Chairman Chat NOVEMBER

Hi all, I hope you all remain safe and well as we continue to navigate back to normality and build up to some exciting times ahead with Bonfire Night and Christmas soon approaching. 

I would like to first thank those of you who attended the Halloween party held at the club on Saturday night, it was lovely to see so many of our members attending. There were around 150 children, parents and grandparents all having a social catch up and some of the costumes on show by our players were amazing to see.

As a club we decided to award one of our superstars who dressed up on the night a winter club pack. This consisted of a POBYFC tracksuit, hat, boot bag and rain jacket with the winner being Millie Green from our U8s...not sure who the person next to her is?

It is important to build on relationships, especially for our players after the upheaval the pandemic brought to all of us. Grassroots football is about creating memories on and off the pitch for our players and by attending functions like these it is so important, an importance that gets greatly overlooked.

Social development plays a massive part for our players to develop as footballers and something as a club we will look at doing more in the future.

On The Pitch

  • Team Cup Successes
    It was great to be involved with my U10s in their HML Autumn Medal Final when we travelled to Warmley early part of last month. These are a very talented bunch of players that have worked incredibly hard with me and to see their faces at the end of the game, after winning 6-3, really will last a long time in my memory. A special mention also must go to our U9 White and U11 White squads who finished runners-up in their respective finals.
  • Player Successes
    As some of you may of seen we have lost one of our talented U12 players, Charlie Sweet, to Bristol Rovers FC Academy. I am quite lucky as I got to know this boy well over the last 4-5 years, watching him play weekly, sometimes twice, with Port of Bristol YFC and away from the club at Brislington. It has been great seeing him develop into the player he is and what is more important, it shows to our players that there is a pathway for them who may have dreams to do the same. Good luck to Charlie and his family.
  • Winter Training
    With winter almost here all of our age groups are now attending training externally away from the ground. This is always a testing time for players and coaches alike as we transition from familiar surroundings, especially for our younger or new players who may not of experienced anything other than the training held at the PBA. What has been nice is with teams occupying different slots over the week I have been able to personally attend every age group, except one team, to talk to many of you. I have even been able to coach training sessions away from my own U10 age group which has been great and very rewarding.

Behind The Scenes 

As a club we have been very busy over the last month implementing a lot of changes that will hopefully improve and build to what was already in place.
  • Boot & Kit Cycle Scheme
    We introduced and went live with this in the middle of last month to try and help parents keep the cost of having children in football down, especially after the pandemic and with Christmas fast approaching. Just as important was to ensure perfectly good items just don't get thrown away when this scheme can also raise a pot of money that will be used solely for your children. There is a running total that is visually accessible and it is hoped that enough money can raised from this to give the players opportunities for activities away from club or additional equipment.

    Click the link above to find out more.
  • Grass Pitches
    One thing I believe in is giving our players the best pitches we possibly can and this starts with marking of our pitches. Who does this I hear you ask? It's an additional role and responsibility that your coaches do on a weekly/monthly age group rota and although this is voluntary I expect this to be done professionally.
Difference in recent pitch marking
  • In a recent coaches meeting held by me, I was asked to go back to the committee and request to make 'use of a string line' to mark our pitches out. This was passed and the presentation of our pitches should now start looking better, as coaches are now aware that this needs to be done using the equipment provided. Please ask your coaches why if lines are not straight and highlight the issue to me as i don't believe players should be asked to do things 'correctly' if we can't as coaches. Maintaining the grass pitches poses a challenge for us as the land is on flood plain, has had no investment and is covered in large undulations. Despite around £2000 spent on seed/soil by us and the back breaking time consuming efforts over the last two pre seasons, there has just been a change in the conditions of the pitches, due to our increasing numbers and for this reason we have decided to 'blanket ban' home friendlies from U9-U18 during the winter months. The concern is where the majority of clubs around us over the years were having to call games off for waterlogging, we have been able to fulfil the majority of our fixtures, including holding many home friendlies that other clubs just don't do to protect their pitches during these months. Development teams or players who aren't in league engagement will have opportunity to play specifically arranged friendly matches
  • Introduction Of Parent Representatives
    After recent consultation with parents alot of them felt there was a missing link to voice opinions and ideas to the committee. I agreed that I will arrange monthly meetings with a group of parents, consisting of representatives from each age group to then develop a supportive network where these ideas can be established and discussed. It is a collaborative role that is aimed to support the development of the children during time spent at Port of Bristol YFC and also enabling the parents as a whole to have a voice within the football club. We always need help as to run a club like ours takes up an awful amount of hours, so please let me know if you believe you can help us.

Current Age Group Parent Rep

Jo Rush - U8
 Emily Pimm - U9 Purple
Melanie Dube-Rodgers - U10 Purple
Jo Rush - U10 White
Louise Perkins - U12 White
Hannah Wiltshire - U13
Clayton Bebbington - U14 

  • Club Secretary 
    So with the upheaval of Van Papantoniou stepping down as Chairman I needed to ensure the club still ran as smooth as possible. My wife, Miranda George, stepped in to aid us as a temporary measure but has subsequently returned to work and is no longer able to help with secretarial admin. However, I am glad to announce that I have persuaded Van to stay involved behind the scenes in a non committee capacity and do this work for the club. This was something he was doing anyway during his tenure as Chairman and in my opinion the best person to return to the position.
  • Player Postbox

    We have rolled our POBYFC Player Postbox that is aimed to allow our players to be heard off the pitch as well as on it. This came about after a recent meeting between myself and parents where it was agreed we needed to give our players a voice and opening these sort of channels it would allow this to happen with the knowledge that they can do this quietly should they wish.  

    We want to encourage our players, children and young people to actively be engaged at POBYFC, to feel safe and to have the confidence to talk. We can/do play such a big part in the development of them both as players and people, so it is important they know we are here for them. 

I hope that these insights and improvements are helping your experience and that of your children when at POBYFC.

Speak soon