Town looking to the future as Chamberlain makes plans for the way ahead at Southern Road.

PUBLISHED: 10:33 18 August 2010

Exmouth Town Football Club 2010/2011 team.; Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exsp 9989-33-10AW

Exmouth Town Football Club 2010/2011 team.; Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exsp 9989-33-10AW

Archant

There have been a number of changes at Southern Road during the summer and now Exmouth Town look set for the new season.

EXMOUTH Town has seen considerable change behind the scene during the summer with the arrival of Bob Chamberlain into the role of Football Chairman.

That is bound to be a position of real strength which the Southern Road club can build on.

Chamberlain spent years trying very hard to get Clyst Rovers higher up the football pyramid, working tirelessly to that end.

He was getting more and more frustrated at Waterslade Park and so the opportunity to get involved at Southern Road was not to be spurned.

Chamberlain said: “We tried and tried again to get things moving at Clyst Rovers, but it seemed around every corner was a hurdle or an obstacle. Clyst was very much out on a limb and, although it’s perhaps unkind, it is probably correct that the only way you find Clyst Rovers Football Club is if you are lost! Here, at Exmouth Town, we have something really tangible to work with and already I am really impressed with the apparent willingness of sponsors to come on board and they are the life-blood of the business for, if we can generate sufficient sponsorships, thereby improving the infra-structure at the ground, we will, in due course, get more people through the gate and so be able to invest in the team. It’s a long process, but one that can work from the solid base we have at Southern Road.”

Graham Bedford and Alan Lewis are the men tasked with taking on the side for the new South West Peninsula League season and Chamberlain has no qualms about the pair doing a good job.

He says: “Graham and Alan know how I work and I am sure together we can get things moving. We are not looking to uproot trees. It’s going to be more a case of consolidation as the first priority and from that, hopefully, improving on last year’s very good effort by Jody Bolt’s team.”

On the departure of Bolt, Chamberlain said: “I was disappointed how that all turned out. I was looking forward to working with Jody, but it was not to be.”

Johnny Holding is one of a number of new faces that have joined Town for the pre-season that has seen almost all last season’s squad return for another campaign.

Chamberlain says: “I know it’s a well-oiled phrase - sleeping giant - but everybody you speak to in the non-league game is of the opinion that, if there is anywhere in Devon where there is serious potential for a thriving non-league football club that is at the very epi-centre of the community, then it is the one that has a ground at Southern Road”.

Chamberlain accepts that it will not all happen overnight. He says: “It’s got to be seen as work in progress, on and off the pitch. I like what I see both of the squad being put together and, indeed, the enthusiasm for all things Exmouth Town by the good people who have been involved for many years. Now is the time for us all to pull together and very much in the same direction and, with a fair wind and bags of effort, we’ll, hopefully, end up with exactly the sort of football club we want to see representing the Town.

Off the pitch, the club are starting to look at ground improvements.

Chamberlain said: “We are looking very seriously at putting up an improved main stand, for we recognise that we need to improve the facilities and with that a better match day experience, so that ultimately, we can attract more and new support.”

Businesses have been quick to sign up with two in particular, The George and Dragon Pub at Clyst St Mary and Mid Devon Tyres, already actively involved with a resurgent and positive Town.”

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