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Season'S Preview #3

By Gerry Dunn (Vice Chairman)
Fri, 1st Aug 2003 12:00am

A preview of the new season is obviously a time for looking forward not looking back but I couldn't help having a quick look at what I said this time last year. I felt then that the team was the best we had had for many years and if we can build on the fantastic progress we made last year, we will again be in the shake up come the spring. Alan has made the point that it will be very difficult to better last season's points total. Well, of course it may be possible to win the championship without doing that. Last season over a third of our victories were achieved by coming from behind to win. To me this suggests a spirit which will carry us far in the months ahead.

Off the field many of our challenges remain. While the home support did increase slightly, this did not offset the effects of Partick Thistle's departure to the SPL. Because of this our home attendances actually went down in spite of the undoubted quality of the team and the efforts of many at the club. I do believe this is one trend which will be reversed in the season ahead.

We also have much to do on the commercial front. The commercial manager's post is currently vacant following David Mackinnon's departure for Kilmarnock and the shirt sponsorship (a long running saga) has still to be secured. These will be resolved in the early part of the season but the current situation makes the task of maximising income that much harder.

In spite of the events of the summer, when John Bean and many of the youth coaches left the club, youth development remains a vital part of the mix at Broadwood. We really have some blossoming talent coming through the Under-19 squad. Those not involved in the first team squad are currently with David Winnie in Holland as part of the Leonardo project (devised by John Bean, incidentally) where they are continuing their football education. The under-17 squad is shaping up now and at the younger levels Jim Strathdee is running a series of soccer schools which will build our links with the community and uncover future talent.

As everyone knows, the financial situation at this club and probably every other club in the league is extremely difficult. As always, every penny will be counted, every cup draw awaited with bated breath, every serious approach for players (sorry!) given due consideration, and every Russian billionaire courted with embarrassing obsequiousness. Perhaps more importantly Clyde fans have got together to form their own supporters trust, which is a fantastic development and gives supporters the opportunity to help the club in whatever way they can and play their part in securing the Clyde's future IN THE SPL!

Finally... I intend to score a goal at Wednesday night sevens!!

Enjoy the season.

- Gerry Dunn