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David Holden

Average Attendances

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It's a shame that all the hard work put in by a lot of people during the summer by distributing flyers etc has proved ultimately to be inneffective.
We are probably only about level on attendances to last year. No doubt someone will come up with game by game attendance comparison from last season.

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Also, the prospect for away fans to stand in driving rain on a bleak, exposed terrace whilst we shelter in our snug covered stand must put off a few.
They could of course pay an extra £2 to sit on a cold wooden bench for a obstructed view masked by scores of thick wooden pillars.
put like this the prospect for away fans to visit is not very appealling.
Come to that nor is it for our more elderly home supporters.

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Kent & Gravesend specifically are probably the warmest places on the UK mainland.

It feels bloody cold, partly because we're southern nancies & also, I suspect, because of the ground's position in such an exposed position on the river. This was originally the flood plain of the Thames & Ebbsfleet.

Not the coldest ground in the south. The Valley is rated as absolute brass monkeys even by self professed hard men from the northern wilderness.

EC

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Its not that cold, I have gone without a jacket every game (standing next to the drumer) The coldest place i have ever been and probably ever will be is Pittodrie, but then that is in Aberdeen.

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Chatham Gary said:
It's a shame that all the hard work put in by a lot of people during the summer by distributing flyers etc has proved ultimately to be inneffective.
We are probably only about level on attendances to last year. No doubt someone will come up with game by game attendance comparison from last season.


Unfortunatly Gary, despite all of the hard work, the only way to guarantee increased attendances at Stonebridge Road is success on the pitch.

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Agree, Ronnie. Team first, then ground. Only sensible way forward. Unlike all the other idiot clubs in Kent.
Also agree with Pittodrie.
Had the misfortune to watch Aberdeen v Everton pre -season in July about 7 years ago. 8 centigrade!!!!!

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The direction this thread is going has got me thinking. I have been following the fleet since 1966/7, when Eddie McAlpine was player/manager/treasurer/secretary/groundsman/coach and tea boy.
The ground looks almost the same as is did then.
The only obvious changes are, main stand reduced in seating from 1300 to 600.
Building of the Swanscombe terrace to replace the muddy bank.
terracing the 2 river side corners, new main road terrace concreting, new floodlights and a pitch that would grace the premiership.
Apart from other small improvements, the ground does now show it's age and appears to have left modernity behind.
Although we consider it quaint, most of my colleagues at work who are only occaisional visitors more realistically call it a dump!!
Sadly it is hrd to disagree with them.
We have a wise board who would never risk club finances to improve the ground unless the team is improving and attendances are rising.
However, we have a chicken and egg situation.
Crowds will never improve all the time the facilities are so bloody awful, almost regardless of how well the team are playing.
I do not have the answer. Indeed, I do not think there is an easy answer.
What I do know is that at some time in the near future we must comply with conference regulations and upgrade the ground.
Any improvements will cost a shedful of money, offset to a degree by grants.
The ground looks and feels run down, like the area it is in.
Investment in the ground sooner rather than later could well prove beneficial, especially as we can expect 1000's of new houses in the area in the next 5 - 10 years.
Sorry this is a bit rambling, but we, the long serving supporters do need to know what the short and long term fuuture of the ground is, especially having seen the [****!!****] up Margit have made of Hartsdown Park.


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I can sympathise with everything you say CG, my childhood was spent living in Taunton road a mere stones throw from the ground,and I
witnessed some of the changes you refer to,as I now no longer live locally,when I do manage to get to a game,I usually do a walk all round the old place to see if their are any major changes,and as you say it's still basically rather tatty looking,but fairplay to all the people that have worked voluntarily to keep on the right side of conference grading, things have certainly improved,and I suppose it's the state of the mainstand and the Northfleet end stand that make it look worse.
I used to spend time on Friday afternoons in the home dressing room chatting to Tony Sitford when he was the manager and the groundsman of that time (sorry ive forgotten his name)and I saw most of the
then pretty spartan facilities that existed at that time,I must correctly assume that they have been well overhauled over the years.
As you say the future has got to be decided sooner rather than later,as i'm sure that the conference will exoect every club to continue their upgrading.

