The first month of the season is almost over, and to be honest it's been enjoyable once again to be a Merthyr fan, I've actually spent my time discussing the team with fellow Martyrs fans (usually in Tesco where of course anyone who is anyone meet these days, usually in front of the dog food for some reason), the lack of a comprehensive pre-season calendar has obviously hampered Shep's preparations but in all three home matches so far (unbeaten as we type this article!) we have finished the stronger of the two teams so physically we continue to compete right until the last whistle but I think the lack of match practice means we haven't really gelled in front of goal, yesterday's goalless draw against a very unambitious Bedford team being a prime example. The return of Cortez Belle surprised a few, this scribe included, but so far I have to say that I have been impressed, a determination to take on the defence will produce the goods soon surely. So on the pitch we seem to have continued from last season but it is off the pitch that has provided the platform for the stability on the field of play. The Trust has continued its work from the close season with the main activities thankfully turning from legal arguments to stadium renovation and commercial income; Penydarren Park is slowly returning to its full use but its going to be a long haul with the main issue being security to prevent the constant vandalism on the site, new fences coupled with a new community vision will hopefully reduce the problem. Commercially it's been a vast improvement on recent seasons; local businesses seem happy to work with the supporters to provide both services and money to help turn around the fortunes of our famous club, it's a never-ending search for funds as the main issue of the club being in administration will need to be tackled sooner than later but if the club continues as a going-concern then at least we buy ourselves a chance in keeping the biggest football club in the Valleys alive, there's plenty more big decisions to come though so no-one should sit back and think the job is done. The Trust movement in the UK, governed and backed by Supporters Direct, believes that supporters can make a difference in the running of their clubs and this is being proved correct at Merthyr Tydfil FC, it is the supporters who are making the difference and that is obvious by the renewed enthusiasm evident at the Lyn Jones Gates where a few "old faces" are returning once again to see their heroes in black & white, people are definitely enjoying the new season, there's a long way to go and every club event needs to be supported to maintain the resources to keep the dream alive but together we have acheived so much and united we can deliver more.
Keep on, keepin' on!