AGM reports for season 2020-21

Chairman's report

Saffron Walden Community Youth Sports Club

The last year has been one of the most challenging we could have ever imagined, with the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the stopping of all football, and then its gradual restart under strict guidelines. My overwhelming feeling is of pride in how everyone at the club has responded to the situation, keeping everyone safe while getting youth football going, and also ensuring we have continued with our ongoing programme of investment – for which the last 12 month have seen fantastic progress.

Key achievements in the year have been:

  • Developing and implementing (jointly with SW PSG) new COVID-19 safety Protocols to enable football to return in late June 2020, before needing to pause and restart again in December 2020 into early 2021;
  • Continuing to develop and expand the club despite the pandemic – including our ‘soccability’ offer, and our Eastern Junior Alliance (EJA) presence, which will rise to two team next season;
  • Maintaining our Charter Standard Community Award status (the highest level of FA accreditation);
  • Bringing our new, state of the art, 3G artificial grass pitch at the Saffron Walden County High School to fruition, after many years of preparatory work;
  • Driving progress to getting the new pitches at Lime Avenue into use;
  • Investing in new facilities and equipment across a range of our venues, including a new grounds maintenance tractor.

Looking ahead to 2021-22 there will, as always, be new challenges. We very much hope we can move back towards ‘normality’ though will need to keep a very close eye on the context of COVID and any possible changes there. The new 3G will come into use, as will the Lime Avenue pitches, and it will be important to bed these in and make best use of them, though this will take some time to settle down. Financially the priority, as always, will be financial sustainability (including with regard to meeting our obligations the 3G ‘sinking fund’), while also continuing to develop the quality of what we offer as a club to our young players. We also hope to keep building strong links with our senior club partner Saffron Walden Town FC.

This is my final AGM, as I will be stepping down, after four years as SWCFC Chairman, and almost ten years of involvement in football in the town. When we began discussions around the process of forming the club in autumn 2016 we had a vision of what we could achieve – new facilities, better equipment, new provision including soccability. Today I can say we have achieved that. Well done! I know you will keep building and developing our amazing club.

Martin Johnson


July 2021

Secretary's report

Saffron Walden Community Youth Sports Club

The 2020/21 season is one that we’ll all remember – mostly because of a Global pandemic, but it has been a
noteworthy one for the Club for multiple positive reasons too.
As Martin already mentioned, the fact that we played any football at all was a real achievement, but to complete
virtually all our league fixtures, winning one league title and also winning a couple of cups (delayed from 2020),
was outstanding.
Behind the scenes, the Committee has arguably been busier than it ever has been before on behalf of the
Members. In particular, we must record our gratitude to Richard Hardy for the hours and hours of work that goes
into maintaining our Player database, fielding enquiries from new players and, more than anything, dealing with
Player Registrations via the FA’s very difficult (and slow) software. Thank you, Rich, from everyone at the Club.

There are seven specific things that I have been closely involved with this year as Club Secretary and I’d like to
mention them all, briefly:

  • 3G AGP at SWCHS – this is nearing completion, looks stunning and we’re confident that when everyone
    sees it and plays on it, all the fundraising and other hard work will feel worthwhile
  • Lime Avenue Pitches – a huge battle and seemingly against all odds, we’re now just a few weeks away
    from playing football on them
  • Herbert’s Farm pitches and tractor – a £25k grant from the Football Foundation enabled us to afford our
    own machinery for the first time ever. We intend to put this to use on all the venues where we are
    responsible for pitch maintenance.
  • Soccability – our first full season, and we’re seeing new players joining every couple of weeks. This is a
    brilliant pan-disability inclusive football session, and everyone involved is proud we’ve been able to offer
    this. It will only get better.
  • Mini Soccer School – 70 + players registered, and our largest ever cohort of Reception year boys. A big
    “thank you” needs to go to Peter Emsden. The boys couldn’t possibly get a better introduction to football
    than that which Peter delivers, every single week.
  • Spurs Partner Club – more on this to follow in the next week or so.
  • Referee recruitment and training – We hosted a referee training course last year and will have another
    this Autumn, on the 3G AGP. Our cohort of junior referees has been fantastic, and they enable us to provide referees for most of our own matches every week. Well done to everyone who qualified this year
    and thank you for refereeing!

