Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

Thatcham's new chairman is relishing the challenge

Eric Bailey stepped down from the role after 13 years at Waterside Park

Liam Headd

Liam Headd


01635 886629

Thatcham's new chairman is relishing the challenge

NEW Thatcham Town chairman Dave Melin is excited to see what the future holds at the club after taking over from Eric Bailey.

Melin, who is the owner and founder of Amtech Business Solutions – the club’s shirt sponsor last year – has moved into the role after serving on the club’s committee.

He replaces Bailey, who has been the chairman at Waterside Park for 13 years and who will step down to the role of vice-chairman.

Melin said: “I have been going to watch the team ever since I moved to the area around three years ago and the key thing is that I wanted to get involved.

“I have played football for a long time – all the way up to veteran’s football – until my knee injury.

“The first full season I went to watch was when Thatcham won the FA Vase and the Hellenic League title.”

After watching the club for a year, Melin became shirt sponsor and then got more attached.

He said: “I got involved with sponsorship the following year and have also been involved on the committee for several months now.

“Part of my roles included helping with various jobs around the club and when Eric mentioned he was considering stepping down, I said I was interested in taking over.”

The Kingfishers are preparing for another season in the Southern League South and the new chairman is excited for the campaign.

“Last season was difficult,” said Melin. “Any club that loses 15/16 players is going to face challenges, but Danny [Robinson], Keith [Pennicott-Bowen] and Andy [Darnton] have turned it around.

“Over the final three months of the season, we were in brilliant form.

“We have made some signings and they have great experience at this level so it’s very exciting times at the club.

“I am really interested in the things off the pitch,” he said.

“I want to try and make the club a little more sustainable, try to develop what we do at Waterside Park so we can bring more money through the door and more fans through the gate.

“If we can do any of that, then it will filter down to the footballing side of things.”

Although Bailey is stepping down as chairman, he’ll still be involved with the club.

Melin said: “While he has been chairman for 13 years, Eric has been involved with the club for more than 30 years.

“Stuart, his son, has played at the club and it’s not the end-of-an-era because having him as vice-chairman can add some of his knowledge and experience he has gained.

“Everyone in the managing committee is there to help drive the club forward so sometimes it’s good to get some fresh eyes and people involved.”

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000