President's Note - August 2023
To all members,
Apologies for the lack of information and flow on the Club's standing over the last few months. It isn't due to the lack of want, but more, the lack of time amongst dealing with the many issues around the FIFA Women's World Cup Legacy project and the general business that an ever-growing and expanding club encounters.
Have we all learnt a lot? Yes the constant advocacy to ensure McLennan Park receives every last dollar and more of the Legacy project continues, and it has been the number one priority this year. A facility like this, once completed, will put PCFC firmly on the radar of wider community members, and attract a lot more positive attention from our financial supporters.
At the start of this, I had a self-imposed target of 100% completion, I was told not to dream! It would be 2- 4 years of work. But I have pushed our Management team, and our BOD well outside of what any volunteer should take on, and I am happy to say that the balance of the work will be completed once the season has been completed. The new Bar and storage amenities downstairs will begin in mid-September, whilst the Kitchen refurbishment will be completed in 2024.
What does this mean for the Club? It now gives the club a 100% completed project, no other WWC Train on venue can boast this. It also means the money that would generally need to be raised for building and maintenance, can now be redirected into our coaching systems, development programmes, and staffing, as we strive for more self-sustainability and commercial viability.
We are now an attractive club, and you will see many more exciting announcements over the next several months. Please be patient, as the timing of this project has not been favourable for the Club and its Members, and provided many frustrations.
As much as we would like to have an opening celebration of sorts, it may well be into late September before we have the opportunity to do so. The keys were officially handed back by FIFA today, being the 1st of August, meaning we can carry on with what's left of the construction.
On the grass, we now boast the largest sporting club (not just football club ) in South Auckland. Regularly I receive phone calls from other sporting entities asking how, and it's just a simple reply .... People.
The Board has a clear mission, and the Management Team goes about their work with budgets and targets. Our community works on poverty in sports, is class-leading, we have a record number of females participating, and for the first time in a decade, we see Development Teams back in the Auckland Leagues across Youth boys and girls. This has not gone unnoticed. One comment was, " The sleeping giant has been awoken"
In the senior Spaces, it's unfortunate for our Men's Premiers, I genuinely felt that in any other season, this group would have walked out of this league with games in hand, but we have again been let down by the lack of regulations, and support from the NRF and NZF on what constitutes and defines quality competitions. I am still proud to say we have more homegrown players in our premier team than the teams challenging for promotion. I won't say anymore. I will add; preparations have already begun to combat some of the nonsense we have to contend with, you will see a revised approach to our Men's and Women's Premiers spaces, given we now have genuine depth to sustain them over the next 10 years while providing that much-needed pathway for our local talent.
The Women's Premiers, well they are looking good to take out their competition as we make a storming effort to get back to the heights we once were. With the depth the club now has, it's hard to see anyone outside the big 4 clubs replicating what we are doing, Mahalia and her team are performing exceptionally well in this delicate stage of a rebuild, but stay tuned for some wonderful news in the coming months as we go early to sign players and secure roles for 2024.
Please, enjoy the updated facility (but remove boots and dirty footwear before entering!), we purposely created an open space for the club to "live in" and change how they see fit over time. It belongs to the 900 Members and everyone deserves to add something.
Prizegiving dates will be announced by the end of August for our Juniors through to Seniors. Additional club days will also feature in the coming months, and we will see our women's and men's teams on the Stadium pitch over the next 4 weeks.
Thank you for your patience