One of the areas that we as a board have been keen to rectify is our communication to the fans and following Bill’s update on the work we are undertaking to understand what it would take to transition the club to full-time football, it is now my turn to provide an update from the board.
My particular focus over the summer and in the first weeks of the season has been two-fold – one of which being the new website, and the second being on the football side of things working closely with Phil and the team.
I’d like to thank everybody for their patience with regards to the new website. The biggest challenge has naturally been replacing John Laidlar in terms of pure content given the magnificent job he did. That was never going to be easy and rather than just an individual playing the webmaster role, there are various contributors now. While the content has yet to reach the levels provided by John and it may take a bit more time to get used to navigating a new website, it does offer us a better way to showcase the fantastic work that our media team, Alty TV and our excellent photographers are producing.
There is still some way to go to get it to where we would like it to be but it is getting there. The most frequent bit of feedback I have received is that the text runs off the page in some instances. This is likely a browser issue (Internet Explorer) and I would recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox. I won’t bore you with any other technical stuff!
The main reason behind the new website is to start providing current and potential sponsors with greater exposure and to start generating digital revenue streams. Whether it is to aid the quest to go full-time or just to enable us to provide greater resources to Phil and the team, that has to be done.
On the football side, we’ve worked hard to improving the infrastructure to support the players and coaching staff. The Juniors have kindly moved some of their sessions around to enable the team to train at Manchester Health Academy which is an upgrade both in quality and geographical location for the team.
We have managed to strike a deal with an industry leading data provider (Stats LLC formerly ProZone) to produce statistics on both home and away matches. Last season we only had Alty TV video for home matches but there is a league-wide partnership and agreement among the teams to provide video on all matches so that has been a good addition.
You may have noticed some of the players wearing some bizarre looking vests at our matches. We have a partnership for the first time this season with Catapult for 30 vests which have GPS tracking to monitor the fitness of all the players. The key benefit here has been for the medical staff who can monitor the fitness of players recovering from injury to know the levels of fitness they need to get back to before being considered for selection again.
Naturally, none of these new factors will necessarily see us win the next match, but they should help to prepare the team and give them an edge – however small that may be.
In terms of injuries sustained this season, we’ve been somewhat unfortunate so far with some of them like Jordan’s eye problem, Connor damaging his wrist and then illnesses to Andy White and Owen Dale. Hopefully we will have a bit more luck on that front and on the pitch in the coming weeks and months.
We do plan on making these updates from the board on a more regular basis and we will be kicking off the newsletter shortly with more details of everything that is going on at the club. Until then, if you see me at the ground at any point and have any questions, don’t hesitate to grab me and I’ll be happy to answer them.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the game on Saturday.