Chairman's Christmas Message

Chairman's Christmas Message 2011


2011 has been a very busy year for all involved at Wick Academy F.C. both on and off the field.

The year started after a five week break due to the weather with a loss at home to our local rivals Brora Rangers. We ended the second half with 7 wins 12 losses and 3 draws on the 28th May, yet another marathon season.

Before the end of the season, Tichie and Zeekie both tendered their resignations, but offered to stay in place until the last game. We advertised the position and had applicants from Caithness and outwith.  After sifting through them we made a shortlist. We held interviews with then and we appointed Davie Kirkwood as manager assisted by Tichie Hughes and appointed Gary Manson as Player Coach. We were very impressed with the calibre of all the other applicants. This is Davie's first appointment in senior football and his enthusiasm has gone through the entire club.

The new season didn't start as we had planned, loosing out in the North Cup to local North reserve team Halkirk, but great praise to them for reaching the semi final against Caley Thistle, where they put up a tremendous performance and did Caithness proud.
This season in the league we have won 6, drawn 2 and lost 8 and are sitting 12th in the table with games in hand. The league is so tight in the mid section and we can progress up the league in the season ahead. We have quality players that can do that for us.

During the close season we installed a new floodlight system, and I know those of you that have seen them working will see the vast improvement. We did get financial assistant from the Scottish Football Partnership and they were impressed with the work.

The under 17's under the leadership of James Robertson and George Groat have a talented young squad who have been winning games and there are some there that will make the grade into the first team. Alan Hughes and James Mackay are already regular squad members. Caithness United, who run our under 15s are doing tremendous work in developing players to come through the system and play as Wick Academy 15's in the SHFL 15s league. A big thanks to all coaches and committee involved at Caithness United. These young players are the life-blood of the Club.

Around the park we put scaffold boards around the park and tidied up the advertising boards. Work was carried out on the playing surface, new turf on goalmouth, spiking and sand on the pitch along with fertiliser. The park has been in the best condition for many years and even at this time of year is one of the best in the SHFL. There were many other general maintenance jobs done around the park and as I am writing this we are installing a disabled toilet.

We will be applying for National Club licence in January and are very confident that we will obtain it and be one of the first in the SHFL to receive it. Well done to all involved. We have also been awarded with a SFA youth Quality Mark, which demonstrates the calibre of our youth set-up.

As we go into 2012 there are many challenges ahead and I will briefly touch on them. The SFA are talking about a "Pyramid System" where there will be a Super League (Highland Super League and Lowland Super League) below the SPL and SFL. The SHFL will then drop down to the non professional leagues. I will be happy to discuss this with anyone who wants to know more but I can assure you we will do everything we can to protect what we have and our voice will not go unheard.

Their will be financial challenges ahead due to increased overhead costs rising all the time and if you wish to find out how you can help then please ask any of the committee.

On behalf of the committee, management team, coaches and players, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, supporters and helpers for their continuing tremendous support during 2011.

Finally I personally wish to thank everyone at the Club for their support and hard work during 2011 to make my life as chairman a lot easier. From all at Wick Academy we wish you a very prosperous and happy New Year and look forward to your continued support in 2012.

Colin Stewart
Chairman, Wick Academy FC