So, summer is finally upon us after a very long season! What an absolute rollercoaster it has been during the last three seasons in my role with Farnham Park and then under the current guise, Traco.
Being known for snapping hundreds of photographs every game, week-in-week-out, then uploading only the three or four to our Facebook page after every match, the turn of the year has only increased my workload with both college coursework and exams. From my rare bloopers getting distracted when trying to compose a tweet about what had happened a few minutes ago and then not knowing the who, what and how, to my snappy captions, and not so much keeping everyone up-to-date with my in-game tweets, there have been plenty of smiles and laughs all round.
This season, Nick and Tom assembled a fine group of players. The team, as a whole, have gelled and improved significantly as the season has progressed. Reaching the final of the ADFA Cup, only to be cruelly beaten and out-played by a physical Sandhurst side, and being crowned champions of the League, is testament to the hard work and commitment involved from both the management team and players. I know that playing on the first team pitch on the hallowed turf at Aldershot Town FC in front of familiar and new faces meant a lot for all the players (and I’m sure Nick secretly loved the experience and fame, too!). Win, draw or loss, there has been a real sense of unity and maturity – this is absolutely key, moving forward.
Looking ahead to next season and the future, there is no reason why Traco cannot continue to progress as long as there is passion and commitment from everyone involved. From my perspective, with a few leaving for university and due to personal commitments, the crucial thing is to retain the current set of very talented players and make a couple of additions over the summer too. The key is to play as a team, win as a team (apologies for the cliché, just finished my English Language exam when writing this).
Next season, I plan on refereeing on Saturday afternoons in the ADFL. Don’t worry, you shouldn’t come across me in my referee kit in 2018-19, just to clear it up, ha ha. I plan on popping down every now and then to the Traco, partly to watch you guys and maybe even the referee too! If at all possible, I intend on hopefully climbing the refereeing ladder, but will see what the future beholds. I’ve also moved to Aldershot which means I’ll now be closer to my new apprentice job and games in general.
For the last three seasons, it has been an absolute pleasure to capture you on camera and write match reports every Saturday. This season I haven’t had the opportunity to do so on a weekly basis due to, in part, my excellent services being called upon to run the line. Along the way, I have met some very friendly and fine people, who I would now call my friends. Overall, it has been a great experience. For this reason, I would like to thank all the players, Tom and Nick (oh, and Gemma) for all the support they have given me from start to finish. Also, a quick, cheeky and final mention to the one-and-only Joe for being my personal chauffeur at various points.
GOOD LUCK TRACO!
Match Reporter & Photographer