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Story posted: Saturday, 31st May 2003

Mark Evans' speech from the presentation evening
Mark Evans, Chairman

Mark Evans, Chairman

If you were unable to attend this year's presentation you can read Mark Evans' speech here.
First of all I would like to thank you all for attending this, the Gresley Rovers Annual Dinner and Presentation night.

I would like to thank Steve Brooks for being our host this evening and also Neil Betteridge for his help in organising this event and the hard work and support he provides the Club and me during the season.

I welcome the Players, Coaches and Management staff of our various teams. I offer my personal and sincere thanks to you all for your hard work and effort. We have a good team spirit here; they have stuck together and have shown great patience and support to this Club. A fact that sometimes is often forgotten and not appreciated.

To my Vice-Chairman, George Sutton and fellow Directors, I would like to thank them for their invaluable assistance. I appreciate the hard work and commitment they along with the many staff and volunteers continue to shown Gresley Rovers and the support they afford me personally.

I have in the past talked about the common language of football and the importance of the community and the need to strive to realise the potential of every individual. ‘Be all you can be’ was my chosen words to illustrate the point that every individual person matters. As far as I am concerned everyone at Gresley counts. I think this season we have seen so many push themselves to achieve and be all they can be.

Many of our younger players have progressed through youth, reserve into the first team, others have improved and developed their skills. Others have experienced trials at professional clubs. This season has seen some truly wonderful football being played – as an individual, as a team and as a Club.

Many of you here tonight will be individually honoured for achieving and attaining standards. You are fulfilling your potential, and long may this continue. I would however like to acknowledge each and every one of our players irrespective of the team they play for, for the contribution and support you give this football club and me personally.

Success is a relative measure and not a simple task. I was always told to do my best and work hard. That is a maxim undertaken by all the players and management. Success is not easy and on many fronts means survival.

Our progress will continue, it is a matter of time and patience, but it will happen. A lot done and a lot more to do. Gresley will remain committed, focussed, strong and most importantly 'Together'.

This season has seen personal challenges for many brush along side those of a football nature. And it is important to people to realise that everyone involved has a life and a family and at times there will be conflicts of priority, interest and importance. They will always have my complete support, faith and trust.

There have been and will no doubt be again some tough decisions, but we will make them.

The right decision is usually the hardest one and the hardest decisions are often the least popular at the time or most misunderstood.

The starting point is not strategy, it's hope.

I sometimes think that talk of progress and the future can be reduced to a battle between pessimism and hope.
Because from hope comes change.

At times, some lack self- belief. I am honoured to be Chairman. And I have a confident belief in our Club – like so many of you here. Belief and faith are important.

Gresley Rovers is a great football club. On the way up. We are not a boastful Club. But we have real strengths. Great people. Strong values – and a proud history.

In the last two seasons we have finished in the top ten.
Gresley are, out of the 205 clubs in levels 5 - 7 of the non-league pyramid, this season the 73rd best-supported team. We were the second best supported Club in our own League and in the top 10 of the whole of the Dr Martens' League.

We have a young, developing side with the proven experience of some very special individuals.

This season, Richard Wardle completed over 500 appearances – that in it self is a remarkable record, but set by a very remarkable and truly supportive individual.

We have 8 junior teams; Our under 14’s have just secured the League and Cup double.

Our Reserve team squad has shown its true value and will, I believe realise its potential.

Five Reserve team players made it through to the first team – not only in name, but also in contribution, effort and standard.

We have a manager who will help Gresley build on the progress made and continue our quest to fulfil our potential. Over the next two weeks Jon will complete his UEFA 'A' licence and who with the help and assistance of a great backroom support staff are developing a culture of professionalism and improving the football at this Club.

We have players that I am proud to call friends, with whom I have faith and belief in; I would trust my life with. They are indeed a very special group of individuals.
I hope that the nucleus of this team remain with this Club next season. I am more than aware of the supposed "bright light attractions" of other Clubs, and yes there are places where the grass is greener. And I fully understand the reasons that some will chose to move on – they will go with my best wishes, and of course support. But I will fight to keep them and demonstrate that this is a club where the heart is - there is no greater heart than that of Gresley Rovers Football Club.

Four years ago, even two years ago, none of that would have been guaranteed.

That's what we mean when we say Gresley is going to get better.

Pessimism is not the strategy of Gresley Rovers Football Club- that would be to destroy the belief that we can collectively achieve anything, to drench progress in cynicism, to sully the hope from which energy, action and change all spring.

There's no cause for pessimism, we should believe in ourselves and use that self-belief to choose now and irrevocably the path of reform.

That's why we need reform. Reform is just a word. It has no meaning in itself. It's the purpose of it that matters.
This is not the time to abandon our journey but to see it through. I ask the ever growing people, businesses and community leaders to join and support us on our journey.
We must summon the strength to recognise the challenge ahead of us and beat it.

To retreat now, I believe, would put at hazard all that we hold dearest, turn Gresley Rovers Football Club backwards, stifle the first steps of progress to financial stability; leave the Club to the mercy of events on which we would have relinquished any influence for the better.

Tell our supporters that at the very moment of action, at the very moment when they needed our determination that we faltered. I will not be party to such a course of action. This is not the time to falter. This is the time for us, not just this Board of Directors or indeed this Chairman, but this Club to give a lead, to show what we stand up for what we know to be right, to show that we will confront the challenges, the doubters, those that cannot accept the realities of the day and those that would put at risk the path we have set out, to show at the moment of decision that we have the courage to do the right thing.

The future sets out a path strewn with the challenges of change, both for Gresley Rovers, the non-league and the professional game generally. We have the spirit to meet the challenges before us and all we need is the confidence and self-belief. I say once again "let's live the dream".
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
2 Belper Town 0 0 0
3 Brighouse Town 0 0 0
4 Carlton Town 0 0 0
5 Cleethorpes Town 0 0 0
6 Frickley Athletic 0 0 0
7 Gresley 0 0 0
8 Lincoln United 0 0 0
9 Loughborough Dynamo 0 0 0
10 Marske United 0 0 0
11 Morpeth Town 0 0 0
12 Ossett United 0 0 0

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Forthcoming Fixtures
AFC Hinckley
Pre-Season Friendly
Sat, 21st Jul 2018, 3.00pm (Home)
South Normanton Athletic
Pre-Season Friendly
Tue, 24th Jul 2018, 7.30pm (Away)
Matlock Town
Pre-Season Friendly
Sat, 28th Jul 2018, 3.00pm (Home)
Graham St Prims
Pre-Season Friendly
Mon, 30th Jul 2018, 7.30pm (Away)
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