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Congratulations to everyone involved with the Enfield Town FC matchday programme, for it has again been placed first by the Wirral Programme Survey in the Essex Senior League for season 2004-05, and 97th overall, out of a total of 1084 clubs who submitted programmes to this years survey. Some great team work from a wide number of individuals has contributed to the consistent quality of the club programme over the years. This repeats last season's performance, and means 3 first places in four years for the Town programme team.
The Enfield Town FC matchday programme has also been placed 'Best In League' by the Wirral Programme Club in their annual survey of non-league programmes for season 2001-02, and 2003-04. In the 2002-03 survey, our programme finished second behind Romford in the Essex Senior League category, and 66th nationally.
For those of you unable to purchase a programme for Enfield Town's first ever fixture, here is a selection of the articles as a potted 'online version', with notes from some of those involved behind the scenes at the club.
Here are some end of 2001 thoughts by Chairman Dave Bryant
The idea of relocating the homeless Enfield FC to a temporary stadium at Brimsdown's Goldsdown Road ground cannot be accredited to any one person or group. Collectively though, the 'Keep The E's in Enfield' campaign made the first real moves and, by the time they had become the Enfield Supporters' Trust (EST), had already formulated a comprehensive plan of action. Seeking the involvement of the chairman of Enfield FC was a time-consuming and frustrating task however and little progress was made. Indeed deadlines came and went without any tangible signs of progress.
What happened next was typical of what the supporters of Enfield FC had endured since the club became homeless. The chairman didn't fully commit himself to the ground-share proposal and was quite easily defeated by the strength of the residents campaign against it. This had happened previously at Cheshunt too and eventually the chairman took the easy way out by committing the club to a lengthy ground-share deal with Borehamwood.
Would it have been any different if the EST's original Brimsdown plan had been pushed through? There was certainly a greater emphasis placed on the relationship with the local residents but one can only speculate on how successful the EST would have been. One obvious difference between the two different approaches was the personalities involved and the public's perception of their motives. After all, who could blame the local residents for not wanting a property developer given control over the Brimsdown fields?
While all this was going on the newly-reformed Enfield Reserves team were playing their home games at Brimsdown, as part of a deal that saw all their players jointly-registered and available to play for either club. The reluctance of some to play for Brimsdown lead to the deal collapsing in mid season and, combined with the atrocious weather, the E's reserves struggled to gain any momentum. After struggling through to March they eventually folded.
In the meantime though, the Enfield FC Supporters Club had been hiring the Downs Bar every Thursday night throughout the season in order to provide supporters with a regular meeting place. This arrangement worked very well indeed and helped counter-balance the ongoing dispute between Brimsdown and the reserves team.
Proof that a good relationship still existed between the two clubs came this summer when the EST announced their radical plans to break away from Enfield FC and start afresh. It was to Brimsdown that they first turned for a temporary home for their team and the fact that a ground-share deal was drawn up there and then was perhaps fitting testimony that any past troubles between the two clubs were almost certainly because of key individuals in particular and not the club in general.
The present ground-share deal, allowing the newly-formed Enfield Town FC to compete at senior level in its first season, is the direct result of the EST's well balanced approach to the situation. Care has been taken at all times not to create any barriers between the two clubs, and a potentially harmful feeling of 'them and us' has been well avoided.
In order to satisfy Essex Senior League criteria, certain works were needed at Brimsdown. These changes and alterations have been planned so that when Enfield Town eventually relocate, Brimsdown are left with a tidy ground. Hopefully the same will apply with the supporters and members of both clubs - a peaceful co-existence followed by a parting on good terms when Enfield Town move on. The responsibility for making sure that this happens lies with all of us and one hopes that the supporters and members of both clubs learn to respect each other.
There is a long way to go before Enfield Town FC becomes what it was intended to be and to make progress the club needs a firm foothold. This is the stage that we are at now. The rest is down to us.
It is nothing short of amazing that just 31 days after members of the Enfield Supporters Trust voted overwhelmingly to press ahead with the creation of Enfield Town FC that we are playing our first fixture.
There are so many people we need to thank for the assistance they have been given in this short but eventful period of time:
So at last after nearly two years we can all now look forward to watching an Enfield side playing again where they belong in Enfield. I know for many of you, myself included, the break with Enfield FC has not been easy. However I think it fair to say that for many of us the old club died when we were forced out of Southbury Road.
As for the new club Jim Chandler has began assembling a squad which should enable us to enjoy an exiting season on the pitch and hopefully challenge for honours.
Grateful as we are to be playing at Brimsdown we all know that the long-term future of our club is probably best served by us having a ground of our own. We have therefore approached the Council about a permanent home for Enfield Town in the borough so that when the opportunity comes to progress we can do so. We know that it is unlikely that the Council will be able to offer us any financial assistance, but we do need their co-operation in finding a suitable home. However we cannot take anything for granted and we will have to mount an effective campaign to succeed. And we will need you to play your part in that campaign.
