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As the 22/23 season fast approaches, I wanted to share with you information about the Club for the upcoming season and wish all of our teams good luck!
Over the past few months, myself and the other members of the Executive Committee have been working hard to get everything organised for kick off, attending league meetings, completing the club and league affiliation processes, purchasing insurances, securing pitches, referees and checking equipment.
Our managers have been updating any required training, including DBS checks, safeguarding and first aid training, alongside some Level 1 Coaching badges - these are all required to help us retain our England Football Accreditation status.
I would like to say a huge thank you to all volunteers involved with the Club that have helped with the new season preparation, it's a huge undertaking and your help is much appreciated! Without the support of our volunteers, we simply wouldn't be able to get out on the pitches.
So what else has been happening?
Firstly, I'm pleased to announce that we have successfully migrated all of our systems to Teamo. We've been working closely with Sportplan (the creators of Teamo) over the past few months, following a significant amount of research to identify the best solution and provider for us to work with as a club. We've successfully integrated all of our payments, registration form, communication and website to their system and are working closely with their developers to improve the system for us and their other customers. This system not only makes it easier for parents, but makes the role of volunteering as a manager with the club easier, as it removes the burden of chasing payments, simplified reporting and better availability tracking (no more 20 thumbs in a whatsapp group!). I would therefore urge you to support your managers and utilise the Teamo app to indicate if you are able to attend training and matches using the 'Ticks' and 'Crosses' in app.
DMFC Development Centre
This was a huge announcement for the club and has taken a lot of planning behind the scenes. With our former coaching partner, Louis Lawlor, relocating last year, we had to start continuity planning for our Tiny and Mini Minor sessions. These sessions are vitally important for the club, offering a pay as you go option for our youngest members and providing a pathway to league football - helping us to form our U7 teams for the new seasons.
I'm delighted with the partnership that we have formed with our new coaching partner, DediKate. Katie Whitmore (owner) is a highly experienced coach, with a UEFA B License for coaching, the highest the Club has ever been able to offer. Katie and her team will be working with us to provide high quality coaching for our Tiny and Mini Minors sessions, whilst also opening up the opportunity for us to incorporate a new Girls football offering of Wildcats (ages 5-11) and Squad Girls (ages 12-14).
This is an extremely exciting time for us, with a separate Girls football pathway having never been offered as separate sessions in the history of Ditton Minors FC. Therefore I would ask that you help us to spread the word either via word of mouth, or on social media. All of these sessions kick start on 3rd September!
Leading us nicely on to Social Media, over the past couple of years we've been trying hard to increase our social media presence, building a larger supporter base and become more transparent. We now have over 1000 followers combined on our Facebook and Instagram pages!
You'll notice that we're trying to share more on our sponsors, info about fixtures, results, special offers and club news. We would really appreciate if you can encourage your friends and family to like and follow our pages, each interaction on our posts helps increase our attraction to the social media platforms and puts us higher in peoples feeds, in turn, helping us reach more people!
It goes without saying that without volunteers, there'd be no club. We have exciting expansion plans to help the club grow over the next 5 years and are always on the look out for more volunteers to support us in the running and growth of the club. We have a number of roles available within the Club, so whether you have the skills to help us organise our social events and raise vital funds, or simply know how to take minutes of meetings, we want to hear from you.
There's an awful lot of administrative work that happens in the Club, and we need volunteers to support on this front, but we're also always on the look out for aspiring managers and coaches!
Having formally launched the Player Pathways programme last year with our Referee Pathway (although the Club has supported match officials over a number of years), I'm pleased that we have now been able to expand this offering to include a Coaching Pathway to enable our players and managers to further their coaching education, with the ultimate aim of achieving their UEFA B license.
We've also provided more information on the Player Pathways pages around the Duke of Edinburgh award and how the Club can support young people in achieving their Volunteering aspect. If you know someone completing their DofE, please do point them in our direction.
Last but not least...
This season we're pleased to welcome aboard Marek and Sam who are taking the helm of our new Under 7 team, with a lot of these players having come through from Tiny Minors since the age of 3, we're delighted to have them signed for the new season and wish them all the best in their leagues! We're also pleased to welcome Lee & Alfie as they embark on the establishment of the new DMFC Mens Team, their first game is the 4th September so feel free to pop down and support them!
That's all the 'new' bits that we can share to date, but I assure you there will be lots more to share later in the season!
Not forgetting our existing teams who have been training tirelessly throughout the summer and kick off their seasons in the next couple of weeks, their fixtures are all available on our Club Calendar - if you're around and able to support them, the players and coaches would love your support!
Good luck to all our players and coaches for the 22/23 season, and as always, if there's anything you need from any of the Exec Committee, just get in touch!