Life in the Lower Leagues: Support so important at non-league levelBy Tom Canning
February 28, 2013
Tom Canning is a director of Bracknell Town Football Club, in this week's Life in the Lower Leagues, he reveals how important, and different, supporters are for a grassroots football club.
Whatever level of football you are at, a football club needs its supporters.
The lower you go, the more those supporters are involved in the day to day running of the football club, and it is no different at Bracknell Town.
While Manchester United have millions across the globe, your average Hellenic League side will be lucky if they have 50 regulars.
But each and every one brings a unique set of skills that are so important to the club in every way, and at our level, the term ‘supporter’ covers a much broader spectrum than that of your regular Premier League fan.
At Larges Lane, our supporters regularly help out where needed, pitch maintenance, food, sponsors, and odd job men and women.
As part of the recent round of ground-grading assessments, we are required to replace the dugouts at Larges Lane.
Ordinarily this would cost us thousands of pounds we don’t have, but fortunately we have several supporters who have put steps in place to build them themselves.
Around 20 years ago as a kid, I watched my dad and a gang of hardy souls build the corrugated terrace (known as the Quinton Stand) at the Mount Pleasant end of the ground from scratch, again to meet ground-grading rules.
But it’s not just building work, there are websites to be run, food to be served, accounts to be reconciled and PR to be dished out.
You very quickly become a team of volunteers with some great commitment and a range of ideas and dreams.
But clubs like ours need your support, so next time you see the fixtures in the local paper, pop along to one of the games and get involved.
* Tickets for the Robins fundraising ale and wine festival in May are on sale at £3, visit www.bracknellalefestival.co.uk