Excerpts from the Chairman's programme notes...
- On the year gone by…
“Well, the start of another New Year and, first off, my best wishes to everyone for 2018.
“Looking back over the year I definitely feel we have made progress as a Club in 2017. Of course, it is all about results on the pitch at the end of the day, but I have to say we have improved several aspects of the Club during 2017.
“For example, our admin team is now very lean and very professional, with our overall finances in better shape than the year before, despite a drop in attendances.
“This unusual situation is a result of better utilisation of our cost base and stronger performances from the non-football income, such as our education schemes and the Rookies nursery that we put in place at the end of 2015.
“The Academy has also made good forward strides, with the likes of Ben Kennedy, Dale Gorman and Mark McKee now regulars in our side, with Luke Wade-Slater and Jamie Gray pressing hard for a shirt.
“Our U18 have also pushed us forwards with the excellent Ben Wilmot and Andronicos Georgiou stepping up to a regular full time first team regime. These two lads have excelled and are attracting the attention of scouts from some of the best clubs in the country. If they keep their feet on the ground and continue to work hard on the training ground, they will both have a bright future in the game.
“For the first time we can see a conveyor belt of young players coming through. Some will very quickly go on to higher clubs, but the fact that we are gaining a reputation for developing young players and giving them a chance in itself attracts young players to us.
“We also have the financial basis for a new North Stand which will start shortly. So overall, I am happy with 2017, but I am also keenly aware that we have flirted with the bottom half of the L2 table for too long during the year.
“This is not where we want to be and I am keen to see a second half of the season to rival that great run to promotion we had in our first year in the Football League. It is great to get most things right, but unless our team is fighting for promotion – in whatever EFL division we are in – then we can never rest.
“Let’s hope 2018 is even better on all fronts and brings the results we want.”
Read the Chairman's full programme notes in today's Stevenage v Cheltenham programme, available around the ground for just £3.
Tickets are available or on the turnstiles.