Good afternoon and welcome to The People’s Pension Stadium for this afternoon’s Sky Bet League Two fixture against Leyton Orient. I would like to welcome the directors, players, staff and fans of Leyton Orient who have made the short journey to West Sussex this afternoon.
It’s hard to believe the fixture this afternoon represents the final home game of the season. It seems like only yesterday that the lads were walking out at Victoria Park for our first league game of the season against Hartlepool United, but overall I think we as a club can look back on this season with fondness.
For me personally, highlights from the season revolve around what makes this club great, the people. The scenes on the terrace when Archie Davies equalised against Gillingham in the last minute were something to behold and although we ended up losing the game on penalties, was certainly an early indication of the togetherness we have at a club. The trip to Leyton Orient ranks high on the list of stand out moments with a packed out away end, along with results at Harrogate Town and Northampton Town amongst others. The home wins over Forest Green Rovers and Swindon Town also showed the the club, players and fans at our very best.
At risk of turning these notes into a tribute page, there are so many people to thank for ensuring that we are able to enjoy these moments and will continue to do so going forwards. Firstly a thank you to the players who continue to fight for this club on a daily basis and who I truly believe, as a collective, can elevate this club to a position far higher than where we find ourselves today. Thank you to the playing staff who continue to go above and beyond their job descriptions, often far exceeding their contracted hours and working as a group to support the lads on the pitch and each other. In addition to this, thank you to the team behind the team off the field who work so hard to ensure that this train we call a football club stays on its rails and continues to serve not only the community but the fanbase. This leads me on nicely to yourselves, the fans. Week on week you come in your numbers, home and away and always bring the noise. We have had highs and lows but you have always been there and as we have alluded to numerous times over the past few weeks and months, football is nothing without the fans. Have we as a team always got things right, no, will we always get things right, no, but it certainly wont be through a lack of effort or empathy for what this clubs means to the community and the the people. As a club and a group of people, if we can stick together over the course of the next few months and into next season, then along with your unwavering support, I am under no illusion that this club will be looking at a positive future.
Enjoy the game.