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Crawley programme notes: it’s important to look back to move forward

The Robins Trust provides some thoughts for the club’s matchday programme for each home game and we’ll publish them on our website a few days afterwards:

I’m still very much finding my feet as Fan Elected Director.

Annoyingly I’ve been stitched with the parking space between Paul Bence and Andy Wilcox, but on the positive side I’m massively encouraged with the way the board are backing our new ideas.

We had another positive meeting to discuss the future of the Robins Trust this week. Bryan Jacob’s extraordinary gesture gave every Cheltenham Town supporter a voice at board level, but our membership of fewer than 300 people remains a source of frustration.

I always think it’s important to look back to move forward. We’re lucky in a sense that for 20 years now we have had a huge amount of success on the pitch, give or take a few moments to forget, so the role of the Trust hasn’t needed to be a militant one. The club has been run sustainably and we’ve been rewarded with so many great memories as a result.

Before Bryan’s contribution the idea of raising enough capital to take a seat at the top table was a pipe dream. A lot of hard work went into establishing the organisation and fundraising but the end goal was always a long way off. But everything changed overnight.

So how do we build for the next 20 years? We have a responsibility to continue to raise funds – every penny of which is invested into the club in exchange for shares – but as the fourth biggest shareholder in the club we now need to be far more representative of the town and supporter base.

There’s obviously not enough of us for starters, which we’re looking to change. We want at least a thousand people on board and we hope to reveal our plans to achieve that at our AGM in October, because it’s not unrealistic in my eyes given the crowds we get at Whaddon Road.

There is some terrific work going around the place by the Community Trust, Academy and Ladies and we need to tell the story of what they’re doing in a much better way. I’ve been talking to everyone involved and we hope to work far more closely with them to make sure the town knows what’s going on here.

You only have to look at the excitement created by several England sides this summer, including a stunning success by the great Keith Downing with his Under-19s, to realise that there is much more going on at clubs beyond the first team. Recruitment and community are key.

Our Open Day was a big hit and it perfectly encapsulated the three themes we’re trying to put centre stage this season. The current playing squad and staff were fantastic, mixing with supporters ahead of the new season. The Ladies, Academy and Community Trust held interactive sessions and the legends gave up their Sundays to play a crucial part in our Crowdfunder campaign.

The past, present and future working together – as you may have seen during the away kit launch at Pittville Pump Rooms.

We’re giving it all prominence online, across social media, on the scoreboard, in the new-look programme and on the new BBC Gloucestershire show every fortnight. It’s so important to get the #OurTown message out there.

But while I represent the Trust at board level, the Trust doesn’t truly represent the supporters and we have to come together to improve that.

We’ve got the seat, but now we need to speak confidently on behalf over everyone.

Murry Toms, Fan Elected Director

Members guaranteed ticket for West Ham

Robins Trust members will be guaranteed a ticket for Cheltenham Town’s Carabao Cup tie against West Ham United.

As has been the case with previous high-demand games, Trust members will benefit from being in the second priority tier, after season ticket holders and club shareholders
The Trust’s Fan Elected Director Murry Toms has been involved in discussions regarding the ticketing arrangements and has made strong representations on behalf of Trust members.

Trust acting chairman Tarran Wilson said: “As soon as the draw was made, the Trust board discussed our desire to renew the priority arrangements we have enjoyed in the past.

“Murry immediately made the case to the football club board and we are delighted to say that the arrangement we have had in the past has been renewed.”

As part of the agreement between the Football Club and Trust, there will be a cut-off for new members to receive ticket priority.

All existing Trust members will be automatically receive priority as per the club’s official announcement on Friday.

Any supporter wishing to become a member and receive priority must be a paid-up member before midnight on Tuesday, August 15.

Supporters were able to sign up for membership before and after Saturday’s game against Crawley Town and can do at Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy game against Swansea City Under-21s.

Trust members will then be able to purchase one ticket per valid membership on Wednesday, August 16 and Thursday, August 17, prior to general sale starting on Friday, August 18.

Fan Elected Director Murry Toms said: “Part of my responsibility as the Trust’s FED is to fight for the rights of our members, so as soon as the tie was drawn I put our case to my fellow board members.

“Ticket priority is one of the Trust’s key selling points and I am pleased that the rest of the board have been open to renewing the arrangements we have enjoyed in the past.

“This priority should mean all Trust members are guaranteed a ticket for one of our biggest home games in years, who knows you could have a ticket for Man United in the next round too!”

Trust members will be entitled to one ticket per membership. Family members will have access to a maximum of two adult tickets and the number of child tickets as prescribed on their membership.

Anyone wishing to join the Trust can do so via www.robinstrust.org. Membership forms, for fans paying by cash, will also be available prior to the Crawley and Swansea games.

Open Day 2017: No dramas! Robins Trust to launch Aaron Downes Legend T-shirt


He was the first player to sign up to Gary Johnson’s Robins revolution and led us to National League title glory – now Aaron Downes is to star on a T-shirt.

Cheltenham’s number one Aussie has been a massive fan favourite during his time with the Robins due to his fine on-field performance and, perhaps more tellingly, his leadership and character off it.

In the famous green and gold colours of Australia, the shirt shows Downesy with the National League trophy with the man himself explaining the reason behind the “No dramas” slogan.

“I suppose it’s a fairly typical Aussie phrase and it’s certainly one I say a lot,” Downes said.

“Unlike a lot of what Harry Pell says, it makes perfect sense!”

“I am honoured that the Trust have chosen to do this. It’s a massive thing for me that the fans think of me in that way.

“I have always appreciated the fans at every club I’ve played for and I am pleased to say they have always seemed to take to me.

