We caught up with board member Mike Gilham who was unanimously voted as a co-opted board member in February 2021 by the rest of the board having showcased his undoubted talents within the Save The Camrose committee.
Mike has experience working in various roles within the game for a number of years and has been supporting the Same the Camrose committee as well as the Football Committee since joining in Feb. Mike previously worked for Surrey FA, working closely with the Football Foundation leading on the development of football facilities in the County and the club has benefitted with our feasibility study being submitted to councillors.
‘’I’ve got a real passion for this club. It’s my local team and I have wanted to support the club for a while now. With the change of my full-time employment over Christmas, the stars finally aligned which provided the opportunity for me to get involved. The club has faced and continues to face significant challenges in relation to the Camrose and broadly speaking its access to facilities in the town. The study has highlighted the severe lack of appropriate training and playing facilities in the town and, although the club recognises its access to the Hampshire FA site at Winklebury, it is still a challenge to secure training slots for all of our teams.’’
Mike is hoping the council can recognise the issue in the town and support the club to return to the Camrose and the wider football community to benefit from more appropriate facilities. ‘’Whilst there has been some investment into football facilities in the borough, evidently it is simply not enough – there’s no question about that. We’d like to see more done to support ourselves and other football clubs within the borough. Away from football, the club operated a successful clubhouse with other sports and social activities taking place and this has been completely displaced currently’’.
Away from the Save the Camrose Mike has also been contributing to other areas as the club aims to continuously improve its offer on and off the pitch. ‘’I have been supporting the Football Committee alongside Kevin, Dan, Aaron, Nathan and Brian Strange. This has been really productive as we’ve analysed our football offer across all areas of the club, from men’s to women’s and youth. We’ve re-vamped processes and spent a lot of time discussing the vision of the youth side of the club. We’ve worked on a new academy offer with Pulse, designed new price strictures for the JPL teams and have plans for huge growth in this area’’.
It is clear that whilst national lockdown has impeded much football happening on the pitch a lot is happening off it. ‘’This club has so much potential and it is beginning to realise it. I know from experience the power of volunteers and I have been so impressed with the amount of hours people are putting in. I’ve been particularly impressed with the work Kevin, Liz Lockie, Chris Walsh and Dan have been putting in. Without the luxury of being involved in the behind the scenes bits you don’t always get to see the level of commitment and work that people put in on a daily basis and that’s on top of their day jobs – it’s quite remarkable. The future is looking really exciting both on and off the pitch’’.
Do you want to volunteer to help the club? Have you got a skill we could benefit from or can you afford time on match days to help with various tasks? Yes? Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org