Rallying call for promoted Bloaters

GREAT Yarmouth Town FC members and supporters, at their annual meeting at the Furzedown Hotel, received a rallying call to take the club to the next level.

GREAT Yarmouth Town FC members and supporters, at their annual meeting at the Furzedown Hotel, received a rallying call to take the club to the next level.

After last season's successes, former chairman Arthur Fisk, chairing the meeting, challenged everyone to work even harder to move the club further forward upon its return to the Ridgeons Premier Division.

Proposing to increase the club committee back to 15 members, Fisk said reducing the number during the season had not really worked and elevation to the Premier Division would require more workers, not fewer.

He extended an invitation to anyone who would like to offer general help to a successful club to enlarge its activities off the field and on match days.

Secretary Colin Jones thanked all who had helped him personally in his first year in office, particularly Brian Smith, the former secretary, and also said the club was thankful to all those businesses who had sponsored and supported the club financially, and anyone who had helped the club in any way.

Jones said it was gratifying that the club's most successful season for many years had received both media and civic recognition, and progress was being made towards Charter Club Standard, for which application was to be made shortly.

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He spoke of the club's long-term strategy for developing youth football and said it was planned to bring more teams on board.

The committee elections saw two former workers return to office: Brian Smith, previous secretary/treasurer, was elected treasurer, while his son Kevin, a former team manager, takes over as the club's general secretary from Colin Jones, who takes on a new role of match secretary.

Stephen Brierley continues as chairman and Stuart Griffin as vice-chairman.

New to the club is Carl Harding, who becomes commercial manager, and the remaining committee elected was Gerry Brown, Arthur Fisk, Wally Giles, Ian Griffin, Lynda Hards, Paul Hubbard and Wayne Hunter.

General manager, Ian Griffin, praised all the club's teams' efforts, saying each side had achieved success in its own way.

The first team won the Ridgeons Division One title and thus gained promotion; the Reserves finished a creditable fifth in their first season of Ridgeons Reserve football, higher than the Reserves of Premier Division champions Needham Market.

A very young U18 side finished fourth in the Ridgeons Youth Eastern Division, with only teams from higher divisions or leagues finishing above them; the U15 side won their league cup, inflicting Lowestoft Town's only defeat of the season, and also finished third in the table; the U10s won their league and cup double and suffered what was only their third defeat in five years together when losing by the odd goal in the Ipswich and Suffolk Open Cup.

New teams coming to the club this season are likely to be an U14 side, an adult Sunday team and, in a new venture for Great Yarmouth Town, a ladies' side.

Griffin said the club was thus making efforts to put something back into the community of Great Yarmouth and at the same time trying to catch up with other big clubs in the area.

The club would be endeavouring to obtain the best of the young local talent.

He thought the first team would initially be looking to consolidate a position in the Ridgeons Premier Division while competing with clubs with bigger squads.

First-team manager, Paul Tong, praised many unsung heroes at the club, including his assistant Trevor Harrison and the work of team coach Stewart Roach.

But he also said that the team's achievements would not have been possible without the efforts and support of the chairman and

vice-chairman, and he couldn't thank them enough.

New commercial manager Carl Harding also urged everyone who had the club's best interests at heart to continue the good work of last season. And he laid out some exciting plans for the season ahead in terms of sponsorship and action to promote the club to a new level.

He also spoke of social events already booked, including an evening with John Motson and Ricky George on October 21 and a visit by Peter Shilton on December 9, both events at the Furzedown Hotel. Further big names had already been pencilled in for 2011.

Fisk reiterated that his message to anyone who was thinking of getting involved with this successful club was “come and join us!”