David Burgess took over as Accrington Stanley Managing Director earlier this month.Here he shares his thoughts ahead of tomorrow's game with Bristol Rovers.
"I never thought I would say "welcome to the Wham Stadium" as the new Managing Director of Accrington Stanley FC, Founder Member of the Football League and Full Member Club of the Lancashire FA but tomorrow I will do just that.
"I have spent the last 13 years at the county's governing body for football, the Lancashire FA, and the last 10 years as its Chief Executive Officer.
"There it was my responsibility to ensure that the county FA supported and delivered the FA's strategies and initiatives into the grassroots game within the county, inclusive of coaches, players, volunteers, administrators and match officials.
"It was a role I was experienced and comfortable in, and one that I hadn't initially any intention of leaving. Then in late November 2015 I met with Andy Holt who had recently become the majority shareholder of Accrington Stanley FC. Two productive meetings later Andy had explained the proposed plans and vision for the club and its surrounding community which convinced me in a click that my future should lie with this great football club - and so here I am.
"My working background is within football, with the Lancashire FA at a professional working level, and in sporting terms the best player never to play in Clitheroe FC's first team, to becoming their manager in 1999 and then their Chairman in 2002.
"I played most of my football in the lower grassroots leagues and found myself as player/manager of Clitheroe FC reserves in 1994. Overlooked as first team manager on a couple of occasions, I was offered the first team manager's position at the beginning of season 1999/2000 and took them to runners-up spot in the NWCFL Division 1 (to Rossendale Utd) and to The FA Vase semi-final stages.
"But all of that is in the past now as Accrington Stanley FC becomes the priority. I already knew many of the staff, including John Coleman and Jimmy Bell from my previous employment, so it came as no surprise the amount of work they all carry out to ensure the club meets its administrative obligations with The FA and The Football League and the success the team has recently enjoyed on the pitch. They all go way beyond the call of duty and have helped me no end to understand what it means to work for this famous club.
"Plans are already underway to improve the stadium and its infrastructure. As we unravel these plans we will share them at the earliest opportunity. Your support is vital for the future of Accrington Stanley FC and, having been to several games prior to my employment, it is plain to see the affection and passion the supporters have for the club. You have the opportunity to be an integral part of these exciting developments and I hope you continue to get behind the team and the vision as we move forward.
On Stanley on!