Updated: Mar 4
I hope that you and your family and friends are all keeping well during this unusual time.
I wanted to provide an update from Lancing Rangers on how we are operating during the current corona-virus situation and the impact this has had on football and our club as well as news and plans on where we go next.
During this period we have been working behind the scenes to make sure that the future of Lancing Rangers is secure and that when we are able to return to football it can be done so in a safe and secure environment.
Unfortunately, we had to cancel our annual tournament usually held in May which was necessary but disappointing due to the restrictions on large gatherings. Due to the required organisation effort, and with the ongoing uncertainty, it has been decided not to rearrange this event but to aim to have the best tournament ever in 2021. This event is the one of two highlights of our annual calendar bringing over 1000 children from across the county together to enjoy a fantastic weekend playing football and also provides an income to help cover the costs of our presentation night.
The other highlight of our calendar is the Presentation Night, and for the same reasons we have had to cancel this event in 2020. However we are working on alternative methods of celebrating the achievements of last season and we are in the process of completing the annual year book to help remember the year and we plan to release this in digital formats to be available for all. All trophies are on order and I am waiting for confirmation of award winners for “Managers Player” and “Most Improved Player” from a couple of squads to complete the order and we will then review on a squad-by-squad basis the most appropriate distribution and remote / social distanced award ceremony for each.
The silver lining for you all with the cancellation of the Presentation Night is that you do not get the pain of hearing me drone on all evening but, I do need to take this time to thank a number of people that give up their own valuable time to ensure your children have a safe, fun and friendly environment to play football and make great new friends.
So firstly, the managers and coaches who turn up in all weathers with a smile on their face, sessions prepared to develop and progress children physically and mentally on their sporting journey. These men and women spend time during the week to organise the sessions, making sure all players are available for matches and that all required equipment is available. We also have four level 2 qualified coaches at the club which I am certain not many other clubs can boast, and I know other coaches at the club are keen to undergo that journey as well.
The committee members who organise and run all the admin tasks to keep this club running effectively, many of which happen unnoticed by many of you which is a testament to how well they do their roles, from ensuring all children are registered with the leagues, child welfare, arranging of fixtures, pitches and results, financial accounting and ensuring all coaches are qualified to deliver the best coaching in the area.
Finally, the players, who represent Lancing Rangers with great pride, putting in every effort each week to achieve the best result they can and making sure they make their managers and parents proud. We are the biggest youth club in Lancing with 15 teams and over 200 players from 5 years to 16 years old and we are growing thanks to the efforts of all the above-mentioned groups. Thank you all!
We are an incredibly well-run FA Charter Standard Club and despite the lack of income from the tournament we are financially sound and our accounts are available for view at the AGM (or at any other time if requested). We are ready to go for next season as and when the government, FA & local leagues deem that it is safe to do so. The AGM this year will be held remotely via Zoom on 13th July at 7:30pm and if you wish to attend please contact the club through the website, Facebook or via you squad manager to arrange for the access details.
This week the FA have opened up the affiliation process for next season and we will be undertaking that through June and this will involve paying their required fees along with payments for annual personal accident and liability insurances. The Arun and Chichester Youth Football League have asked us to submit our expected teams for next season with the usual £15 per team fee and this has been done and is the only fee we have paid for next season so far. At this point the league have earmarked 13th September as the opening Sunday of the 2020/2021 season.
Normally in June we would be starting the registration process for players for next season including league registration with a registration event. We will not be able to hold that event this year but will be looking to progress registrations for next season shortly and this year we will be sending these out by email to all those parents we have email addresses for. Anyone without an email address will have hard copy alternatives available for them. I am happy to advise that our fees for this season will remain at the £70 per player from last season with all subsequent siblings paying £55 for the year. This includes all equipment, FA affiliation, insurances and regular 3G training throughout the winter months to provide the consistent development that the children enjoy and benefit from. This fee will be invoiced as part of the registration process with PayPal as a new payment option, alongside BACS, credit/debit card, cheque and cash. In the current situation we would prefer to reduce the manual handling so if you could use the PayPal and BACS options if possible.
We also appreciate that the current situation may have put additional financial burdens on parents and are committed that money should not be a factor in preventing a child from playing football so to that end if anyone feels they need to discuss payment plans or other options during the registration period please do so either with your squad manager or any of the committee members, I assure you we will be discreet and supportive.
With regards to a restart of training under government advice we can do some small group sessions, socially distanced and non-contact (no matches) and are providing advice and guidance to managers on the rules to adhere to to run these sessions, and we expect these to start in the very near future. At this stage not all managers are comfortable returning due to a variety of reasons so whilst we know you are all desperate to get back to playing, please be patient and respectful to individuals if your squads sessions do not start as early as others. We also respect that players may not feel they are ready yet to return and we will be patient and wait until they are comfortable to return.
Thank you all for your support throughout the 2019/2020 season which was challenging, initially from the wet winter and then the disruption due to Covid 19 at the end, but onwards and upwards for the 2020/21 season.
Stay safe and I hope to see you all soon!
Lancing Rangers Club Chairman