Fans Forum review
The Harriers held their annual meeting with the fans last night and an enjoyable evening was had by all at a packed out Aggborough Suite.
The top table seats were occupied by Jimmy Conway, Colin Youngjohns, Steve Thomas (MC), Jan Molby, Barry Norgrove and representing the players the Club Captain, Wayne Hatswell. All questions were pre supplied and the first one was directed at Jan.
Did he take much convincing to return to the club? To which his answer was No. He accepted that things hadn't worked out as he had wished at Hull City and he wanted a chance to re prove himself. Returning to Aggborough was too good a chance to turn down.
Colin was asked about the lack of an AGM and his response was that we only need to hold one every eighteen months. The last one was in July of last year and this years has been pencilled in for September 9th, or as near as possible.
This question had been the subject of a long running thread on the official message board so the subscribers to that will now have got the answer they wanted. Whether the club stick to that date is a different matter.
He was also asked about the lack of a contract given to both Jan and his assistant, Gary Barnett. This, he said, was not a problem with either of them and the more important thing was to get players on a decent contract, the team winning games and then discuss personal contracts for Jan and Gary.
In a similar vein Colin was also asked about the possibility of a KHIST representative on the board.
At one time he had felt, when KHIST first started, that there was a good chance of that but the movement had failed to grow as he would have expected and now represented only a small section of fans.
He cited the examples of York City and Exeter City as supporters trusts with a good proportion of its fanbase being members but this was an unfair comparison because it's well known that both these clubs have been through some turbulent times in the past and that is the reason they have a strong membership. If our club had been in a similar situation as these two clubs then we may have far more members but as of yet that stage, thankfully, has not been reached.
So the answer was no!, there would be no invitation in the foreseeable future.
Truth is that if KHIST collected enough shares together to achieve this then the club cannot really stop them.
The subject of the Nike shirts was next and both Steve and Jan held up examples of the shirts that had been sent by Nike. These were both shoddy and not of the quality that had been expected.
Add to that the fact that Nike were intending to supply a limited amount and once they had run out that would be it. Colin said that if we reached the playoffs this year and we wanted a special version of the shirt to wear at Cardiff then we would be out of luck because Nike would not be making any extra.
They offered the club an alternative sourced from a German club but the alterations needed to become a Harriers shirt would have been charged to us and would have meant an increase of £5 per shirt. Something the club did not want, seeing as the problem was not of our making.
There was also an issue with the sponsors logo. This was also shoddy and rather than sell market stall goods to the fans the board decided to knock the deal on the head and go with Admiral instead.
Steve also regaled us with the tale of the Le Coq Sportif shirts last season. These were late, as usual, and they only just got them to the team a few hours before the start of the first game of the season against Mansfield.
We all know that it was a very hot day and naturally the players perspired a bit. After the game had finished the kitman noticed that the shirt colour had run and all the white collars were now a fetching shade of pink
LCS were informed and the contract was terminated soon after.
Wayne Hatswell was asked his thoughts about the club and whether he had any ambitions for the club and his own future. Naturally he wanted the best for us and hoped to be captain when we reach the play-offs but he didn't lack the ambition to go onto better things if a bigger club came in for him.
In truth he said that at 29yrs he was probably too old for that now.
Someone asked him what it was like to play in his only play-off final, Chester v Doncaster and he said that to lose was the most heartbreaking thing of all but it was an experience that he was glad to have had.
The question of Dean Bennett leaving the club was put to Jan and he said that he was disappointed with Deano because he had originally said he was staying. Jan had a meeting with all the players following the final game of last season and he told Dean what was on the table but Dean did not listen properly and thought that he would be getting a salary increase.
One day Jan received a phone call from Dennis Smith, the Wrexham manager, and he told him that Dean and himself were at the Wrexham training ground where Dean was about to sign a contract. That was the first Jan knew about it and by then it was too late.
Although Jan had planned to build the team around Dean, and others, he now had to change his plans but he felt now that with Youssou Diop we have a potentially better player.
That then bought us onto the subject of Adam Murray.
Jan had already decided to release Adam, our top wage earner, after he had come to the conclusion that he could only play in one position and he had also refused to relocate to the area from Derby.
On top of that he didn't drive so he was turning up for training tired out.
The finances were not in place at the club and Jan thought that we could do better with the money saved so he was touted around and Mansfield took? him off our hands! With Dean Bennett at the club he felt that he would have to be the replacement for Murray.
Deans' leaving was a shock to Jan and he was then forced into a a major rebuild but feels that the squad we have now is far stronger.
Jan was asked if he had finished bringing new players in and he said that the budget would allow for just one more. Whether that would be Iseyden Christie or A N Other would be resolved soon.
Asked if A N Other was going to be Drewe Broughton he said that he admired Drewe but Drewe had more chance of becoming Lord Mayor of Southend than he had of coming back here. Such was the high esteem held of him by Southend fans.
Although there were many subjects discussed I'd be all day writing about them so I'll finish this piece with one more.
Colin was asked about future investment in the club and he mentioned the new sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola.
Coke want to get more into the grassroots of football and were rewarding clubs that were seen to be doing that. To that end the club are in talks with David Seddon, the principal of Baxter College and a former Harrier, to set up an academy that would eventually involve all schools in the area.
The grants available from Coca-Cola would pay for the financing of that and the fruits of it would be available to Kidderminster Harriers FC.
To lighten the evening there was an halftime quiz, won by Ed Dursley and the raffle for the first example of the new shirt was won by Julia Bell.
The evening ended at 11:00pm and everyone went home happy that their questions had been answered by the panel in a truthful way. The only disappointment was that the expected fireworks didn't go off.