"As the curtains draw to a premature close on our inaugural season at at Alliance Park, now seems as good a time as any to reflect on first season as Caledonian Braves FC.
Looking back to July 2019, which today seems a lifetime away, we changed our name from Edusport Academy to Caledonian Braves following an online vote where over 800 fans from across 35 different countries had the chance to vote for change.
The vote gave birth to a brand new club and Caledonian Braves became Scotland’s youngest senior football club. With the average age of a senior football club in excess of 100 years old, we are a small acorn in an ageing forest, though you know what they say about acorns…..
Moving into Alliance Park at the stat of the season was an enormous step for us. Where we had perviously been playing in Annan, 86 miles from our current home, we were now offered the opportunity to set down some roots and try and grow a local fans base. We have been pleased and encouraged to see our small fanbase growing each week and look forward to developing this into next season.
Although challenging, particularly when it comes to hospitality on match day, we have make good progress and our staff and volunteers have made up for their lack of experience with a real desire to welcome fans and officials from opposition clubs and offer them the best experience we can. On this front, we are looking forward to next season and continuing to improve having already made some good friends this season.
On the park we were able to build a good squad, with a nice balance of hungry younger players and a few more experienced, wiser heads. Considering that this squad was almost entirely built from scratch in the summer, I am very proud of how they have performed and how they have all settled into the club. The ambition and desire to improve is there and we are all looking forward to building on our first season.
When Ricky and Colin set about building the squad at the start of the season, our plan was to create a squad that we could develop and grow into a title challenging team in the next couple of years. For this, not only did we need ambitious young players but we also needed good people who understood and bought into the ethos and the spirit of the club. On this level, Ricky has done a great job as this is exactly what we have.
An 8th place finish in a an increasingly competitive league in our first season is satisfactory, though we will look for improvement next season. We have shown that we can not only compete, though dominate some of the best teams in the league and next year our objective will be to do this on a more consistent basis.
Off the park, we have worked tirelessly to finish the ever awaited app. The irony is that now, as the season draws to an end, the app is almost ready. The app hopefully go along way to helping us grow a fanbase and a community around the club. With the launch of the app, we will become the first club in Scotland with a bespoke app specifically designed at improving fan interaction. The app will allow fans access to all areas of the club and give them a voice and a vote, with all matters relating to the governance and running of the club.
We have also finished the production of our own documentary which tells the story of the transition from Edusport Academy to Caledonian Braves and our move to Alliance Park. Although football based, the film focuses on the people behind the scenes and is more a story of people, hope and ambition than anything else. I am now focusing on the distribution of the film in the hope that it will allow football fans an enjoyable watch and maybe even increase our fanbase. In any case, I am very proud of it and hope you will be too.
So now we must turn our attentions to next season and the preparation is already well underway. Our focus will be on re-signing players and looking to add some experience to the squad. Off the park we will strive to promote the club, the app and the documentary as we continue to try and grow our fanbase locally and internationally. It’s an exciting time for the club and it’s only the very beginning."