A Christmas Message from the (acting) Chairman
I was going to write an elaborate metaphor comparing the Nativity story and football, but when I found myself trying to decide whether or not one of the Three Wise Men could be a holding midfielder at the base of a diamond I decided against it… Instead I want to share my realisation that the meaning of a team in football goes way beyond the 7, 9 or 11 players on the pitch. Beyond them there is the wider team, namely the rest of the squad, the managers/coaches, and the supporting parents. None of this would be possible without another team, the volunteers on the committee who keep the club running. However, there is yet another team which needs to work together to make things happen, and that involves us as a club working together with the Parish and Borough Councils and our colleagues at Spencers Wood FC. While this team won’t win any matches or win any trophies, at stake is the future of football facilities in this area, and in this we have clear goals that we are aiming for.
Looking back at 2014, it has been an eventful year for the club on and off the field. The landmark moment was the club achieving Charter Standard Community Club status. Shinfield Rangers were then awarded, as one of the five best clubs in Berkshire, 50 hours of coach mentoring support from the FA. We were also put firmly in the top 100 clubs in the country by becoming a Nike partner club. We continue to be a Reading FC Academy Partner Club (and a subtle reminder that it is not too late to book tickets for our Club Day at the Madejski Stadium on the 31st January 2015 via your team manager!). In addition, this season saw not only the formation of a third girls’ team but also the introduction of Walking Football to Millworth Lane as we, as a club, try to involve as many members of the community in football. (Note that on December 28th from 11am there is another open and free Walking Football session for all ages and gender!). Finally a big thank you to all who have served as coaches and volunteers during the year, and especially to James and Heather for their invaluable contributions to the success of the club over the past few years.
I’ll end with a final thought to take into next year. If you, as a parent, feel unhappy that your son’s or daughter’s team has lost, consider that they probably don’t feel the same about it. There is much more to participating in football than winning or losing. Beyond just the result, your child has gained shared experiences with friends old and new, they have tested themselves physically and mentally on the pitch, they have developed as players and individuals, and, most importantly, have taken part in the best game in the world.
Wishing all Shinfield Rangers players, volunteers and their families a great Christmas and wishing everyone associated with the club a very happy New Year.