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Mark: It's been an exciting time

Mark Palmer addresses supporters ahead of the friendly against Brentford at Adams Park on Saturday.

19 July 2019

Everyone at Wycombe Wanderers is excited to throw open the gates on Saturday for our first – and only – home pre-season friendly, and on a personal note, both myself and Pete Couhig are looking forward to getting our first taste of a matchday at Adams Park.

Rob Couhig is back in the States but I know he’ll be following the game closely and we’ll be catching up with him over the weekend to review how everything went.

It’s been an exciting and fast-paced time since the three of us were welcomed into the club by the Trust board earlier this month, and I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know about some of the changes you might notice around the place when you join us for tomorrow’s game.

First of all, we’ve introduced a brand-new ticketing platform, as a result of a new partnership with TicketCo who have made great strides in a short time with clubs in Norway and the English non-league scene, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring their cloud-based technology into the setup here. Lily Fulker in our ticket office has done a fantastic job in getting the system ready for the game, and although we appreciate there is a short-term inconvenience in having to reproduce all of the season tickets, we strongly believe that the benefits of TicketCo’s platform will be extremely worthwhile in the long run.

So for Saturday’s game, it’s a first chance for you to try out the new mobile ticketing service, where you can buy (if you haven’t already) your ticket online or via the TicketCo Wallet app, and receive a QR code which you’ll scan at the turnstile to gain access. This friendly is a good opportunity for us to test it, and we aren’t necessarily expecting it to go without a hiccup or two, but we know this is a platform with great potential for us to develop additional purchasing opportunities in the future, outside of just ticketing. Please try it out, help any of your friends who might be struggling with the technology, and come forward with your feedback, good or bad.

When you walk through the gates you’ll see that the marquee has been removed; this was only ever intended to be a temporary solution and we’ve taken it down to make way for some new developments we plan to introduce to the Fan Zone area. We’ll have more news on this in the near future, but in the interim period, our bars manager Josh Rider will be providing pop-up stations to make sure you can get a drink in what we hope will be good weather outside in these first few weeks of the season.

There’s an eight-page edition of a new-look programme, which contains a welcome note from Rob Couhig, and this will be on sale from near the front gate by a team of volunteers, arranged by John and Sandie Derben. While I’m on the topic of volunteers, please take a moment to look around and notice how smart and tidy the place looks, thanks to the efforts of a number of volunteers throughout the summer months. They’ve done a great job and we’re extremely grateful for their input.

The new change and goalkeeper strips, plus training and travel kit, are available in the shop and we’ve already generated a lot of sales of the new lemon change kit, which will be worn by the team for the game against Brentford.

Inside the ground, the pitch looks magnificent – as it always does – and we’re a week away from receiving a new LED screen in the north-east corner. This was actually arranged before our involvement with the club, thanks to great work from general manager Michael Davies and financial support from the Official Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Association. We see real potential in the screen, which will play a big part in the matchday entertainment going forward, and along with a new speaker system which is being worked on, I know we can really help lift the atmosphere even further in the coming weeks and months.

After the game, we’re looking forward to welcoming members of the 500 Club into the Caledonian Suite for an informal get-together with Gareth, some of the playing squad and other representatives of the Trust and club, to say thank you to everyone who’s contributed to the playing budget over the summer. This does mean that the Suite will be closed to the public, but Monty’s will remain open and we hope many of you will stay around at the end to toast the return of the football season to Adams Park.

There are a lot more positive developments to come, and we’ll be carefully reviewing each and every matchday to make sure we can continue to offer the best possible experience for everyone who attends a game at Adams Park. Your feedback will be crucial in this process, and you’ll hear from us soon with ways in which you can make your voice heard and play a part in taking our off-field operation in the right direction.

That’s all from me – now it’s over to Gareth and his team (with the help of one or two trialists!) to put on a good show on the pitch as they take on a strong Brentford side as part of their preparations for the new league season, which is just a fortnight away.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible around the ground.

Mark Palmer

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