I just returned from two weeks in England, scheduled around the first two matches played by London Seaward. My company, Technology and Society, returned as Seaward’s sponsor for the 2023/24 season. I arrived on August 16 and, because I was staying in central London, checked into my hotel and made my traditional trip to the British Museum to see the Rosetta Stone. Happy to report it’s still there.
Over the next few days I visited museums, played snooker (poorly) for a few hours at Cousins on Seven Sisters Road, and had dinner with Gareth, my contact with Seaward. On Sunday, I took the Central Line to Seaward’s new home at the Oakside Stadium in Redbridge, Ilford. The first match day of the season is always a whirlwind, but this one was particularly busy.
First, there were new volunteers to train on getting spectators in through the gate and serving as matchday secretary. Second, there were the new home and away kits to distribute to the players. The away shirts were printed six months ago but circumstances delayed their introduction until now. The new home shirts arrived much more recently and were provided by Puma, Seaward’s new technical partner. The official numbers and badges arrived (in two shipments) from the Women’s National League just in time to get everything pressed and down to London without a moment to spare. And did I mention the new warmup outfits? A team representative drove to Nottingham and back on Friday to grab them.
Both shirts are gorgeous. The away shirt is a custom design by Foudy’s and the home shirt, while a stock item from Puma’s team collection, is something any side would be proud to wear.
Away shirt worn by my across-the-street neighbor and soccer player Evangeline, the first away shirt sported by anyone outside of the club!
Although England didn’t win the World Cup final, the Seaward game didn’t disappoint. The Anchors went ahead 2-0 and for the most part controlled play. A converted penalty brought Actonians to within 2-1, but a third goal closed out the scoring and sealed a 3-1 win over a team we hadn’t beaten before. Overall it was a solid performance that highlighted the quality of the retained core of the team and the new players added over the summer.
After five days in Bath and Northeast Somerset where I met up with my wife and got way too much sun (cloudy days and open-top convertibles will do that), we returned to London for the second match. This game was a League Cup tie against London Bees, a club associated with Barnet on the men’s side and that plays a tier up from Seaward in the Southern Premier Division of the Women’s National League. It was always going to be a tough game, but Seaward played well and threatened throughout, especially in the second half. The scoreline of 3-1 for Bees was a fair result, but Seaward had chances to pull within one late in the game and apply even more pressure.
Every club sponsor wants to see that the resources they provide are being used effectively and progress is being made on and off the pitch. London Seaward worked relentlessly during the previous season and this summer to secure a long-term ground share agreement with Redbridge, begin the technical partnership with Puma, and recruit new players and support staff. I’m delighted with the performances I saw, in spite of one 3-1 scoreline being a win and the other a loss. I want Seaward to win every time almost as much as the players do, but it’s a long season. These two matches bode very well for our performance in the league and our other cup competitions.
We are London Seaward.
Curtis Frye is the president of Technology and Society, Incorporated.