A number of Reading City personnel and the club itself along with our loyal supporter James Monger were up for awards in Friday night’s Berkshire Football Awards, this is an annual event organised by Football in Berkshire and supported by Play Sport, the aim of the awards is to champion the hard work that’s happened in non-league football here in the Royal County in the past season.
Supporter of the Season
Our loyal supporter James Monger was nominated for Supporter of the Season in recognition of his continued support towards the club. Sadly James didn’t win the award as it went to Denis Axton who supports our friends at Woodley United but we’d like to thank James for his continued support towards the club, it’s always great to see him at a matchday. We are proud to have him as a Cityzen and hope to see him along with all our supporters very soon, football is nothing without its fans.
Volunteer of the season
Club treasurer and facilities manager Victoria Pyke, recently appointed goalkeeping coach Rhys York and our media and marketing manager Ryan Sheehan were all nominated for the volunteer of the season award.
Sadly none of them won the award, instead it went to Steve Kay of Berks County.
We’d like to thank Victoria, Rhys and Ryan who have given us so much over the last year and remain an integral part of the club.
Victoria has been leading the club’s refurbishment since late 2019 as we look to improve facilities here at the Rivermoor, this is a project she has been working tirelessly on whilst also having to look after the club’s finances which also requires a lot of Victoria’s time, somehow she also finds time to do so many other tasks for the club as and when they arise, she may not be Berkshire’s volunteer of the year but she’s certainly our volunteer of the year for the amount of time and effort that she gives us.
Rhys has recently taken on the position of goalkeeping coach for the first team, prior to this Rhys was a member of our playing squad but sadly due to injury spent all season on the sidelines, but still helped the club by giving up his own time to support the management team and drive the club minibus to away games, we’d like to thank Rhys for giving up his time to do this and we’re delighted to see him take up a coaching role with us.
Ryan has been leading our digital transformation, changing the face of the club. The club is now very visible on several different social media platforms with a very distinctive brand. In the past year, we have seen more social media channels launched and a new website created by Ryan. We would like to thank him for his hard work and the large amount of time he gives the club.
Best Website or Social Media Presence
The club was again nominated for the best website or social media presence. This was an award that the club won last year following the hard work of Scott McGowan who laid the initial foundations for our social media and then with Ryan Sheehan coming onboard in December 2018 our social media feeds were transformed. In the summer of 2019 our social media feeds were strengthened with the arrival of Nick Bird who joined the club as our official match report writer, with the addition of a second person joining our media team we were also able to have full coverage of our Under 23 matches as well as our First Team games. We would like to thank Ryan and Nick for their hard work with our media last year.
Sadly, despite all the hard work that has gone on within our media team over the past twelve months, the club lost out on this award to Caversham United.
Our media team, which has expanded again this summer with the arrival of James Earnshaw to assist Ryan Sheehan and Nick Bird will be continuing their hard work and have a lot of exciting ideas in the pipeline, they will be working hard to try and win this award back as it is one our media team truly deserve.
This wasn’t the only baton that we passed on as in the 2019 awards the club was awarded for being the most improved ground, despite our refurbishment continuing last season we weren’t nominated this time around and we pass this honour to Wokingham & Emmbrook as Lowther Road has been voted 2020’s most improved ground. We hope that when people see how much hard work has gone into improving the facilities here at the Rivermoor since we went into lockdown that the award will come back to us in 2021.
Manager of the season
First Team Manager Simon Johnson, the youngest manager in the Uhlsport Hellenic League was nominated for manager of the season, but sadly did not win the award losing out to Ascot United’s manager Jamie Tompkins.
Whilst we are disappointed that Simon did not win this award for guiding the Cityzens to a top ten finish, we still think he’s the greatest manager for turning the club around in less than 12 months.
Club Chairman Martin Law took to twitter to say: “When we first started this journey, it was all about the development of the club and implementing standards leading to success. We have had a great start and perhaps even ahead of the time frames, the future is bright for the club, from the development up. Huge well done mate”.
Our Media and Marketing Manager, Ryan Sheehan who covers our first team’s matches also took to twitter to praise Simon Johnson: “Commiserations mate, you should have won this award without a doubt. Fantastic job last season, having been almost relegated in 2018/19 to being in the top half of the table at the end of 2019/20 was an amazing turnaround. I am sure we will be even better next season”.
Outstanding contribution to local football
Club Chairman Martin Law was awarded for his outstanding contribution to local football, he has been involved in football for the last 30 years and as well as being our Chairman, he is also the Chairman of the Thames Valley Premier League and a Councillor on the Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Football Association’s council.
Everyone at Reading City Football Club would like to congratulate our Chairman, Martin Law on receiving this award, it is well-deserved recognition. Martin is often the unsung hero, as we never really see the life of the chairman, which is a 24/7 job behind the scenes.
Whilst we are only recognising the efforts of a few, we want to take this opportunity to thank every member of the City family. Thank you to all our directors, coaches, managers, officials, players, parents, partners, sponsors and our supporters. Our beloved football club is in a great place right now and the future is very bright. Thank you to everyone for their support.