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KICKING OFF: Biddie's wish for Terras
DELIVERING a product that Wey-mouth fans can be proud of is Nigel Biddlecombe’s wish ahead of the forthcoming season.
The Terras’ chairman, who took over the club from the George Rolls family back in February, cannot wait for the big kick-off tomorrow and is confident better times lie ahead at the Bob Lucas Stadium after almost half-a-decade of turmoil.
Biddlecombe told Echosport: “The responsibility of going in as chairman of Weymouth FC, which has been my pride and joy for over 50 years, is obviously quite heavy but nerves aside, I am very much looking forward to it.
“In my humble opinion, Brendon King and Matt Groves have managed to put together the best squad of players WFC has had for several seasons and I don’t think many people would argue with that.
“The likes of Barry McConnell, Scott Walker, Danny Clay and Kyle Critchell have great experience and will bring an awful lot to the squad and alongside the raw talent of Mark Ford, Sam Poole and others we appear to have a really good mix.
“In fact it’s really quite exciting and I would love to think the spectators will come along in good numbers tomorrow against Kettering Town (3pm) and really help us move forward.”
When asked what his expectations are, he added: “For the past couple of years I have been sick of looking over our shoulders all the time, worrying about what the teams behind us are doing, so this season it would be nice to be looking up instead.
“Potentially we have a very good side but for me it is just about consolidation, not making any more silly mistakes off the field and giving our fans a product they can be proud of.
“If we can achieve that as a club and the team could throw in a top-10 finish as well that would be fantastic.”
With the struggles of the past five years still fresh in many fans’ memories, Biddlecombe has also moved to reassure supporters about the club’s current financial standing.
He said: “Since we signed Kyle Critchell from Dorchester Town, I have been made aware of a few concerns from fans but I can confirm that WFC did not pay a penny towards his transfer.
“It was partly paid through a donation from the Weymouth FC Supporters Association and by a personal donation by one of the directors by way of a share purchase, so the football club did not spend budgeted money on the fee.
“As far as the overall budget is concerned, all the players on contracts will be rewarded on their efforts rather than just for turning up.
“The more points they get the better we will pay them.
“At the present time we are comfortable with the budget and hopefully if we start getting results people will start coming back through the turnstiles.
“We are budgeting for crowds of 600 and that is well within what we can expect to get.
“Although I would love to see 1,500 crowds again, we know we need to give fans a product they can believe in again before that can happen.
“It is the same situation in terms of trying to get sponsorship in as some people are still very tentative about WFC and have doubts.
“It is our job to dispel those doubts and get local businesses starting to believe in us again.
“That is one of the big challenges we are concentrating on and although it may take time I am sure with hard work we can get those people trusting in us again.”
Another facet of the club Biddlecombe wants to see continue is youth development.
He concluded: “A lot of good players have come through the ranks here at Weymouth in recent years and we want that to carry on.
“The under-18 development side we are getting set up and running this year is key to that and so is the reserveteam.
“There are some good youngsters in those sides and hopefully they will continue pushing through in the years ahead.”