Exmouth Town latest - Chairman moves sideways as new man takes the helm at Southern Road

PUBLISHED: 10:26 20 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:26 20 May 2018

Football flag. Ref exsp 7256-33-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Football flag. Ref exsp 7256-33-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

Exmouth Town has a new chairman, and the future certainly looks very bright and rosey for the Southern Road Club, writes Steve Birley.

With Bob Chamberlain stepping sideways from his chairman’s job to take on the role of president, the new man at the helm is Exton-based businessman and sportsman Stuart Shaw.

It does not take long, when chatting to the new man at the Town helm, to get the impression that things are set to change at the club – and for the better!

That said, it’s very much the case that it’s all about evolution and not revolution for the new man in charge.

Stuart, who knows his football well having played and coached – most recently having an involvement at Alphington – and he is a handy all-round sportsman for, as recently as last summer, he was 1st XI skipper at Alphington CC, is keen to get going in the new role.

He says: “I am a serious advocate of the need for a football club like the one we have at Exmouth Town to become an integral part of the community. I think it’s absolutely paramount to our future well being that we forge good and solid links with the community and get involved with local charities so that we can work with them on various campaigns.”

The new man is also a great believer in the need for sustainability of a football club and not being the type of ‘here today and gone tomorrow’ individual – which sadly does seem to be quite common in the modern game.

At a time when many clubs throw money at campaigns and look to ‘make it big quick’, but thereby also putting at risk the longevity of a club, Stuart says; “A key element of Exmouth Town going forward will be the development of a youth structure to which I’d like to think families will buy into.

“Let’s face it, there’s nothing better than watching your local football team and being able to see local lads that have come up through the ranks, be that at whatever level of football the club plays at.”

He continues: “I see, in the future – and sooner rather than later I sincerely hope - a time when we have at Southern Road, a training area that is used almost every day of the week by youth teams, girl’s team, disabled groups and other community groups.

“Of course, primary to our very being has to be a successful senior side, but equally, that needs to be part of a much bigger picture which involves lots of groups all buying into the same thinking. I am keen to create a football family around the club which offers the opportunity for local people to come in and feel part of something that is truly local in both its core values and the way it operates.”

The new man is also keen to attract local business to buy into the thinking and says: “This whole ethos of local and community includes business and I will be looking to get local business involved in various projects that we undertake.”

He continues: “What has come out loud and clear from my time already with the club is that there really are a serious number of very good folk already in place and I suspect there are other, like minded folk, in the area, who would love to come along and get involved in a project and it is those already at the club and any new blood that I am so keen to harness as we go forward.”

As a parting shot, in terms of our first chat with the new man, he was very keen to place on record his admiration for all the efforts of predecessor, and now club president, Bob [Chamberlain] of whom Stuart said: “We really must place on record sincere and grateful thanks to all that Bob did for, and on behalf of, the club over the years. I suspect, without him, the very existence of the club might have been in doubt and he deserves rich praise for all his efforts.”

And he concluded by saying: “I ought also to mention the unstinting work of his good lady wife Avril for helping run the tea hut and being involved in all manner of other club bits and bobs.”

There’s no doubt that this is all very positive thinking at Southern Road and we wish Stuart all the very best – watch out for more Town news as it develops in the coming weeks both on our website at www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and also in print with the Exmouth Journal being out each Thursday.

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