We may not be travelling away, but we keep supporting Crawley Town - column
We prided ourselves that since entering the football league we had managed to run supporters transport to all but one game, that being the midweek match in Morecambe which preceded another long trip to Hartlepool the following Saturday.
So far NINE fixtures of this season’s away travel have been cancelled and with no likelihood of anything changing soon we may have to conclude that this seasons visits to the away stadiums is not going to occur – which is a total disappointment for us as well as those supporters who enjoy the day trips and buffet lunches.
Earlier this month we would have been going to a stadium that we have never been before, Harrogate Town and wouldn’t have been surprised if two full coaches travelled as we did to Salford last season which then was a new venue.
It’s amazing how new grounds attract more supporters to travel. If the away travel is not lifted it also means that our much-loved overnight trips which are all in the New Year are also going to be curtailed.
We are not alone, this has affected all clubs away support and with the scenario that only home supporters will be allowed in the stadiums when we can watch means that the atmosphere will be a little subdued to say the least.
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There is something about football that you need the opposition support in the ground to have an on-going banter throughout the game – it adds to the enjoyment of watching football live.
As they say, football without fans is nothing.
With all this going on, we can still look at the season so far with a bit of pleasure and pride.
The team is certainly playing some good spirited football, a marked improvement over previous seasons.
We have an unbeaten home record that stretches over a year now which is in stark contrast to our away form where we just don’t have any luck despite the team playing well.
I’m sure over the coming weeks and month that this will be put right and we will be up there challenging for one of the play-off positions if not better.
The squad is much bigger than most supporters would have expected from the comments from John Yems last season.
The find of the season has to be Max Watters. He and Tom Nichols have certainly taken the roll of strikers to a new level.
There were worries amongst fans about worried where goals were going to come from with the departures of Ollie Palmer and Bez Lubala - but they themselves certainly haven’t set the world alight in League 1.
During the lockdown, the Town supporters have been brilliant, helping to keep the club on an even keel by supporting their effort off the field with Ballerz, The Reds Wall and the club shop’s merchandise.
We are not putting in millions like our owner Ziya Eren - who has literally kept the club surviving during this pandemic with his financial backing together with the club's main sponsors for which all of us are so grateful for - but we are helping
The club has been thinking what they could do to enhance the supporters engagement during this time and the best thing by far that they have put out is the “Talk of the Town”.
It is an hour’s live show before kick-off both at home and away matches on the club's youtube channel. It's light-hearted, informative and humorous – Joe Comper has the task of being the host which he does brilliantly.
The interviews with Erdem, John and Gary before the game are always informative. You can even get involved with the show by texting your comments. It’s complimentary to the club that other teams are now looking to copy this idea.
In the meantime, keep supporting the club. We will be back in the stadium – hopefully sooner rather than later – and with the potential of a vaccine on the horizon, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
We could be back supporting the club both home and away before the end of the season.