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Written by John Briskham   
Saturday, 07 January 2017

Chairman's New Year Message

James Innes sized

Well another year has passed and we welcome in 2017 very much the same way in a footballing sense as we entered 2016, we reached the 3rd round of The Scottish Cup again and the North of Scotland Cup is still in the trophy cabinet. The fact that the competition for it is being played for at the end of the season doesn't matter to us, as it's something we never tire of seeing in the boardroom! With it and the Highland League Cup still to play for, plus possibly a chance to play in the Irn-bru cup depending on our final league position, Gordon, Tichie and Ross still have a lot to gee the boys up for the remainder of this campaign.

The U17s excelled themselves and won their league with a perfect 'clean sweep' record of played 16 won 16. Unfortunately the play-off final didn't go our way against the East division winners Banks o Dee, but James Robertson and Mark McKenzie's team can hold their heads high to a resounding achievement and with the Caithness United 13s and Academy 15s providing a yearly conveyor belt of talent coming through the youth system, we have great hopes for the future. The youth coaches at all levels are doing a great job for which we are very grateful.

As ever there have been sad times at the club this year and the passing of supporters, ex players and committee is always felt by the club.

This year we lost two very hard working serving committee members, George Ross and Austin MacNiven. George was a 'weel kent face' and did a near sentry duty at the top gate with a quip or constructive parking advice for many a fan, both ours and visiting ones!

Austin may not have been so well known to the supporters at the club at present, but he was instrumental in securing Wick Academy's place in the Highland League back in 1994, utilising the respect he had earned as our North of Scotland representative and the cordial manner in which he conducted himself at meetings to his peers. I attended his funeral in Ardersier along with Clair Harper, ex Chairman Alistair Gunn and our present North of Scotland representative David Taylor. Hearing how fondly the minister relayed Austin's love for our Club in his eulogy made the journey even more worthwhile.

My 3 year tenure as Chairman ends in May where I can choose to stand for re-election at the AGM or not. I'm happy with the way the Club has moved the last two and a half years and the proof of the pudding is that a manager has never achieved so much and the Treasurer has never been happier! At present, I'm happy to extend my position at Harmsworth Park, but I've decided that should anyone wish my role, they are more than welcome to stand for election unopposed by me, as I have no desire to compete for a role that takes 100s of hours of my time and lots of other efforts besides. In the event that a new Chairman was elected for the post, I would hope to still be welcome to serve on the committee.

The annual 'get it off my chest' topic last year was the minority that choose to use social media as a platform to vent slur at a hard working volunteer committee who due to the time we give up are among the clubs biggest fans, with the best interests, knowledge and bigger picture of what's best for WAFC.

This year it's training facilities, or more accurately, the lack of training facilities. The Wick High School all weather pitch seems to be a pawn in a secret argument between Highland Council, Wick High School and the building contractors which has led to a locked gate at the all weather now for nearly 3 months. Despite de-bunking the reasons given why no one including us, Caithness Rugby Club, Caithness United and East End are forbidden to use the park we still find ourselves with no winter training facilities in Wick. There's government departments and quangos spending hundreds of thousands a year on campaigns to encourage us to walk our kids to school, not give them too much sugar on their breakfasts and even how to hide vegetables in their meals, yet in Wick they can't train or get a game of football or rugby on the only surface suitable. 5 a day is yet another campaign, but I'd say this is taking the pea! I've never encountered bureaucratic cack-handedness quite like it.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who volunteers at the club, of which there must be roughly 40, the sponsors and supporters who help the club out financially and by coming to watch the team play and last but not least to the management, staff and players who all contribute to the performances on the park which is what we are all here for ultimately.

I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2017 on behalf of everyone at Wick Academy FC.

C'mon è Scorries!


Last Updated ( Friday, 13 January 2017 )
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