kit supplier. Some of the merchandise is on sale in the club shop already and we hope the shirts will be here for everybody’s summer holidays. The Commercial team met with various suppliers and Macron who are increasing their football portfolio were ahead in quality and price. As you will see the Home Top is more of a” Queens Blue “ which will please the traditionalist’s out there.
The Arena will have 7 businesses operating in it from July 1st and there are more renovations taking place to add another one in the not too distant future. The pitches continue to be really busy so commercially the arena is starting to pay dividends.
Our website is continuing to be updated and has been moved to a new host to provide a better service to the fans and we hope to be build on our database which will allow us to dissipate information and increase commercial opportunities.
The cancellation of the concert at Palmerston was disappointing but we decided it would have been too much of a risk to go ahead with the sales that we had at that time. The line up was decided after discussions with the promoter and it had worked at venues with a similar demographic to ours. In the world of commerce not all activities hit the jackpot and this was the case this time but thankfully
it did not have an effect on our playing budget this season. The switch to Easterbrook Hall was a great success , it was a tremendous night and is something we may look at again in the future.
Jim Thomson’s role is evolving , his new job title is Football Development Manager. He will be dealing with agents and contracts but will also assist Gavin 3 days a week . It will involve structuring our youth and Under 20's youth system, with respect to our first team philosophy & formation. He will also keep the board up to date with weekly developments and liaise and support Eddie Warwick with transition of Under 20 players. We felt that this was the right thing to do as managers and players will come and go due to success and failure but if we have a constant at the club it will set it up for the future. This will also help Gavin in that he can concentrate on coaching and managing without too many distractions.
We wish Daniel Armstrong well in his new role as community development coach. He has shadowed Jim and gained much experience over the three years he has been in the development squad. He will continue the good work Jim has started and is a bright , bubbly character perfect for the post.
We thank the players who have now left the club for their efforts over the last season (s) and wish them well in the future unless they are playing against Queens of course. Gary Oliver and Lewis Kidd have both now moved on but due to clauses in their contracts we received compensation. It is difficult when negotiating contracts to offer longer ones at times as sometimes the players don’t want it as we saw recently. We have also given out longer ones and the player has been injured for most of it. It is a balancing act and the club has to be protected but we are happy to offer longer contracts to players if it is in the best interests of the club.
The Football Fans in Training was a great success and we are hoping to acquire funding for a second programme. A total loss of 136kg was achieved which is magnificent .
We thank all local businesses for taking part in the Shirt Draw and especially the BarFlies who again have sponsored 4 apprentices Jack Brannan, Dean Brotherston, Owen Moxon and Jack Leighfield. This allows them to gain much needed experience at first team training and they will hopefully be pushing for a place in the squad soon.
We are hoping to have more training sessions in Dumfries which will then incorporate social appearances by the first team to create more of a bond locally and this may help get more fans through the gates.
Lastly, I would like to say how sorry we were to hear about the passing of Chris Mitchell. He was admired on and off the field at Queen of the South and it was a big shock. We hope his family are managing to cope with the bereavement.
Again a big thank you to all supporters, staff , coaches and volunteers and we look forward to seeing you all young and old at Palmerston this season.