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FAO: FleetFanatic

Talking of attendances, any chance of some bonus points for Fleet Boy and myself for getting the Weston-super-Mare attendance exactly right?

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Yes i agree with whats been said but you must get people through the gates and as isaid in my thread regarding attendances if the club put on a few more special days ie, 2 for 1 or kids 4 free, even o.a.p. free people may visit for a first time and then again. Its seem to have worked well at charlton.

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Success on the pitch is the initial thing, I feel. Facilities are important in encouraging returns, but nobody will come to watch unentertaining football in a palatial stadium.

In actual fact, I'm sure all veteran supporters will agree that, all things considered, we're doing pretty well this season: 2nd round of the FA Cup & currently top of the form table over our last 5 league games. But the current situation won't encourage new support or hold onto the casual supporter.

Why not? Well the recent league results are good, but we had those horribly disappointing cup performances thrown in amongst them. There's nothing we can win any more & supporters of the casual kind like to come & see a game that means something. In this sense, I was very disappointed when we went out the Trophy.

Exciting, attacking football at home is also a must. Yeovil thrived on this for decades before they actually became serious contenders for a Football League place. Even when they were regularly missing out on top place, they were always devastating at Huish. If you go for teams at home & regularly bang in 2, 3, or 4 goals, people will come & keep coming.

Catchment is vital too & of course this played a large part in Yeaovil's gates too. It was a bloody long treck to Bristol or Exeter. With the new developments in the offing right on top of our ground, I don't think we'll be able to blame the proximity of so many League clubs for much longer. There will be a hugely expanded population to make interested.

This is where Canvey are very precarious, I feel. They just don't get the gates that stick. They got them for their FA Cup exploits & the 2 games against us in our promotion season, but these were almost all casual observers. At the away game, I sat in the stand surrounded by Canvey "supporters" who hadn't even witnessed a floodlight failure at their place before & couldn't identify more than 2 or 3 of their team. At the home game, I queued for 30 minutes with supposed Canvey supporters who obviously spent most of their time following Southend. They are utterly dependent on Mr King.

Another factor, possibly, is the huge gaps you get as a Conference team between fixtures. In the Ryman League we seemed to have a Tuesday fixture every week. Now we can go 3 or 4 weeks without a home game. Momentum is lost & Mr Casual loses interest.

That aside, we've seen encouraging signs. Most of all in the excellent passing football that has charactised the 1st half of our recent home games. If that could be maintained for 90 minutes, the crowds would have to improve.

Hopefully, we'll see it against Mr Westley's team this Saturday, but then it's 3 weeks until our next home game. Just as well Hereford & Morecambe went out the Trophy too, or it would have been 7!!

Graham S

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Quote:
jc said:
FAO: FleetFanatic

Talking of attendances, any chance of some bonus points for Fleet Boy and myself for getting the Weston-super-Mare attendance exactly right? <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Er..... don't you think that you guys are too far in front already? <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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Interesting points Graham S and most of them i agree with. My opinion is that we should do the nessesities on the ground and dont think about a new one untill we are getting around 2000 and are full time (sorry for people who want a new ground soon, this may take a while) Still there is all this talk about the new development, but with Gillinghams cup run and possible good league form and Charltons new stands I think we could be behind these teams in getting new fans.

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Quote:
FleetFanatic said:
Quote:
jc said:
FAO: FleetFanatic

Talking of attendances, any chance of some bonus points for Fleet Boy and myself for getting the Weston-super-Mare attendance exactly right?


Er..... don't you think that you guys are too far in front already?

It's more JC thats miles infront!Bernard and [email]IC@GNFC[/email] are quite a way back..i'll buy you a pint on saturday if you give me extra points?!

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