|The second Fans Forum of 2016 was held last night at Princess Royal Park wth around 50 fans attending, along with Club board and committee members. Manager Steve Dolan, who has been in charge for just over a year gave a very honest appraisal of the situation he saw when he took on the manager’s role, his efforts to move things forward, the drivers for the changes in squad personnel over the period and the various challenges the Club has been facing. Amongst these has been the inability to field a settled side over the seventeen games played so far the season, primarily due to injuries and players’ work demands. He made it clear that all clubs sustain injuries and that what he was striving for was a squad strong enough to cope with this situation and other absences during the season.
The fans who were present asked some very pertinent questions about the squad, the reasoning behind some of the recent transfer listings, team selection, playing areas requiring strengthening and Steve answered all of these in a very open manner. He expressed confidence in the current squad, the need to get injured players back to fitness and a view that the Club was missing a couple of experienced players capable of providing additional leadership to a squad where the average age is around 24. He mentioned that at times this season circumstances have seen 4 or 5 players below the age of 20 in starting line ups. He stated that he and his team had full confidence in the squad and would be working hard with them to improve performances and the Club’s league position.
Questions were also asked about sponsorship for the season and attendances. Club chairman, Jim Mair, expressed the Club’s gratitude to its main sponsors, The Famous Spotty Bag Shop, and the other businesses which continue to support the Club but agreed that it had been difficult to attract additional club and match day sponsors so far this season. When asked “why?” he responded that he believed this to be due to a combination of factors, including the level of on-field performance and to the general economic climate in the North East following a period of very low oil prices that started in late 2014 and continues to the current time. He indicated that all clubs recognise the need to increase efforts on the commercial side of their activities but to do this needs more help at both board and committee level. Deveronvale is lucky to have committed, loyal people willing to give of their time and effort but do need more help here.
The Club would like to thank the fans who came along and contributed to a constructive discussion last night and would like to invite anyone who would be prepared to offer some of their time to help the Club in its match day and/or commercial efforts to contact the Club, the chairman or other members of the board.