This close-season will long be remembered by club members as the period which almost brought Colden Common FC to its knees. However, a mixture of commitment, loyalty and belief saw this respected club save its bacon'.

The lure of a new league (Hampshire Premier) at Step 7 and the desire to prove there is a life after Wessex' proved a major motivating factor.

Circumstances dictated that during last term, despite many seasons of loyalty for which Colden Common is truly grateful, the players decided they just had to pit their wits' against opposition higher up the pyramid.

After a glorious period for Common, in particular the 2000s during which the club enjoyed league and cup success (including a couple of doubles'), the club found itself hamstrung' by an inability to develop their home' and, therefore, a barrier to progress further up the Pyramid.

Although we have had to dispense, temporarily, with our Reserve side (There are simply not enough players to go round at present) we are keen to provide opposition that truly reflects the footballing ethos of Colden Common FC.

Indeed, the Under 18s, under Trevor Flood, and our Veterans, managed by old Commoner Dave Hadfield, are keen to maintain the club's traditions on the football field It will be a young squad but Paul Gilbert, along with his training team including Manny Andrusewski and Lance Bowie, is optimistic that the mix of youth, experience and Vets will gel to form a challenging squad.

Disappointingly Paul Gilbert will probably have to relinquish his role, due to a change in working circumstances, so amidst all the change that has gone before, we are keen to hear from any budding or experienced manager who would be interested in taking the reins at Colden Common FC.

In the meantime preparations are well advanced for the new Hampshire Premier League season with home friendlies against Old Oakmeadians (Bournemouth League) on Saturday (Aug 4) and Hamble ASSC (Wessex Premier) on Tuesday (Aug 7, 6:30pm).