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Fans' Forum Summary

10th August 2010

Fans' Forum Summary Lewis Hulatt has done a summary of last night's Fans' Forum, which can also be read in this Saturday's Matchday Programme.

We are also hoping to put up some audio from the evening.

Adrian Harms kindly acted as master of ceremonies and divided the evening into two parts – club matters and team matters.

Part 1 – Club matters
Panel of James Aughterson (finance director), Shahid Azeem (chairman) and Dave Riche (commercial manager)

Questions were asked as to whether matters were settled between Chris Ingram and the club – chairman said not quite, but the AGM on 28/9/10 should be able to report properly – the shareholders have the right to know information first and that is why the meeting has been organised by club. The club understand the frustrations of people not knowing.
James A has returned because role needed somebody to be freely available and have the expertise – Peter could not do that with his job at the hospital and James agreed to take the reins. Liaising with the manager whenever he wants is very important. James explained that he absents himself from decisions about negotiations with Chris Ingram. The chairman reassured the fans that the club is not incurring legal fees for the lease work.
Peter Jordan is trying to change the alcohol license conditions.
Dave Riche was at Hinckley and Nuneaton and wants to be pro-active in getting sponsorship. A sponsorship with a high-profile international company with sporting links is close to producing funding for the community part of the club’s activities. The club needs to provide more value for sponsors and getting contacts from fans is vital to getting businesses involved.
It may be possible to screen the live action from the match in the bar.
The club want to honour the memory of Phil Ledger in an appropriate way, which has not yet been decided upon.
Derek Powell explained that Woking are in BSS which is Step 2 and the rules are different to the BSP which is Step 1 – squad numbers and names are not permitted.
Ross - Charlton wanted the fee ‘undisclosed’, but there is a sell-on. Already in the playing budget, because known that he was going.
Harry – fee will be determined by a tribunal and will become public knowledge.
When asked for his reaction, the chairman expressed disappointment that fewer than expected Pakistani people from Woking attended the Pakistan match, but on the plus side some people came from further afield and said they would come back to the club. Until football as a sport is actively encouraged by parents, there will be an under-representation of people of Asian background in football. It was hoped that Gez leaving would not affect Woking’s Italian following.

There was some disappointment that some of the bigger questions needed to wait for the AGM, but the club appeared to be focusing on the need to bring more money in, having cut many costs already.

Part 2 – Team matters
Graham Baker (manager), Joe McNerney and Mark Ricketts (players) on the panel

Captaincy - captain revealed as Mark Ricketts to general approval.
Keepers - Lenny Pidgeley is with Woking for the moment and there is a back-up plan for when he leaves.
Part-time – training now Tuesday and Thursday nights – which puts more responsibility on the players to stay fit. Last season, 75% of players had other work, so it is not as radical as it sounded. Level playing-field as others in same situation.
Pitch – narrowed because of the needs of referee’s assistants, per Baker with huge grin.
Squad-Size – fine at present – same as other clubs, injuries permitting, good squad – Academy players may come through if needed for the occasional game. Pegler even better than Ross for this point in his career, but needs to learn and get match practise.
Injuries – Mark the only slight doubt for starting the season – should be OK after op on Gilmore’s Groin.
Foreign players – top clubs are not using their academy players – which is sad and a waste of talent. Baker suggests a solution needs to be found for the good of the game in England.
Last season – teams did seems to tear up the form book when Woking played them. it felt like playing cup matches each time. Made the younger players mentally and physically exhausted. More experience this season and better able to cope.
Discipline – will not be any cards for dissent this season as Harry Arter had them all. Should be card-free this season. Players do get fined – including Harry last season.
Reserves – will play some Saturdays in the suburban league.
Dressing-room music – Luke Medley chose it and that CD can’t be taken out. Baker wants a bit of Des O’Connor.
Defence – Joe happy to play with whichever defenders are on form. Daniel Sintim is on loan, but Alan Inns has bags of experience and is vocal.
Starting kick-offs – Baker said that it seemed a good idea to get the ball in the other half of the pitch, pressure the defence and score in the first minute!
Jimmy Dack – he has a complementary style to Baker and the manager is the brains of the outfit!
Away Support – the players like it “especially when they go somewhere horrible”
Tom Hutchinson – many good players will have to settle for lower clubs and some not any at all because of the pressure of finances at present.
Training ground – difficult to find something suitable. Players need to be able to get to and from the training ground in the evening, so that affects what is suitable.

Most people went away confident that the manager had thought through what was needed and had assembled a side which should be able to compete.
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