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FROM THE BOARDROOM NOTES: DAVID WILKINSON

26 April 2017

The From The Boardroom programme notes from Saturday's game

These programme notes were written by vice-chairman, David Wilkinson, for the Notts County edition of Talk Of The Town.

This afternoon we give a special welcome to all the officials, players and fans of Notts County. They have had a difficult season although their form has picked up dramatically of late and they are assured of League Two football again next year. 

It is an odd coincidence that in consecutive games we have played at the oldest ground in the Football League followed by meeting the oldest professional football club. 

Mansfield’s stadium first hosted matches in 1861. There are records of games involving Notts County as early as November 1862. They have played more Football League matches than any other club and have had several spells in the top division. 

Now that we are at the “business” end of the season and these are probably my last notes until next year, perhaps I can give my take on the campaign to date. 

I hardly miss a game home or away and where I can I see development and youth games as well, so my opinion is based largely on first-hand experience. I sometimes wonder what certain people see when they are watching a game and even more so how they interpret the quality of the performance from reading and listening to the various media coverage. 

A friend, who was listening to the Mansfield game on the radio last week, told me that the commentary made us sound dire in the first half, which in my view we were not. I said that I thought we deserved a better result, but that it was a decent performance and that the stats agreed. We all understand that in today’s world social media enables unsubstantiated statements to be posted anonymously without reason or responsibility, so I thought it would be good to put some FACTS out there.  

We are currently fourth in League Two with 68 points. Only Doncaster the leaders and probable champions have lost less games than us. Only Portsmouth have conceded less goals than us. Our goal difference mirrors our league position. Of course, we are disappointed that we won’t be going up automatically and that we have drawn too many games, but we don’t have a divine right and as far as we see it we are making great strides in the right direction. 

We have a young manager learning the game who has developed a passion for our club. He has a high quality team to help him and between them they are the envy of many. We have a young squad (second youngest in the league, I believe), which will improve with age and experience. We have a Board that ensured the Club’s survival and provides the necessary support for the management and playing staff. 

We have a fantastic new training facility with ambition to lift ourselves above level three of youth development and funding. 

We have a planning application before the Council for a major project including a stadium, which should transform our Town. The vision that persuaded investors to join 2020 is intact. 

We shouldn’t need reminding of where we have been, where we are and where we are going. It is not an easy ride. There are 72 clubs in the Football League and it is a genuine competition. Every club hopes for promotion and fears relegation and we know both only too well.  We need support more than ever now for those on and off the field. 

On a positive note, our young fans are the lifeblood of the club and need to be encouraged as they will carry our club forward when we are long gone. They are the ones who will keep our traditions alive and the memories fresh. 

Investor and director Bob Curson’s grandson Josh is a tremendous example. He recently was commended for a speech he gave at his school so I thought you might be interested with a few extracts. 

“Today I’m going to talk about a brief history of Luton Town Football Club. This is an important topic because I feel Luton have been misrepresented of late, many people think they are a side that do not play good football, just because they are in League Two. These people are unaware of their unusual, if not unique history”.  

Josh then takes his audience through our early history and we pick it up again as we get back up to League Two. “Our first season in League Two was a downhill because we had lost a key player Andre Gray, who now plays for Burnley in the Premier League. Another problem to this season was our manager John Still, who was sacked because of a bad winning streak and had left the club. This was a shame because he was such a nice man.

“I enjoy my home visits to the town with my family and I have been lucky enough to meet many of the players and managers and I have also been a mascot for three games over the past few years, Aston Villa, Peterborough and Brentford. I am confident that the Hatters will make it to either the Championship or League One in the next few years. Being a Luton supporter has, however, been anything but dull over the past 131 years.” 

Well said Josh and well done.  

Finally, congratulations go to Danny Hylton again for making the PFA League Two Team of the Season.  Danny has had a wonderful first year with us. Let’s hope he can keep the goals coming over the new few weeks, that we make the play-offs and get where we all want to be. 

Have a great summer! 

“It’s not the size of our problems, but the smallness of our belief, that causes us to complain.” A quote taken from Jeremy Taylor, who wrote a discourse on toleration in the 17th century. 

Enjoy the game 

Come On You Hatters  


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