The club wish to take this opportunity to provide a full update to our members, supporters and stakeholders as we, along with all others, attempt to navigate the challenges provided by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Detailed below are the key area's and issues that are being addressed by the Club Board and officials during this difficult period.
Despite the lack of match-day income as a result of the enforced premature end to the Lowland League season, the club remains on a very solid financial footing and will be fully prepared in every way for the start of next season, whenever that may be.
1st Team Manager
In the days and weeks in March prior to the suspension of the Lowland League season, and the full implementation of Government social distancing measures, the Board had commenced an initial round of interviews with candidates shortlisted from our recruitment application process in February.
Our intention to carry out secondary and final interviews from a truncated list of candidates in the last week of March was prevented by the restrictions placed on face-to-face contact as a result of lockdown. Despite a desire to complete the recruitment process in April, the advice from Government, our Club Doctor and Board legal representative meant that the restrictions which have remained in place have prevented us from completing the process in full.
Such is the importance of ensuring that we make the correct Managerial appointment, the club will not deviate from our plan to thoroughly evaluate all candidates in a fair and proper and manner, and will do so as soon as Government and medical advice deems it safe to do so. All of our members, supporters and stakeholders should be assured that this appointment remains of huge priority to the club and that we remain dedicated to our high level of ambitions for East Kilbride FC and the wider town.
In the absence of a permanent Managerial appointment, the club has used the last two weeks to remotely engage with all current 1st players to gauge their level of interest and commitment to the club for next season. We are pleased that the majority of players have intimated a willingness to remain at the club, and will be prepared to have substantial dialogue with the new Manager when appointed. The Board felt that this was an appropriate course of action to take, so that all Managerial candidates can be provided with this information in order to consider it along with their own recruitment ideas and wishes. We were also pleased at the positive response from the members of our Reserve squad during similar discussions, after the emergence of several players from our youth and Reserve groups during the season. This follows on from our strong player path-way which has gone before in previous seasons and which remains vital to the club's vision moving forward.
External player identification & recruitment
The club can confirm that we have remained active in the player identification and recruitment market, so that a list of potential players can be made available for review and decision by the new Manager when appointed, in order to offer support from day one. Prospective Managerial candidates will also be expected to demonstrate their own external player requirements and preferences to ensure that the team returns to a position to strongly challenge for the next Lowland League title when football recommences.
Club engagement events planned for re-start
In order to help galvanise the club and local community, it is our intention to hold some form of engagement event/s when life begins to return to normal, so that all members of the club and beyond can enjoy and appreciate the benefits of community football, with a particular focus on our younger players and teams. We hope to be able to provide more detail on this when we have an approved timetable from the Government about re-starting team sporting activities.
Finally, the club would like to again extend our thanks and appreciation to all NHS staff and other key workers for helping to ensure that we remain as safe and well as possible in a very difficult time.