The season is finally over – it’s time now for a good few weeks off, for both supporters and players – the backroom staff are less fortunate as they must start to prepare for next season. It’s been a disappointing second half of the season, which started with so much promise early on. We had injuries at the wrong time which has hampered the team – losing Jordan Roberts, Joe McNerney, Matt Harrold, not being allow to play Dean Cox until the start of the new year was also a blow to the club. But we have survived in League 2 and must be thankful for that - fans of Leyton Orient and Hartlepool United would like to be in our position.
We would like to thank all that came to the buffet on Saturday at the New Moon, about 50 joined us – it was all going well when Kevin, Sarah and me made the short walk to the Stadium to meet up with our other guests for the Match Sponsorship afternoon, leaving Patrick in charge - I believe that the buffet was finished off before the game – We would like to thank the New Moon for providing the food – the quality and quantity was excellent.
The meal and the afternoon at the ground was excellent and I would recommend anyone if you have the chance then take the corporate afternoon up. The seats in the sponsors area are very comfortable.
We had the vote for the Away Player of the season, thanks to all those who voted – the winner by an overwhelming majority was Glenn Morris – we presented the trophy on the pitch prior to the game commencing and received our framed signed shirt.
With the sponsorship came the responsibility off choosing the “man of the match” it wasn’t a difficult selection as Jordan Roberts was unanimous amongst us – the only criticism we had was that we had to choose with still 25 minutes of the match still to be played – anything could have happened to swing it for another team member – as it was it didn’t and I think we got the selection correct with the reaction of the home supporters.
I would also like to comment that the support for the team and the noise created in the stadium was probably the best of the season – they team certainly gave it a go in the second half and deserved to share the points – Mr Evans was his usual emotive self – challenging every decision that didn’t go his way. But Steve will always be a favourite here and took all the banter thrown his way in good sprit. The point gained against Mansfield saw the Red Devils jump up two places to 19th in the league.
We would also like to wish Dermot Drummy and Matt Grey all the best for the future and it’s a shame that it didn’t work out for them here at Crawley. We have had some good and open discussion with them over the season and they also came up to our Christmas Party spending time talking with us before going on to their own party.
All supporter’s eyes will now be on the lookout for information about the new manager – plenty of names being bandied about now – some are not the most popular amongst supporters of our club. Season tickets are now out and have not been increased and Pre-season friendlies are also on the agenda, so any news we will let you know.
If you are going abroad on holiday or even if you are not - please take a photo of you in the club shirt, send it to us and we will endeavour to put it on the web site - where is the weirdest/furthest place a Crawley shirt will be seen this summer. Or even better can you get a celebrity to put the shirt on -
Me and Kevin would like to thank everyone who have joined us on the away trips this season, we have had over 350 individuals who have travelled to at least 1 game. We also especially those who have helped run our coaches - Patrick Harper, Ann Brake, Kelly Byworth and Sara Cooper – all have contributed to another successful season for us. We would also thank Alan Porthouse for his generous donation enabling us to reduce the fares of the under 16’s since the new year.
We have had some difficult matches to arrange coaches for, Plymouth on New Year’s Eve, a midweek trip to Blackpool and also we had 3 possible overnight trips in a 5-week period where we couldn’t expect to do all of them – so Hartlepool was the one to lose out with us taking a minibus. We are extremely proud of our record this season taking supporters transport to every game and taking those supporters who wanted to travel to matches.
Since January we have seen a marked increase in numbers travelling on our coaches, which co-insided when the CTSA decided to cease away travel, but we have also seen new supporters travelling especially over the last few weeks and having some good days out even if the football wasn’t. We also reverted back to the Redz Bar from the New Moon where we are now more accessible to all supporters who want to book on for the away matches, although these days, most is done via social media.
3 successful overnight trips were arranged – Morecambe, Carlisle and the re-arranged midweek trip to Blackpool - which we will repeated, depending on where they fall in next season’s fixture calendar and if they are still in the League 2.
We would thank all the pubs we stop at for providing us with some fantastic buffets and hospitality - some we will lose next season and other's we will be making a welcome return. We do get some great feed back from them about what a great group of people you are.
We would like to pass on our thanks to Crawley Luxury, Premier Transport, Turbostyle and this week United who provided 2 of the 3 coaches to the AMEX Stadium - all of whom have provided us with coaches this season, some at very short notice. Also CHT for their local media support.
Our thanks also extend to everyone at the football club from the Owner Ziya Eren, Kelly Derham and the board. We have had some good support from Selim, Graham, Bruce for their willingness to put up our advertising board and allowing us to do some match and player sponsorship. We have sponsoned this weekends final match of the season against Mansfield.
Looking forward to next season – we will be in League 2 again having gained the points needed to stay up – we will continue to provide cost effective away transport – if support carries on from this season, we will see some further increases in numbers especially if the team can improve their form – however that’s down to the managers and players – we will still support their efforts.
At the end of May we will know the League set up as all the playoff issues will have been settled. The 17/18 season fixtures are due out in mid-June from the release date we start organising the away travel – what and when are the overnight games will be, make contact with the hotels. What midweek matches we have to arrange, finding new venues for our buffets for the teams coming into the league if we can't use any of the existing ones – then its speaking to Crawley Luxury and the other coach companies we have used this season. By the start of the new season all the basic travel arrangements will be in place – so then it down to the supporters to book on for the matches.
Thanks again to everyone who has travelled with us – we are in a healthy financial position going into next season, so see no reason why we can’t continue running away travel at reasonable costs for everyone. All have a good summer’s break and see you in July for the pre-season matches and in August for the start of the new League 2 season.
Alain Harper & Kevin Giles
ps - We will update the web site during the next few months with any updates in travel that become available. We will also send round updates via Email and update our data base for next season as we have a lot of details missing from this seasons list - if you want to join the E mail list then please contact me - details below
Alain – Alain.Harper@isgplc.com or 07771-792346
Patrick is on Twitter and Facebook, we are also on Twitter as @GHCoaches
Travel form for our records - 2017/2018 Season
We will be updating and sending the form out later, please fill out so that we can update or records -