It has been a very busy period and as we begin the month of September we have a number of updates and things to report for you all.
August saw the return of the playing squad and staff to the club. In past seasons recently, the playing squad and football staff have been located remotely, some distance away from Northfleet and the Kuflink Stadium.
As part of the review process that saw our new management team and structure put in place, it was identified that better engagement with our local area, people, businesses and community overall was necessary. We have moved to rectify this by bringing our football operations back to the Kuflink Stadium day to day.
Our players have been welcomed by our excellent partners at Snap Fitness and we have also linked up with our friends at nearby Dartford Valley Community Rugby Club in a partnership that will see our players utilising their state-of-the-art international-standard 3G pitch.
Both clubs share the same values and community focus in our strategies going forward and our training arrangements have been welcomed by players and staff alike who are enjoying building a sense of “home” again, in and around where so many of you live and work daily.
The Kuflink Stadium remains locked down for protocol purposes and any visitors must attend only through main reception. All staff and contractors are screened and tested to ensure a safe environment remains for everyone. It would be useful if all visitors and supporters could download and register for evePass which allows us to log all comings and goings electronically.
There has been an amazing response to season-ticket sales which have been handled via the ticket windows, and we ask that everyone continues to adhere to these rules when visiting in future.
The return to football brings with it fluid and ever-changing guidelines amidst the current Covid situation and as such we do not yet know the numbers of supporters to be allowed into grounds or exactly how this will be put in place once the season kicks off. Season-tickets remain the best way of ensuring admission on matchdays in these cases but we will of course endeavour to implement solutions for all supporters as best we can once we know more.
Our kit launch following our supply agreement with New Balance is scheduled for tomorrow. We thank our third-party suppliers Andreas Carter Sports for their assistance and help to the club over the past season in stepping up to help out. The lockdown situation and our new brand partnership have meant we arrived at a mutually convenient time to end our time with ACS and bring the retail operation back in-house. The club would like to thank Jerry Carter and his team at ACS sincerely for their efforts and true partnership.
Natalie Edwards, who has been working in the retail department on match days last season, will now be taking on the role permanently. The club shop will be open in midweek again as well as match days as this is something many supporters have requested. Once the Covid protocols allow, we will be issuing opening hours and letting you all know.
As with most clubs, there will be a fine balance between stock levels, range, and lead times on delivery so please be supportive of us as we bring the retail offering back online – our online store is also due to launch tomorrow alongside the kits.
It is a hugely beneficial change for the club that will give us more flexibility to respond to your requests, serve you better, and ultimately assist in getting closer to a self-sustaining football club for you all in the long term. Your support will be really appreciated along with patience if we do make an error or two or our systems take some fine-tuning.
It is most likely that when the gates can be open again for live football at the Kuflink Stadium, that facemasks will be mandatory. This will ensure as safe as possible an experience for everyone. Our Fleet facemasks have sold very well and there is only limited stock left in the first run. The players and staff are all issued with these same masks so if you do want to secure one, contact the club or buy one online here. Of course official club face masks are not compulsory when the day to attend matches finally comes and there are some excellent options and alternatives including supporter-made charity versions available.
In terms of squad recruitment, we are very happy with the balance and quality of footballers and character among the squad that has been brought together. It is perhaps important to note that the timing of signing announcements does not always reflect the order or timing of when these signings are made.
We have more announcements to make soon and we are very pleased with where things are at.
With the recruitment period and close season coming to an end, the club can confirm that Steve Lovell has departed his role as director of football. We thank Steve for his efforts during his time at the club and wish him all the very best for his next challenge.
Pre-season friendlies have begun in earnest and Dennis Kutrieb is pleased with the work being done to implement the training-pitch methods into match situations. Most pleasing is that our first away friendly tonight will mean some of you will be travelling to see the team in action live for the first time this season.
With strict protocols in place around fans attending matches, and all of us hoping there will be an easing of restrictions to allow us to host supporters for the opening competitive match of the season, if not before, it is as important as ever for everyone’s health and safety to adhere strictly to protocols when attending friendlies such as our visit to Hornchurch.
The past four weeks have been extremely busy for all staff at the club especially with the return of our football operations to Stonebridge Road. We have advertised some volunteer shoutouts and have had a wonderful response; the work that has been done around the stadium in some crucial areas has been invaluable and hugely appreciated by Dennis and the squad, our Chairman and CEO, and all staff at the club. Thank you!
We are always ready to welcome more help and to get to know more of you so please add yourself to the register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the club with your details.
Combined with our incredibly helpful and talented interns in the football department, the club has begun to mould and shape into a properly spirited and enthusiastic place to be again this summer. With learning, energy and a genuine sense of everyone chipping in to contribute to the 90-minute performance each matchday, we are pleased to operate a welcoming and proud home stadium again.
We are all very aware that the National League South season will be extremely competitive and we will need to be on our game every week, to be better prepared and working harder than others in order to achieve success for Ebbsfleet United in 2020/21. However, with your support and the positive togetherness that is building, we will give each other the best chance to achieve a special season together.