Chairman’s report 2014-15

Chairman’s Report 2014/15

21st May 15              



Welcome to our 30th Annual General Meeting of Penkridge Juniors. In my report I will comment on the playing side of the teams representing the Juniors and the off field activities surrounding the Club. I will make reference to our financial status but a more detailed report from the Treasurer will follow.


It is fitting in our 30th year I am able to confirm two huge steps of Development within Penkridge Junior Football Club, which I will cover off later in the report.


  1. Development and build of a 3G surface based at Wolgarston High School
  2. Development and start up of 2 Adult teams playing as Penkridge FC.


However my celebrations are somewhat tempered by probably our worst season on the field with regard to disciplinary and league issues which again I will make reference to in the report.   


Off the Field


I am pleased to report that following our Annual Health check our status as  a Charter Standard Community Club is confirmed again this year, my thanks to Di Lester who pulled this together and completed on behalf of the Club.


Last year I advised the AGM of the potential 3G project at Wolgarston. This year I can report that this is now an active project with the build commenced a few weeks ago from Monday 27th April. It is envisaged to be ready for use at some point in August, but experience tells us to have a contingency should it be required and I can confirm is in place should the date need to extend.


Penkridge Juniors have played an integral part in this development chairing a user group under the stewardship of Pete Spillard and other on the committee who have been party to various meetings with interested parties over the last 18 months. The reality is that for the children and coaches we will have a facility as good as any for them to development their skills and techniques in a local environment.


In my 20 years within the Juniors the most common question at AGMs has been why we have such financial reserves why not spend the money there and then. It has never been easy to provide an answer that satisfied the question as the 30 years of our existence has always been to build a solid foundation for the Club for the next xx years. This project and opportunity has proved the prudence over the years of the decisions to build our reserves to one day be in a position to be involved in a development and facility that benefits everyone within PJFC and the local community we live in. We will be making a £10k contribution to the development from our reserves and it is recognised by the Football association and their partners that we are the primary football club for use of this facility. This means we have been able to secure usage for all our teams going forward at times that suit us and at a reduced cost compared to other users in the future. However it must be noted that our subscriptions will need to increase from our current levels but this will be staged over a 3 year period and the Club will part subsidise these costs for years 1 and 2.


Naturally we cannot sustain this facility on our own and other football clubs in around South Staffordshire will utilise through bookings via the Council who will manage the site on the back off the Leisure Centre based on site. It is hoped the facility is also used for other sports not just football but our game will be the primary user.


So we are all looking forward to the facility being in full use by September 2015 with all our training and many matches being played. As part of the Development the changing rooms have been upgraded at Wolgarston to meet standards required. I am sure it will look spectacular in November onward with the centre being floodlight and children and adults training at Wolgarston.


The 2nd highlight is PJFC developing a senior football set up, it has been in our Development plan since 2009 and formed a huge part in our Charter Standard Community application of our desire to move into Adult football. The opportunity has come about due to the demise of Penkridge Town FC who are no longer being sustained by their sponsor Richard wood after 10 years or so. I think its only right to recognise the time and effort and generosity of Richard over the years that has maintained a presence in Penkridge of adult football.


This created an opportunity for the Juniors to move into this space creating a new team and set up as Penkridge Football Club and we have made constitutional changes to bring Adult football into our Club supported by the FA.

I am also delighted to report that the current Management team are staying with us and we hope this is just the beginning of a very positive and sustainable Adult football in the Penkridge community.


The plan is to have a senior team playing in the Staffordshire County senior league and following a recruitment drive and a fabulous response we will also field an U.21 team playing in the Bilston league. What is even more enjoyable in both cases is that both teams are made of primarily ex Junior players and as we always thought if we could be in a position to sustain Adult football we know that lads would still want to play the game after the Juniors.


However the challenge for playing Adult is financially considerably greater than Junior football and I can reassure the meeting that the structure of the Adult football will be completely separate from the Juniors and their funding will be a different model where the players pay per games they play.


At the time of writing both squads have excellent numbers and we are confident that this can be just the start, it is hoped over time that another 2nd team may be developed as either an open age or U.19 team with a possibility over time for a veterans team to develop under Penkridge F.C. that remains an aspiration.


A small development group was set up during the season under the leadership of John Felton, as part of the development already discussed for the Club John looked to potential partners/suppliers for donations/contributions in helping PJFC develop further. To date John has secured contributions just under £5k through his actions at work through a supply chain and this is a considerable sum of money to benefit the teams within PJFC.


On the Field


We had 14 teams represent us this season, playing 3 leagues across Staffordshire and the West Midlands .  Changes in the Mid Staffs league following a review by the FA about a mid season break was introduced by MSJFL but not universally in other leagues. This resulted in the leagues not being completed at the time of writing and I am pleased the MSJFL committee has reviewed the break for next year following our feedback and that of other clubs. Personally still believe the FA is correct in trying to take the nursery teams out of the harshest conditions of a British winter and support MSJFL with their approach.


Non competitive football still remains in place for the centred football teams.


I am pleased to advise of teams that have won or been runners up in league, cup and shield competitions.


U.9 & U.9W– Winners & Runners Up Cup competition. MSJFL

U.13Eagles – Runners up Cup MSJFL

U.13 Hawks – Shield winners, MSJFL

U.15 – League winners & Shield finalists– Lichfield


The Saturday morning Soccer school remains hugely popular and we remain indebted to our young Coaches each Saturday who arrange and support the young boys and girls have a quality and fun experience.


I am saddened to report that during the season our U.12 team suffered a number of injuries during the season and other circumstances meant that we were unable to field a team to play out its remaining fixtures from April. All the children are making a speedy recovery and it is hoped will return to football for next season. As I have already indicated the mid season break did cause challenges for a number of teams and unfortunately the U.14’s had to withdraw from their league with several games to play as some of the children were involved in other sporting activities and could no longer commit to the football season. Again with the changes proposed by MSJFL to the fixtures they hope to nullify this but naturally the team and management are keeping options open where to play next season to avoid a repetition.


I made reference to some discipline issues we have had to manage this season and I am disappointed to report that 2 games involving 3 Penkridge teams had to be abandoned due to behavior not befitting of Children’s football. There simply cannot be any excuse for such behavior that breaches the Codes of Conduct we all sign up to as a player, spectator, Coach and Manager but unfortunately the game of football is lost in a moment of madness that has serious repercussions.


In both instances the matters have been or are being dealt with by the Football association and in the instance involving 2 Penkridge teams we are still awaiting the final outcomes of the charges. The implications are serious to us and our standing as a Charter standard Community Club.


All I can do is to remind everyone within the Club of their responsibilities when representing PJFC and never lose sight it is just a game of football to be enjoyed win, lose or draw. Failure to meet these standard may have severe consequences for both the individual and the junior football club


Finally I would like to say a huge thank you to our Coaches, Players, Parents and supporters who have represented Penkridge Juniors this season. To all committee members who consistently give up their personal time to try and keep other and colleagues involved. It is only right to place on record 2 individuals within the Committee who have made a significant contribution in their role. Pete Spillard in representing and leading the steering group for the Wolgarston 3G project and Paul Mallaband for leading on the Adults section of football that has finally see us deliver on our plan of 2009, neither would have happened as smoothly had they not been involved giving up so much personal time on top of other roles within the Club.


Thank you,


Norman Mence


About Pete Spillard

Manager of Penkridge Junior U14's, FA level 2 qualified coach and Vice Chairman of PJFC Support Wolves and work in my spare time :)