I have taken the club as far as I could and a new impetus and direction is needed to push us forward and onto the next level, says Sheppey United chairman Matthew Smith
SHEPPEY UNITED chairman Matthew Smith has appointed Gary Seamark as joint-chairman of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division club.
Seamark has been the clubs Youth Section chairman for the past three seasons and has come on board ahead of the 2021-22 football season, which gets underway on Saturday 31 July 2021.
Holm Park has undergone extensive ground improvements this summer with a newly-laid artificial playing surface and new floodlighting being installed.
“I’ve seen what a great club it is for the local community,” Seamark told the club website.
“We have built a great youth structure that starts from under eight’s through to our brand new post-16 full-time Academy.
“Everything we are doing at the club continues to build the foundations for a great future and progressing youngsters through the youth sides and Academy will ultimately benefit the club in the long-term.
“The facilities at Holm Park are something we are all proud of. The current ground redevelopment to accommodate a new state of the art 3G pitch offers great opportunity to all of our teams as well as the public.
“We’ve also invested in new floodlights, which look amazing and we can’t wait for you to see all of these new improvements soon. These are very exciting times for me to be getting involved.
“I am very fortunate to be joining a fantastic and highly supportive committee. It was clear to see at the Annual General Meeting that everyone within the group are driven to see the club continue to go from strength to strength.
“I am thrilled we have Kerri Godden on board to manage the day-to-day business at Holm Park, which I am sure will see the facility become a real community hub.”
Explaining the appointment, Smith added: “Monday evening was a pivotal moment in the evolution of Sheppey United FC.
“As chairman, I have taken the club as far as I could and a new impetus and direction is needed to push us forward and onto the next level.
“In Gary I believe this to be the appointment that will benefit the senior club, bringing the same values as Gary has delivered through the junior section.
“The only reason I have not stepped away or down as chairman is the intricate nature of running our club and Gary will need help and support in the interim as he comes to terms with running and managing a £200,000 plus a year football business.
“Gary will be the lead next season with me supporting as time allows. However, I honestly feel that after nine seasons at the club I have given it my heart and soul – from walking into the old ground as it was, to leaving a team competing in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division and playing on a 3G surface under LED lights that will benefit the island for generations to come.
“I can step aside knowing that I, along with all the committee along the way, have made a real difference.
“I am in no way forgetting the great work that all of the committee have and will continue to do in running this great club. I just know how much I have given to the football club.
“Over the past few years and what has happened outside of football, I have come to realise that time is a commodity that cannot be bought or sold like everything else in life and the time I have spent I will never ever get back.
“I have been torn for a number of years between the time needed to run this club and the needs of my beautiful wife Clare and our children.
“I have and will always put Sheppey United FC first and in stepping aside in this manner I am again doing what is right for our great club.
“We need the new drive that Gary and the committee will bring and I know that when I come to games from now on I will not need to worry about money or re-stocking bars, etc. I can just support and enjoy the games.”
Ernie Batten continues in the role of first-team manager, with Marcel Nimani retaining the role as assistant-manager, as Sheppey United and Chatham Town battle it out for the league title.
“I beg each and every supporter to welcome Gary to the senior side of the club and give him and Ernie your full backing in what I am sure is going to be an exciting season ahead,” added Smith.
Sheppey United begin their pre-season campaign with a trip to Isthmian League South East Division side Sittingbourne on Thursday 8 July.
“Ernie and Marcel have put together a good pre-season programme to prepare us ready for when the season starts for real. It won’t be too long now before we can start welcoming our amazing supporters back to the stadium in the very near future,” added Smith.
Visit Sheppey United’s website: www.sheppeyunitedfc.co.uk