Annual General Meeting

Clubs and Leagues Represented at Essex County FA’s AGM

Chairperson Reflects on Local Football’s Achievements

Representatives of local grassroots football, including leagues and clubs, were present at Chelmsford City FC on Thursday 6th June as the Essex County FA’s Annual General Meeting took place for the yearly transaction of routine business.

The meeting, which covered company activities relating to the 2022/23 season, was also a chance to highlight the current strong position of Essex football as 2023/24 draws to a close, as well as looking forward to the beginning of a brand-new four-year strategy. Recently re-elected Chairperson, Andy Chaplin provided an update on the evening, highlighting key achievements. The full board is:

Andy Chaplin (Chair of Board and Council)
Barry Fitzgerald (Council)
Sheryl MacRae (Council)
Andy French (Council)
Hafiza Patel (INED)
Matt Clare (INED)
Craig Leverington (INED)
Andrew Macdonald (INED)

Speaking on his pride at being re-elected as Chairperson, Andy commented: “We’re coming to the end of our 2021-24 strategy, which gives us the opportunity to reflect on what we’ve achieved. For the first couple of years, we were emerging from the challenges of Covid-19, but the game is still growing in a number of ways, and we’ve come through this stronger.”

“The local male pathway is flourishing, as is female football, boosted by the success of our national team. The disability pathway took a little longer to recover from Covid, but that’s growing, too, and it’s also encouraging to see similar trends in Walking Football, plus we’ve been able to support school and college football. With this continued growth, it places pressure on the facility infrastructure but, over the course of the 2022/23 season, we had 388 good quality grass pitches, and we’ll be working with clubs and communities to deliver more quality pitches.”

“Our governance structure continues to evolve, aligned to the FA Code. We’ve been able to successfully recruit skilled Independent Non-Executive Directors with knowledge of areas such as finance, commercial activity and safeguarding, which will help to take us forward. Football experience and insight are crucial. Our dedicated staff have the knowledge to continue that growth, and we’ll continue to bolster those levels of experience.”

“Essex football is in a strong position, with Romford’s recent FA Vase win and FA National League System pyramid promotions for Braintree Town, Hornchurch and Bowers & Pitsea, as well as an FA Women's National League Cup win for Hashtag United, displaying that the strength of the male and female pathways is filtering through to these levels.”

“There will always be challenges as we move forward as a business, but we’re in a strong position and we have an excellent infrastructure, and I thank our Chief Executive, Brendan, and the whole staff team, for all their work in supporting the game.”

Having been distributed in advance, key sections of an Annual Report were presented to members on the night at the AGM, summarising activities which took place across various areas of the game in 2022/23, which included highlighting growth of the game to 5,140 teams, up from 5,000 teams in the 2021/22 season. Work is set to get underway shortly on the 2023/24 edition. 

Chief Executive, Brendan Walshe, said: “It was really positive to see the continued growth in the game, and the 2023/24 season continued that trend, with more than 85,000 players playing weekly. This continued growth would not be possible without the ongoing commitment of all the volunteers across the game. We express our thanks and congratulations for this support and look forward to building on this platform in the seasons ahead, particularly in the upcoming strategy cycle.”

If you’d like to know more about grassroots Essex football, please browse the menus above. You can also interact with us via the @EssexCountyFA account on Twitter/X, or by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.

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