“That kind of relationship with the supporters has always meant more to me than going to the next club for a few extra quid.

“I have always wanted to be that loyal bloke who is appreciated by the fans and I am thrilled that, they’ve chosen me for this shirt.

“That day when we picked up the National League title was one of the best moments of my career. I still get a shiver down my spine when I see the pictures now.

“And now to have the moment captured in the green and gold of Australia is perfect.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since inception in 2005 the Trust has produced a number of legend shirts to commemorate the great players and cult heroes to have represented the Robins.

There are plans to release a number of new designs over the course of the next season, but acting chairman Tarran Wilson and the Trust board felt that captain Downes should be the first.

Tarran said: “When we spoke at a Trust meeting we all agreed that Downesy would make the perfect design for the second phase of Trust shirts.

“He was the first man to sign up to the new era, was captain of our National League title winners and has become a massive fan favourite.

“We are hoping to launch new designs throughout the season, honouring special players and special moments, so watch this space.”

The Aaron Downes NO DRAMAS T-shirts cost £14 or £12 for Trust members and will be on sale at the Robins Trust run Cheltenham Town Open Day on Sunday.

There is an initial limited edition run of shirts for sale in a variety of sizes, but the Trust will be taking orders and producing another run to satisfy demand.

The Trust are also running a prize draw for a signed Neil Grayson legend shirt – to be in with a chance of winning it, visit the Trust stand at the Open Day.

For more information about the Robins Trust Cheltenham Town Open Day visit www.robinstrust.org and www.ctfc.com

The Robins Trust Cheltenham Town Open Day

WHERE: Seasons, Quat Goose Lane, Swindon Village, GL51 9RX.
WHEN: Sunday, July 16 2017 from midday. Doors open 11.30am.
COST: FREE

Running order:

12pm: First team get to work for their daily training session
12.30pm: The Cup-winning Cheltenham Town Ladies host an open training session
1pm: Watch the Robins v the Robins as the squad go head-to-head in 7v7 action.
1.30pm: Launch of the 2017/18 change kit
2.15pm: Meet Gary Johnson and the players
2.30pm: Robins fans v Legends

Open Day 2017: Bring your boots, girls!

Cheltenham Town’s Ladies team will take centre stage at the Robins Trust run club Open Day on Sunday, July 16.

The 2016/17 GFA Women’s Trophy winners will be holding an interactive training session – and girls of all ages are invited to bring their boots and get involved.

Open Day 2017 will kick-off at midday, when Gary Johnson and his first team squad report for work on a busy day of pre-season training, but attention will soon shift from the men to the ladies.

From 12.30pm manager Graham Fletcher and the Ladies team will be running a training session for girls of all ages.

Fletcher said that the idea of getting his squad involved was that of the Trust’s Fan Elected Director Murry Toms.

Cheltenham Town Ladies boss Graham Fletcher

“Murry has been key in getting us there on the day and we are delighted to be involved,” he said.

“We have a session planned with the girls that will include something that we call the Cheltenham Game followed by a number of interactive games for people to get involved with, so bring your boots.”

The interactive session is perfectly planned as it kicks off Girls Football Week, a Football Association run scheme aimed at improving female participation in football at all levels.

Fletcher is even hopeful that some new talent will show themselves at the Open Day and add to a burgeoning number of players who put on the red and white shirt and represent Cheltenham Town.

“This is perfectly timed for us as it comes at the start of Girls Football Week and at a time when Cheltenham Town Ladies are going from strength to strength,” Fletcher added.

“In the past few months we have merged with Cheltenham Spa Youth and we now have a pathway of players from under-8 level through to the first team.

“At our first training session earlier this week we had 48 girls involved and that shows the strength in depth we have as a club.

“We have also been lucky enough to have Baroness Sue Campbell, head of women’s football at the FA come along and see the great work we are doing.

“And with the women’s team playing two games at Whaddon Road this coming season, it’s a really exciting time to be involved with Cheltenham Town Ladies.”

The Ladies team have also been included in a special event to launch the club’s new change strip, with the full details revealed – like the new kit – at the Open Day.

Open Day 2017: Download the poster

Trust FED Murry Toms is thrilled to see the Ladies team play a full part in the Open Day.

“While there is no official link between the two clubs the Trust board and I felt that it was vital to have a good, strong bond,” he said.

“I have a young daughter and when she grows up I want her to be able to have a chance to wear the red and white stripes and call herself a Cheltenham Town player.

“I am sure that is the case for hundreds of parents across the town and Gloucestershire. Hopefully the Open Day will showcase the great work down by Graham and his fantastic team of footballers.

“Like Gary Johnson and his team, the Ladies represent our town and the Trust are thrilled they can be involved at the Open Day.”

The Open Day will also feature the launch of the new 2017/18 change kit and the Fans v Legends match that was one of the rewards for the Crowdfunder Scoreboard campaign.

For more information about the Robins Trust Cheltenham Town Open Day visit www.robinstrust.org and www.ctfc.com

The Robins Trust Cheltenham Town Open Day

WHERE: Seasons, Quat Goose Lane, Swindon Village, GL51 9RX.
WHEN: Sunday, July 16 2017 from midday. Doors open 11.30am.
COST: FREE

Running order:

12pm: First team get to work for their daily training session
12.30pm: The Cup-winning Cheltenham Town Ladies host an open training session
1pm: Watch the Robins v the Robins as the squad go head-to-head in 7v7 action.
1.30pm: Launch of the 2017/18 change kit
2.15pm: Meet Gary Johnson and the players
2.30pm: Robins fans v Legends