But there are some things we could do better:

  1. Remember that EVERYONE here is also a volunteer – we must share the load and look to help each other.
    People are often too quick to criticise, and not enough praise is given.
  2. We have 120+ coaches. Communication between groups and across the ages needs to get better.
  3. FA Full Time Stats – it is difficult to manage the Secretary role as it is, but chasing people every single
    week to either confirm fixtures with their opposition or to enter Full Time stats after a game is something
    that really wastes time and it easily avoided.
  4. Respect – each other, referees, parents, players – EVERYONE has a responsibility. This is the biggest
    disappointment for anyone on the Committee – learning that we have received yellow cards, warnings or
    other citations for poor discipline and a lack of Respect for others, especially referees.
  5. Remember that we are a CLUB and not a loose collective of individual TEAMS. Please “THINK CLUB” and
    not just for ourselves.
  6. Matching – this is already reaping rewards in the age groups that have fully embraced it. We want to
    become a genuine force in EJA football so that we’re competitive at the “upper” end of the scale, but
    equally important is providing football to EVERYONE who wants to play, regardless of ability or
    development level. For the age groups or individuals who are still reluctant, please get on board.


The football at SWCFC is getting better and better – but more importantly, we have seen more fun and smiling
faces this season than ever. One measure of success is league or cup titles, and we’ve had those. Another is boys
going on to play at Academy level or selected for Elite/Shadow squads, or getting other high quality training at
professional clubs. We’ve had lots of those too. But for me, getting more boys out playing football every week,
and enjoying it, and developing to fulfil their own potential, whatever level that might be, is the real barometer
for a successful Community Club. We have done that, and then some.

Well done everyone and thank you.

Matt Clare


July 2021

Treasurer's report

Saffron Walden Community Youth Sports Club

The audited accounts for the period 01/06/2019-31/05/20 have been distributed to members.

The members are invited to receive and consider the accounts for the year ended 31/05/2020 and the report of the auditors.

Treasurer’s Report 2020/21

The finances of the club have been complex and challenging during 2020/21. We have provided a full season of football during but spent less on football activities than usual because winter training venues were not needed and coach training was not available. On the other side of the coin we had to buy PPE and cleaning equipment to keep football going. All fundraising for the 3G project apart from the Football Foundation grant comes through the charity’s books and some 3G expenditure prior to build is also represented in the accounts.


During the 20/21 the enormous effort put into to this project came to fruition and we received the green light for the build of the facility at Saffron Walden County High School. The cost and funding of this exciting project is as follows (provisional figures pending completion of project).

Projected Total Cost of project £1,050,000

Football Foundation grant £817,000

Uttlesford District Council £150,000

SWCFC and PSG fundraising £83,000

Income and expenditure 01/06/2020-31/05/2021 (draft)

Total income £207,864

Income is boosted by the first tranche of the UDC 3G grant (£50,000) Football Foundation grants for the tractor and goalposts as well as 3G fundraising.

Total Expenditure £143,111

Significant items of expenditure include the tractor purchase (£36,0000), UDC payment passed on to Saffron Academy Trust (£50,000), football kit (£11,000) and pitch hire (£11,000)

Annual Subscription Fees 2021-2022

There will be a small rise in fees to cover the improved facilities and the need to pay for some services where we cannot find volunteers. Figures below are per player up to 2 siblings, other siblings (3rd, 4th etc)  pay £50 to cover kit, insurance etc. instead of the lowest or lower rates of fees applicable.

  • Mini Soccer School £110
  • Mini League £190
  • Colts £190
  • EJA £350

Vince Taylor


July 2021

Notice to members 23rd June 2021

Minutes 13th July 2021