We are actively seeking sponsorship for Enfield Town, and there are a range of sponsorship options available. A number of local businesses have already offered to sponsor the club and we expect to reach an agreement with a main sponsor before the league season starts on 18 August.
However the success of Enfield Town will depend most of all on us the clubs supporters. We have the almost unique opportunity to create a club run by and for the benefit of its supporters. But that depends on us all.
Although the final structure of the club has still to be decided, it is likely to either be run directly by the Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) which the Enfield Supporters Society (ESS) has become or by a Limited Company owned by the IPS. Either way it will be a club owned by the club's supporters and by the individuals you elect to run it. Initially that means the elected Executive Committee of the ESS and individual ESS members with specific expertise like former Enfield FC club secretary Roger Reed. However whichever structure we adopt it will be open and democratic.
If in the future we look to enter into partnerships with others that will only happen if members of the ESS want it to and on terms acceptable to ESS members.
However we also need your financial support. We need every member who can afford to do so to make a regular monthly contribution to the Enfield Supporters Society to help finance Enfield Town FC. We will be looking at possible benefits for supporters who are able to support the club in this way but the biggest benefit will be being able to watch an Enfield side playing at home again.
Please give whatever you can whether it's £5 or £50 it will all help to ensure our club is a success.
Up the Town E's
Good evening one and all
I feel as though I have been riding a roller coaster over the last few weeks but I am pleased to say there have been a lot more ups than downs. In short, I decided, like most of you here this evening, that I had had enough of the regime at Enfield F C and helped the Trust executive to form a new Club. I'll tell you more about that in Saturday's programme.
Our election to the Foresters Essex Senior League ensures that we can begin our history in a League that has a track record of producing Clubs that are built on strong foundations and move on to great success. I am thinking here of course of Canvey Island but Billericay Town, of whom more later, Great Wakering Rovers and East Thurrock United have all established themselves at a higher level.
Billericay Town were supposed to be our opponents on Saturday but they have pulled out of the fixture. However, our Fixture Secretary Keith Wortley has managed to find a replacement and our near neighbours Cheshunt F C will now be our guests here on Saturday. Admission prices will be £4 for adults and £1 for children & senior citizens. If you have already purchased your season ticket admission will be free.
Tonight's historic match, the first ever game for Enfield Town F C, against our very good friends Brimsdown Rovers F C is a joint "home" game for both Clubs. All proceeds from tonight's match will be split equally between the two Clubs. I know that all Enfield Town supporters will be welcome in the Brimsdown Sports & Social Club before and after the match. We hope that tonight's events will further cement the excellent relationship between the two Clubs.
In mentioning Brimsdown Rovers I am sure you would all like to join with me in thanking that Club's Chairman, Tony Ashall for allowing us the use of the facilities here at Brimsdown for our first season. Thanks are also due to Secretary Lorraine Winter for all her hard work in ensuring that the agreement between the two Clubs met with the approval of the Spartan South Midlands League.
As you look around you tonight you might well reflect on the events of the last two years or so that have led to the formation of our new Club. However, you will note that most of the people here tonight are old friends who stood with you on the terraces at Southbury Road, some of whom may not have seen Enfield F C play since that Club left the Borough. I hope too that there may be some people here tonight who have been attracted by the birth of Enfield Town FC and will become regular supporters throughout the season.
Many thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to get this game on tonight and a very big thanks to you for attending and showing such faith in this venture. I'll explain more about what has been happening behind the scenes in Saturday's programme and look forward to seeing you all again then.
Up The Town
As we approach the end of the year it's appropriate to reflect on what has been achieved in our first 6 months. When the members, of what was then the Enfield Supporters Trust, voted so decisively to break fom Enfield FC and form Enfield Town FC, they created a very unique football club.
Many supporters had followed Enfield for years but most felt by the summer that the club was no longer the one they had supported through thick and thin. Many people who had worked hard to keep that club going, some for decades, reluctantly accepted that there was nothing they could do to save what was once the greatest non league club in the country. While I respect the decision of those supporters who have stuck with the old club, and in many ways admire their commitment, I think there can only be one Enfield football club and already I think Enfield Town is well on it's way to establishing itself as that club.
We have been very fortunate to have had the considerable support and assistance of Brimsdown Sports and Social Club since our formation. Without their help it would have been difficult to gain the senior status necessary for us to compete in the Foresters Essex Senior League. It's not always easy for two clubs with their own identity to share facilities and co operate. There are bound to be occasions when there are problems but whatever the future brings I think Brimsdown Rovers, and the wider Sports and Social Club, and Enfield Town have much to gain from working together over the coming years. We already have a sound basis for a mutually beneficial relationship that can take both the clubs forward. Together I think the future looks bright for both our clubs and I would like to encourage those of you that visit Brimsdown regularly to consider taking out membership of the Brimsdown Sports and Social Club.
