New Arlesey Town chairman Dave Kitson looking to make the community proud

Dave Kitson in action for Portsmouth in 2011

New Arlesey Town chairman Dave Kitson has his eyes firmly fixed on the future. - Credit: CHRIS ISON/PA

They may have a new chairman but Arlesey Town are still moving in the same direction - forward.

Former Reading and Stoke City striker Dave Kitson last wore on an Arlesey shirt in a competitive match as a member of our Isthmian League Division Three winning side in 2001.

And he has plans, big and small, for a club that is still close to his heart.

Speaking to the club's media channels he said: "The club remains very familiar to me, I grew up a mile or two over the Herts border in Letchworth and aside from a little more housing here and there, not much has changed in the 20 years I've been away.

"On the one hand, that familiar feeling of home can be very comforting but on the other hand we have an opportunity to improve and develop what we have here in the interests of the club and the community that we serve.

"I like this level of the football pyramid. I believe that football clubs should serve their communities. At the elite end of professional football that simple truth has been eroded and, in some cases, lost completely.

"We exist to provide entertainment to our community and we want the community to be proud of us and to be proud to say that their local team is a successful team."

Dave Kitson during the Premier League match at Vicarage Road, Watford.

Dave Kitson during the Premier League match at Vicarage Road between Watford and Arsenal in September 2019. - Credit: NICK POTTS/PA

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Part of that plan involves, in the short term, refurbishing the clubhouse and the facilities to make it attractive to the town and surrounding areas, making the community feel part of the club.

He said: "The plans for the club house are state of the art and a huge investment is being made to upgrade every single aspect.

"Thanks to the hard work of our incredible committee, I am absolutely confident that we will succeed in creating a venue that serves as the premier match day experience anywhere in the area, as well as catering for events through the week."

​Long term it is about attracting sponsorship and creating a revenue model that secures the sustainability of the club.

Kitson added: "We cannot hope to exist on handouts and good fortune, or exceptional cup runs and occasional player sales.  We have big plans to create such a model, but it has to sit within our values, namely that it provides a service for the community which in turn helps the club to thrive in the years to come.

"We must secure sponsorship. That is an immediate objective. The clubhouse and bar area will be given an upgrade and we have a new kit to look forward to for this season but I must reiterate that the long term future of the club depends on the decisions we make in the short to medium term.

"I am extremely confident that our plan to ensure the club's immediate survival and ability to grow its revenue is the right plan, with the right people executing it."