Thursday, 15 May 2014

Opportunity Knocks, or Maybe It Tweets

About 4 years ago I was talking to a mate on twitter who at the time (and remains so at present) was a member of the backroom staff at Concord Rangers, and during our conversation it was suggested that I come down to Thames Road and take in a Beachboys game. After not much thought I said yes and a few weeks later I went down there to see Concord in action & catch up with said mate.

A seemingly innocuous decision with no long lasting results or issues stemming from it, or at least that’s what you would think on first glance. Little did I realise when I said I’d go that it would lead to so many things, including memorable events, great friendships, and most recently a number of responsibilities as part of the club.

For example, Concord Rangers second season in the Ryman Premier came to an end with an away trip to Wealdstone, home of the now infamous Wealdstone Raider. I had been around the club for a while by this point, and had got to know the coaches & a few of the players, so I was able to go on the away trip on the players coach, which also contained the committee. I remember it well as prior to the game West Ham were on the tv in the pub, which was a game that solidified their place in the Championship playoffs. The Concord game wasn’t the greatest, and we came away with a loss, but it was the coach trip back to the club and the following presentation night that made a lasting (and positive) impression on this fan.

As you probably understand, writing blogs has been one of my things, and it was thanks to this that I really met the chairman etc at the club. The first one that was widely read focused on the derby match between Concord & Canvey, this was shared by friends on Facebook & Twitter and as such was read by a number of people involved with the club. Eventually it was suggested that these blogs (which were a fairly regular occurrence by that time) be placed on the Concord website. On they went, and I have been honoured to receive positive feedback from players & fans about what I write about the club. The key, I believe, has always been to write what I would say, put it how I would speak to the reader in person, and not say anything I wouldn’t say to them in person.

Helping out with the website & match day programme, along with the regular blogs, earned me the title of “Concord Rangers Supporters Association Chairman”, which has stuck with me to this very day. But I may have to give that title up, as another opportunity has presented itself. This coming season, the clubs second in the Conference South, I will be editing the club match day programme, and as a part of that I was asked to join the club committee. I was over the moon to be asked, and it highlights the fact that it is so easy to get caught up in a club like this, form bonds with people and have it become a large part of your life. I just hope that I can do the duties I’m asked to perform justice.

There’s plenty of friendships that have been built around the club, good mates that I spend time with & ones that will always hold a memory. Some of these guys are as good as family, who hold my trust and respect, even if their banter at times can be shocking! I’m grateful for all that Concord Rangers has given me over these past four years, and look forward to continuing to contribute to it in my own way over the coming years.

It’s clubs like this that make football what it is, the small clubs in non league that form the building blocks of the sport across the country. They are family orientated, run by people who genuinely love the club and want it to succeed, and being a part of it is something that I wouldn’t trade for the world right now. Thank you to all at Concord Rangers, and long may it continue!


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