We were also fortunate to have been accepted into the Foresters Essex Senior League. And while the League has been good for us I think our club has been good for the League. I am sure some of our supporters thought we were going to remain unbeaten all season when we stared our League and Cup campaign with a 12 match unbeaten run. However we have since found out that this is a very competitive league and that on their day the sides at the bottom are capable of taking points off the top sides. The second half of the season looks to be particularly exciting with the league and 5 cup coemptions still to play for.
Jim Chandler, and the coaching staff Peter Hammatt, Phil Snowden, and Alan Payne have done a fantastic job in getting together such a good squad. It's a credit to them that many of our players who could be playing football in higher leagues are happy to play for Enfield Town. Our players too have done the club proud on and off the field. On more than one occasion this season players have turned down more lucrative offers to play elsewhere, and that demonstrates the unique commitment that so many people have to this club.
We are also grateful to our main sponsors, First National, and programme sponsors Queensway Publishing, and the many other local firms who have taken out advertising in the programme and around the pitch.
However perhaps most of all we are fortunate to have some of the best supporters any club could wish to have. Our average home attendance of around 300 is remarkable for the Essex Senior League and compares favourably with many Ryman Premier and First Division sides, and our away following regularly exceeds 150. Almost every club we have visited has enjoyed it's best attendance of the season for our visit.
However it's not just by attending games that our supporters have demonstrated how deep their commitment is to our club. There is the amazing effort that our stewards and other helpers put in on a match day, many of whom rarely see a ball kicked at a home game because they are ensuring the rest of us can. There is also the tremendous financial contribution that our supporters make to the running of our club. Over £600 a month is contributed by members through standing orders and since the start of the season this has brought in over £3000. Such a contribution makes a massive difference at this level. However the willingness of our supporters to part with their cash to support the club seems to know no bounds as demonstrated by the fund-raising efforts of the supporters club, the numerous auctions that have taken place on the club website of signed memorabilia, and the enthusiasm with which golden goal and raffle tickets are snapped up.
The reason why so many supporters have such a commitment for the club is I am sure in part due to the way our club is structured. The club is wholly owned by what is now the Enfield Town FC Supporters Society Limited (ETFCSS). That means Enfield Town FC is owned equally by every member of the ETFCSS and we intend to issue commemorative share certificates in the spring.
The officers and management committee of Enfield Town are all elected members of the Society and any member of the society can put themselves forward for election. We have now set up a committee structure to deal with the various aspect of running the club which report to a monthly meeting of the full management committee. The six sub committees deal with our search for a permanent home; the development of the club and football in the community initiatives; matchday arrangements; playing staff; press, promotion and communications; and Finance. Membership of these sub committees is not necessarily restricted to members of the management committee, and we have co opted onto these committees members with relevant experience. If you feel you have experience and skills that could assist the work of any of these committees please contact the club or ETFCSS.
I know everyone is eager to know what the latest on the ground situation is and a great deal of work has been undertaken on ensuring we have the facilities we need to progress. Indeed progress has recently been made on some of the options we are pursuing.
Brimsdown Sports and Social Club have submitted a planning application to improve facilities at Brimsdown. These improvements are required to protect Brimsdown Rovers FC status as a senior football club and to enable them to continue to compete at their current level of football and to enable them to compete once again in the FA Cup.
The developments that are proposed would satisfy the minimum requirements of the current Ryman League Division 3, the league immediately above the Minerva Spartan South Midland League in which Brimsdown currently play and would therefore safeguard the clubs status for the foreseeable future.
These proposals are fully supported by Enfield Town FC as they also meet the immediate requirements of our club and we will offer Brimsdown Sports and Social Club every assistance.
The proposals are for a small stand capable of seating 106 spectators on the south side of the pitch. Length (14 M) height ( 2.8 M) and width (2.7M). The existing shelter on the North side of the pitch would also remain and terracing would be added to the structure to enable it to accommodate 100 spectators. An exterior boundary fence of 1.83 M high would be erected with exit points and turnstiles. Existing dressing rooms, plus toilet facilities for male and female spectators, and a refreshment outlet would be located within the boundary fence. The existing hard permanent walkway around the pitch would be extended to on all four sides of the pitch. These very modest improvements would allow spectators to watch games in greater comfort and to make use of shelter in poor weather.
January promises to be an interesting month with a home Middlesex Senior Cup Quarter Final against Wealdstone, a Cherry Red Trophy Quarter Final at Stony Stratford (near Milton Keynes) and a prestigious friendly against the Royal Air Force. This last fixture will be at the RAF base in Uxbridge and you may need to travel on the official Supporters Club Coach(es) to gain access to the base.
Finally on behalf of the Club's Management Committee I would like to thank you for the fantastic support you have given to Enfield Town over the last six months, and wish you a very happy Christmas and prosperous new year.
Up the town