Birmingham Blaze FC AGM

Birmingham Blaze FC logoYesterday I had the honour of being one of the returning officers for the committee elections at the Birmingham Blaze FC AGM.

I founded the club in 2005 with a kickabout on the site of the proposed Aquatics Centre by the Nelson School in Ladywood. From those tentative beginnings great things have happened. This season the club, chaired ably by Michael McCulley and managed by Fiona Washington, finished second in the GNL.

The club was founded on the basis of inclusiveness with a “football for all” ethos. In the early days this ethos worked well, but following success comes the inevitable divisions. There was a lively debate on this issue at the AGM and as a result of this there will be a wide ranging review of the club’s future.

As returning officer I had to remain silent, but now the elections are over I feel I can comment.

The club finished second in the national league, yet this was seen as failure by some. Take a step back folks – this was nothing short of an incredible achievement and each and every one of you should be brimming with pride. The club is exactly that, a club, not a team. For new players there needs to be opportunity or they will disappear and the club’s growth will stall. There is merit in the idea of two teams but this would need to be managed very carefully to avoid a huge division within the club. The Midlands Unity League idea should be investigated further and I would be happy to help facilitate any discussions. I also think entering a 5-a-side league is an easy way to increase the playing options.

I’m confident the membership has chosen a strong committee and it will be interesting to see what the change of manager (welcome Ian Thomas) brings to the club.

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