We all realise that the pandemic has had a huge impact on everyone and we all know the various issues it has caused which we have tried to document in our regular updates. Travel has been complicated; playing games behind closed doors just wasn’t an option for us; social distancing means revenues and footfall have been decimated and that in turn has massively impacted just how the Club has functioned over the last twelve months. As we move towards the warmer Summer months, hopefully, we can see a change on the horizon.
We also understand that football is a passion, it’s an emotional bond. It forms social connections which might not have existed otherwise, and it can once again serve as the focal group of a community, a place to come together. The experience is much, much greater than the mere 90 minutes of a match every weekend.
It’s just impossible at this stage to say exactly what non-league football will look like in August. Many of our hopes are pinned on next season starting on time and passing without as little incident as possible. There is extremely cautious cause for optimism that this can happen, but optimism isn’t enough to guarantee that it will.
At least we now know that we will be able to open the refurbished ‘beer garden’ week commencing Monday 26th April. More details will be announced in the next few weeks. We would like to thank the Valleys Task Force and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council for supporting our grant application that has enabled us to purchase picnic benches and patio heaters that will be invaluable to our business during the next few months and beyond before we are able to open inside. We would also like to thank Brookmans Electrical Services for donating the pallets to the beer garden area.
The 3G pitch is once again in use by the Under 18’s of our community and we hope to be able to announce soon when adult sport will be allowed to return, when further restrictions are lifted.
In terms of maintenance around the club we have recently re-roofed the garage where the floodlight fuse box is housed to make that area completely watertight, a long overdue job has been the repair and replacement of the rainwater gutters on the main stand roof! These jobs have been completed thanks to our main sponsor Europlas who supplied the materials.
Elsewhere we will soon be looking for volunteers to be part of a working party as we continue to tidy up the ground by removing the weeds from the terraces and clearing some of the winter debris.
Dean and Jack are currently working on further pre-season friendlies, assuming that the Senedd Alert Levels continue to fall.
As a Club we are always looking for new revenue streams to help support everything we do within the community. As more of us have perhaps become accustomed to walking more often since lock-down began we have started ‘#Running/Walking the Month’ during April to raise money for Prostrate Cancer. If you would like to sponsor us on our challenge for this worthwhile cause, you can donate here – https://runthemonth.prostatecanceruk.org/fundraising/merthyr-towns-run-the-month-challenge. We really appreciate the financial support that we already receive from our fans and also all of the hard work of the volunteers to raise funds for the Club.
When the football returns, perhaps we will have learnt something about the importance of supporting our local communities, about the significance of sacrificing something for a rainy day. We were all caught off-guard by COVID-19, and it is critical that we learn constructive lessons from all of this. There is, however, an opportunity for us all to do better, whether through volunteering, attending more matches, just buying a programme or even having that pre-match pint in the club bar. We need everyone to reconnect with our own community, and build a sense of pride in our Club. There are other ways of doing things.
Our way wasn’t being afraid to confront the pitfalls and risks of doing things in the best interest of the Club, but it also demonstrated how things can be so different.