New Chairman – Neil Ashton

Date: 16 January 2023

Dear Member and Supporter,

Firstly, may I introduce myself;

I am Neil Ashton; longstanding member, player and supporter of Hoppers from mini-juniors through Colts and on to 1st XV. I joined the management committee in 2019 and was privileged to be elected as Chairman on 1st December 2022.

Since that time I have been on a steep learning curve, getting to know our team, processes and challenges. You may be aware that upon the retirement of our previous General Manager, Richard Ellis, we chose not to fill the post. There were various reasons, but mainly it was due to the uncertain post covid trading environment at that time.

However, things have moved on and we feel the time is right to kick on and seek to grow our commercial activities with a view to increasing revenue. We need to do this so that any surplus can be reinvested in the club, whether that be to improve facilities, upgrade our kitchens, maintain the estate, improve pitches, or increase funding to our rugby operation.

I have a clear aspiration that Hoppers play at the highest level possible, subject to affordability and sustainability. But we can only achieve this if we have a thriving and efficient commercial operation, as this is how the majority of our income is generated.

Therefore, the management committee have voted to recruit a new General Manager as soon as practicable.

I will keep you posted on progress but be assured that if we can’t find the right candidate we won’t appoint out of necessity.

I also intend to improve the flow of communication between you the membership and the management committee.  We will try and do this via various channels such as emailed newsletter, Facebook page and Twitter account. This will probably follow the bi-monthly management committee meeting cycle. Feedback on this welcome.

Best regards,


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