U's Chairman Dave Doggett on the upcoming campaign
Cambridge United Chairman Dave Doggett pens his thoughts as the U’s ramp up preparations for the 2015/15 Football League season.
Doggett discusses the current refurbishments taking place at the Abbey Stadium, the U’s pre-season schedule and the bubbling anticipation ahead of the new campaign.
Twelve months ago we were looking at our first season back in the Football League and we had about six weeks after the play-off final to prepare for the new season. That didn’t give us much of an opportunity to do anything.
However after a good season last year, particularly with the FA Cup run, we have now got the chance to spend some money on the refurbishing the ground.
The Dublin suite has been extended so we can give supporters an improved experience, whilst there will also be a new Sponsor’s Lounge and a Director’s Lounge from the start of the new campaign.
For the first time in 35 years we have fitted new home and away changing, which is quite a milestone. The dressing rooms have looked progressively tattier over the years, so they will now be fit for purpose.
The pitch is coming along nicely too. When I went away to Portugal for the Football League annual AGM two weeks ago, there was no grass on the pitch and by the time I returned, thankfully there was.
When you are looking at a brown piece of field, at the back of your mind you can’t help but think, will it be ready in time?
The pitch is now sprouting and we look forward to the start of the pre-season.
I find looking at our pre-season schedule makes interesting reading, because two or three years ago it was difficult to encourage larger teams to come and play us at the Abbey Stadium. Now they are keen to come because they know they will receive a warm welcome, a good game on a good pitch.
That certainly builds up the excitement for all the fans. As people look forward that continues to grow and we have obviously made some exciting signings also. Season ticket sales are up and you can really sense the feeling that everyone wants to get going again.
My message to the supporters at the moment would be simple, keep getting excited!
We haven’t got long to go now and the fixtures are out next week, as well as the draw for Round One of the Capital One Cup. We have around six weeks until away we go once more.