From The Boardroom

Now that the season is into it's first quarter we thought it would be a good time for an update at what has been happening around the football club.

The first team has now settled into it's new training base  at Hamilton and the feedback is great. The facilities are closer to home, meaning less travel for the home based players and we now have synthetic and grass playing surfaces plus a gym and swimming pool. The players all lunch together after training which the management team had requested  and this has helped created a bond and a togetherness which I'm sure you will admit is  also helping to pay dividends on the park.

Going out of the BetFred at the group stage was disappointing, although we didn't get beaten in a 90 minute game, losing twice on penalties was hard to bear. 

The League and Irn Bru Cup form has been good , with the Falkirk away game being the highlight. In the next few weeks when we have some tough away games, will give us an insight,  in how the season will progress. Getting into the top 4 is definitely achievable with this squad of players . It did take time for Gary to bolster the squad but he had pinpointed the players he wanted and it took a bit longer to sign them up from St.Johnstone.

We have no "big" Glasgow or Edinburgh clubs in the league this season , but the league is as competitive as ever ,  however Gary and his team are up for the challenge and looking at our squad we have plenty potential match winners.

Along with  the match posters the club distributes we hope to have a pop up banner in areas of the town that have a lot of footfall, ie shopping centres, supermarkets and hospital to hopefully persuade the floating fans out there.We are also looking to incorporate a media function into the match posters and the programme, so watch this space on that. The website will also undergo an update and I hope that you are enjoying the video interviews and other features which are taking the website up a notch.

Season ticket sales are around the same as last year but the JB's numbers are up , which is a good sign as they are the future of the football club. Danny Armstrong our Community Development Coach is back into his school programme and along with Monday Pound to Play, Wednesday , Friday and Saturday Clubs for both boys and girls , we are providing a  great opportunity for ALL kids to come along and be part of a group who receive coaching whilst having fun in a safe and secure environment. 

We know we need more fans through the gate to be able to compete with the likes of St.Mirren, Falkirk et  al  who all  traditionally have larger supports , therefore putting a winning team on the park and having as much community involvement as possible is the key.

The Arena continues to thrive , the contact hours of children in the region attending it, is now running into the tens of thousands, which is quite a boon for the club. We are  hoping one more business is moving in soon and plans are afoot,  all being well,  that another may move in early 2018. The Chairman is installing a lift in it soon and then this will provide disabled  access to the upper floor meaning new areas could be developed there if there is interest shown . 

KGV continues to operate well , as mentioned before the,  Pound to Play gives local children a chance to use the facility. We will still be looking to lay down a more up to date surface when the time and funding presents.

The floodlights will need upgraded soon, they need re-galvanised and safety ladders need installed. We will be looking to access funding to help with the costs as you could imagine the refurbishment doesn't come cheap. 

Running costs are  why we needed to restructure the off field staff with the loss of jobs. We needed  to try and put as much budget on the pitch as we can and felt it was in the long term benefit of the club to make these changes. It is never easy when hard decisions are made.

The World of Sport project is still ongoing, a document has been prepared and contact has been made with the relevant parties to try and encourage new retail opportunities to Palmerston. Unfortunately , these things don't happen overnight and as soon as we have more news on this, it will be released. A part of the document is on the website to give you a flavour of it.

The meetings with the SLO had been well attended by supporters and reps of all our major supporters clubs, and club volunteers and a director were there to answer questions. They have stopped just now but the recruitment of an SLO is in hand. The feedback from speaking to all those interested was that they felt a committee might be more advantageous rather than a single person as they felt it might be too onerous. We are still pursuing that and will announce it when we've gathered all the feedback from the fan groups, many who have been in touch already. Our door is always open in the meantime if anyone has anything to contribute.

The U-20's have had a great start to the season. Eddie Warwick's  group are a younger cohort of boys but they have started really strongly and they also have a great togetherness. They are all official matriculated students due to a partnership with the College and they attend classes one day a week. This means they are coming out with recognised qualifications which will help them if football happens not to be their chosen career. They have also been travelling up to train alongside the first team squad at Hamilton and so the manager and assistant manager can have extra  input on their development.

Recently, I attended a session at Palmerston where Andy Irving's Youths and Speedy Byers Goalkeepers trained followed by the 20's game. It was a hub of activity and great to watch and it was rounded off by a 20's victory. Warren Pearson and the other coaches deserve a special mention for their hard work.

We know we have the fastest mascot in Scottish football in Dougie who won the race easily in Hamilton . Over the years Dougie has suffered some wear and tear so in the coming few weeks Stacey and Steph in the office will be running a campaign to help refurb Dougie, again watch this space on how to help.

As you will have seen in the papers there has been mindless  vandalism to the murals on Terregles St. The Chairman has been in discussions with Mark Jardine and Jo McSkimming the artist,  to put the murals on a medium that will withstand the inclement weather and vandalism.

Our successful soccer camps will be running again in the October holidays so we hope we get a great sign up on that and we will be working on having the first team make an appearance as they did at the Summer camp.It is always a thrill for the kids to see their heroes up close and watch them train.

Our lottery continues to be a success and the Deluxe Draw is a no-brainer with the big cash prize at Christmas and the car at the end of the season,  it is well worth signing up for. Contact the office for more details on the lottery and match hospitality spaces, which is going to undergo a slight revamp with more player engagement.

Once again thanks to all employees and volunteers who work tirelessly for the club . As previously mentioned the club relies heavily on them to help the club whether it's on the admin , media or logistic side , meaning we can put as much budgetas possible into the playing squad. 

Up the South !

Mark Blount