Barendrechts Dagblad | Packed canteen at Smitshoek’s New Year’s Eve reception

In a crowded canteen, the members of Smitshoek gathered on Saturday to wish each other the best for 2023 and raise the trophy to a successful new year. Naturally, President Simon Kelder delivered his traditional New Year’s address. This is the full text:

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to welcome you to our New Year’s reception.

Fortunately, the Corona years have passed so that we can meet again in the always comfortable living room.

A brief review of the past year means that we as a Council can be satisfied. The athletic performance was, with a few exceptions, quite decent. It was remarkable that our first team had been suffering from home syndrome since February. Our youth teams have achieved good results at various levels.

The staff in our living room has undergone a major transformation. Congratulations to everyone who worked to get the good atmosphere back and we had nothing to complain about the change of staff. The kitchen has been extensively renovated, improving working conditions.

We were able to surprise our valued crew with the purchase of a new tractor. Even the museum no longer wants the old tractor. Cees van der Meer finished working on the cast at the end of last month, due to his advancing age. We bid farewell to this volunteer from the outset in an appropriate manner. The ladies’ division was able to celebrate its anniversary in May in a good way. Many enjoyed seeing their old club mates again. The Supporters Association once again put on a number of good events, the highlight being the wheel bolt and traditional competition. We can be proud that the Barendrecht municipality has organized a number of meetings in our canteen to their full satisfaction.

Then look ahead to the new year.

At the moment, the energy crisis also hangs over our relationship, of which the late Anton Gesink was very jealous. We don’t know what to expect at the moment because all kinds of arrangements from the government, the municipality and the KNVB are not yet known exactly. On the internal front, we have of course discussed a number of possible measures to be taken. Once there is the required clarity, we will make a decision on which path to take. Regardless of everything, we do our best not to disturb the lives of ordinary associations too seriously.

The municipality has now prepared a proposal to provide LED lighting in three areas that are used extensively for training. We will then have LED lighting in five areas. In addition to cost savings, it also means a quality boost.

Plans to install artificial turf on our home court will continue this year. We hope we can finish the discussion in consultation with the municipality in a good way. Thereafter, we will eagerly receive the desired expansion to provide our training and competition.

We are sorry that this development has caused some noise among a small group of members. We do not share the view of those who claim that we have acted in violation of our regulations. As soon as there are significant developments related to field construction, we will announce this via our website.

This year, as far as our first team is concerned, we’ll be dealing with football at the weekend. We say goodbye to the contest Saturday and Sunday of a number of KNVB departments. A complete change has a few feet in the ground. In addition to facing new opponents, many clubs will be faced with a new match day and different start times. With a small group of people, I discussed several matters of interest to us with the KNVB last year. The result was so satisfactory that the concerns that were there were largely dispelled.

On a sporting level, we hope to be able to continue the line that has been set across the board. We are also working on a new plan to better put our senior youth division on the map. We keep a close eye on new member growth as we don’t want to get into a situation where not all members can train and play. The queue we currently have is really a thorn in our side.

The aim is to attract as many qualified coaches as possible to our youth teams. This in itself is by no means an easy task.

Fees being paid to players who are part of the first team is a well known fact. You know, we have not been able to avoid this for many years. However, we will not agree to the general madness that is currently prevailing and will appear in clubs. If players leave us for this reason, we take it for granted.

The point of interest has been carrying out our trading activities for some time now. We simply lack the power of men and women to translate the good name we have built into attracting more sponsors. From this place I appeal to all of you to think well or cooperate for the sake of increasing our commercial income.

This year we will pay more attention to promoting mutual communication. Doing more with and for each other will only strengthen our connection.

I do not want to bore you too much with my speech, so it is impossible to name all the activities within our club and give the required attention. Well, I say:

We have a great relationship with many good, hard-working people. We really appreciate that and we’re proud of it too. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to our association in the past year.

On behalf of the Board, I express my wish that we can count on your commitment and cooperation again this year.

Finally, I wish all of you and your loved ones, on behalf of the Board of Directors, a good, sporty but above all healthy 2023.

After these words, you can all have a drink from the board for half an hour (after all, we must be economical).

Photo: Submitted

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