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Saturday, 02 January 2016

Chairman's New Year Message

James Innes sizedLike every year that passes there are highs and lows, and 2015 was no exception, with the slight difference that last year's high.......was very high!

Above all else the biggest moment in Wick Academy's 123 year history happened on the 21st November 2015 at Dudgeon Park, Brora when Gordon Connelly led his team to lift The North of Scotland Football Association Cup, our first ever piece of senior silverware, and just reward for all the managers, players, backroom staff, supporters, volunteers and committee who have been involved with the Club over the years. Gordon and I are extremely proud of what the team achieved that day, and both of us saw what it meant to people at the Club, who after decades of endeavour had tears in their eyes. A very humble moment which we were both very proud to be part of.

Our Scottish Cup run also hit the headlines! Not only did we equal our best ever run by getting to a 3rd round replay, we also set a new Club record on the same game being postponed 4 times due to a waterlogged pitch, plus a frozen one thrown in for good measure! Like most things though, if you look at the facts, the headlines don't really give a true reflection. We had one of the wettest years in decades, and we've only had one Highland League game postponed this season so far, and for the first time in years we had 3 games in December at Harmsworth Park. The ground staff and committee literally put 100s of hours a year into the pitch, and none other than Press and Journal reporter Dave Edwards himself said, this year is the best he's ever seen The Harmsworth Park surface. The slope is another job!

As ever, the lows of the year are the passing away of friends of the Club, and last year was no exception. Supporters, past backroom staff and Committee members alike all saw their last Scorries match unfortunately, but no one's death was so untimely as our under 17s coach Garry Macleod who was in his 2nd season as manager after spending many more years in the youth set up at Caithness United. Garry is missed by all who knew him.

We have maintained our SFA Club license this year once again and if ever there was behind the scenes work that needs done that doesn't perhaps get the recognition it deserves, it's this. Quite simply without the work John Briskham puts in compiling and organising the paperwork, ensuring practical things are done so that the boxes can be ticked for the audit, the Club would struggle to exist in the ever developing world of compliance and certificates.

Our 15 and 17s youth teams which heavily depend on the SFA license and funding are doing particularly well this year, with the 17s unbeaten this season as I write, with James Robertson as manager guiding the hopefuls of tomorrow through the youth system. The 15s which play under the Caithness United banner are again doing well, and already there are players we see that will one day play for the 1st team. Thanks to all involved.

Last but not least I must thank my committee of which unless you've ever been on one will not realise how hard we all must work to keep the club going. The old saying of a committee being '12 men who can't make their mind up, led by one man who can't make a decision' obviously hasn't been at the Wick Academy boardroom table!

It's worth mentioning in the era of social media that your committee who seem to cope in life out with the boardroom, don't all of a sudden become incapable of doing what's best within it. We sit fortnightly, or as required for roughly 1 hour 30 mins with all the facts in front of us, and are elected by the members to do the best for the Club. People who spend 1 min 30 seconds writing criticism on social media are a fact of modern day life, but thankfully the silent majority appreciate the Club is run professionally, business-like, properly and with integrity.

As I enter the second half of my 3 year tenure as Chairman, I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2016, and if the highs of 2015 can be repeated this year it would be nothing short of fantastic!

C'mon 'e Scorries!


Last Updated ( Friday, 08 January 2016 )
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