Happy New Year

January 1, 2000

I would like to start by wishing all Gasheads a happy and prosperous New Year. I hope you all had a great Christmas. Whilst the league has to be our priority I am sure you are all as excited as me about the prospect of progressing passed Shrewsbury in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. It was a great disappointment to those of us who traveled last night only to find the game postponed. Last Friday we saw the magic of the FA Cup with its special atmosphere. We had a great crowd and perhaps that was helped by it being on a Friday evening, but I am sure it is that unique cup feeling.

I would like to wish Paul, Lennie, Kevin and the rest of the management team some luck next year as I don’t think their hard work is always sufficiently rewarded. Despite the run of 3 league defeats in early December I am sure you will agree we showed some promise and the resounding 4-0 win against Accrington Stanley at the start of the Christmas programme was just reward. We also played well enough to have won at Hereford on Boxing Day but had to settle for a goalless draw. The old never say die attitude was prominent at leaders Walsall when a late Steve Elliott strike was just reward for a spirited second half performance. Finally, we moved into the New Year with a hard fought victory against bottom club Torquay and that great win over Hereford in the FA Cup. There is much excitement about a return Derby County, the scene of one of our greatest triumphs of recent years. What price for a repeat of that 3-1 win at pride Park and perhaps we can get Nathan on loan! The play-offs are now within sight and we are still in two cup competitions. It is a long time since we could say that at the turn of the year. Our performances against Bournmouth over two games have shown we can compete against teams in a higher division. Hopefully we will get another test with the Johnstone’s Paint tie with the Shrewsbury tie giving the prospect of a two legged area final against Brighton! Seriously it would be great to play our local rivals in the area final and what would be better than beating City to reach the final. On the playing side I would particularly pick out Steve Phillips for praise, but the other new boys have also proved big assets. Byron Anthony is growing with every game and we wish him a speedy recovery from the ligament injury sustained at Walsall. Ryan Green has shown good form all season and Andy Sandell should be very proud of his first season in league football. Stuart Nicholson is an exciting player and let’s hope he is scoring goals for the gas for a long time to come. I would like to appeal to all fans to unite their support for our club going forward into the New Year. It is time to put aside differences and channel our collective energies into getting us back up the leagues. Please try and encourage your friends to come along to games and once again make ‘No.12 Gas Head’ our best player. For those wondering what to spend their Christmas Present Money on there is always a half year season ticket.

My first year as an Associate Director has been challenging to say the least. I would particularly like to thank all members of the share scheme for your continued support and the SS Committee who have assisted me through a difficult period for the scheme. The SS Committee met just before Christmas and this week 3 SCE representatives met members of the Board to discuss the share scheme price and other changes to the share scheme agreement. We have now formally put forward some proposals and hope to report to you in February. I will be writing to share scheme members in the near future as promised at the AGM but will wait until the outcome of our discussions with the Board. I would like to hear from anyone who would like to get involved with the share scheme or has any ideas for improving the scheme in the future. Please e-mail me at [email protected] or you can phone me on (07765) 254110.

The Communications and Commercial Committees also met just before Christmas and their respective chairmen will report to you in the near future. Dennis Payter will chair the Communications Committee and although he is in Australia for January things are progressing. Antony Addy has agreed to be the webmaster and is already very active. Ben Ede has agreed to continue to develop the website and his technical expertise is essential. Ben deserves much praise, along with Robin Schols, for developing the site over the last 2 years or so. Clive Farquhar will chair the Commercial Committee and again things are progressing with a full meeting planned later in January. Clive is devoting a lot of time in the shop helping Steve Burns and Jane Browne to get the EPOS ticketing and stock control system up together as well as transfer all the account on to the new Sage System. We would like to hear from anyone who would like to get involved with the Communications and Commercial Committees or anyone who has any ideas for them.

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