Valley Gold is an organisation that gives and keeps on giving for the benefit of CAFC and related organisations.
Over the last year, Valley Gold has been busy spending the monies contributed by the membership. As mentioned previously in many communications we do not pay any monies to the football club but we agree to fund certain projects or purchases as requested by the Academy Manager Steve Avory. The committee feels that this gives much better transparency as to where the funds have been spent.
In the last twelve months, Valley Gold has made a vast range of donations ranging from minibuses to paying for trips abroad.
In May 2018 there was an Invitational Tournament for 14/15-year-old Academy players. There were five other teams, Tottenham, Fulham Southend and Ipswich. We even had PSV from Holland. This was a great tournament which was enjoyed by all. The coaches from Tottenham, Fulham and PSV all stated that this was one of the best-organised tournaments they have ever attended. This was due to Valley Gold working closely with the Academy staff and coaches.
In July 2018 we funded the trip for the U23 team to Lilleshall for a pre-season camp for 3 days. This allowed the team to work together in fitness and tactics. There were various quotes from the coaches but the main one was: “On behalf of all of the U23 staff and players we would like to thank Valley Gold members for their continued support not only for us but for all of the CAFC academy”.
Again in July 2018, we paid towards our U16 team to enter the Super Cup in Northern Ireland. This used to be called the Milk Cup and is a tournament attracting teams from across the globe. Although we did not progress past the group stages it was another great experience for our Academy boys.
In September 2018 we donated monies to the CAFC deaf team and also the Women’s team; a total of £4,000 was given to these great causes.
Valley Gold has for the last few years leased 2 minibuses for the Academy boys. These were used for games and other Academy functions. In October 2018 we renewed these two minibuses and also leased another smaller one. The smaller minibus allows for the coaches to drive the boys to games rather than rely on the Transport Staff. Below is a picture of the Valley Gold committee and the Transport team showing all three minibuses
Valley Gold was surprised that none of the U9 to U16 teams had winter coats. In November these were purchased and presented to all of the boys. Below is a picture of the U13’s trying to be catwalk models!!
In December we purchased 40 lockers to be put into the changing rooms for use by the Academy. These are moveable to when the new building is built these can be moved into place.
At Sparrows Lane the U18’s and U23’s play on the proposed show pitch with is outside the main building. Valley Gold has purchased two dugouts. These have been put in place in December and covered in a Valley Gold boards and stickers.
Whilst you are ready this, a group of our U13 and U14 boys will be playing in a tournament organised by Newels Old Boys. One of Newels Old Boys you all may know is Lionel Messi. We have been invited because of the connections Adam Lawrence has in South America. Our Academy is held in such high esteem that we are the only European Academy to be invited. Our boys will be playing against teams from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Peru and Argentina. Steve Avory and Adam feel this will only benefit the boys playing against teams from other continents.
In the future, we are sponsoring the North East trip for the U11’s where they play games against Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesborough.
We are also holding an expanded Invitational Tournament in May with the likes of PSV, Lille, Spurs, Fulham, West Ham, Southend and Ipswich playing games at Sparrows Lane and the Valley.
I hope that this has given you a flavour of where your hard earned contributions are spent.