After nights of singing all the words to Sweet Caroline supporting England in the Euro’s it was disappointing not to be celebrating victory but true football fans come alive on these occasions hoping for success and that it is just around the corner. At Stafford Rangers we continue to have our own dreams of bringing success to our home town.
Sport without doubt has the power to bring people together and it is that which is so special about non-league football.
With pre- season going well for Stafford Rangers there is now a sense of anticipation and excitement growing amongst everyone at the club. The new season is set to commence on the 14th August. It has been a long time coming writes David Montgomery and it’s fantastic to see it now within our grasp.
Whilst football has taken a back seat to Covid-19 and rightly so, people need the social interaction of getting together and you can tell by fans engagement that they all want to get back to normality and live life to the full.
For football fans there is nothing like a new season and like every club in the country we are entitled to our dreams and hopes of success and sharing what that means to us all. Non-League football is all about belonging, a sense of being part of the team of people that is needed to ensure that a ball is able to be kicked, that’s what makes it special.
During the close season and the pandemic we have been trying to improve across the range of things that are needed to be done at the club. Some are never easy and frustration never lies far beneath the surface but we are still here, we have survived previously unknown financial pressures and yes I believe we are stronger more organised and ready to move forward.
A successful pre-season means nothing when the league competition stretches in front of us but success during these games against good opposition breeds confidence, strength and a team spirit that can undoubtedly change games and turn bad days into good. We have a new squad based upon what we consider to be the best of last season and new blood that we believe fit well together and can play the type of high pressure football that we want to play. We have lost some great footballers but they either didn’t fit with the style of football our managers want to play or simply didn’t want to play for us or the badge that defines and embodies the spirit and history of the club, but we wish them all well, and thank those that have left us for all their hard work and efforts.
We have fantastic fan support and the close season has seen even more new fans join us buying more season tickets than we have seen for many years and we thank all of you. Our Covid-19 call to arms has also seen an increase in shareholders anxious to support the club by being a part of it and wanting to feel a part of it. We thank those new shareholders and also a number of people who have made private donations in support of the club.
Unlike Premier League football life at Marston Road really does make you feel part of the club, part of the community. It is the coming together, often of a huge number of different people /volunteers that defines the place, what gives it its very special DNA. What’s it like being involved in non-league football? I like many people involved at the club on occasions ask themselves why I am putting myself through this pain when the problem days sometimes seem greater than the good days. The camaraderie is at the top for many I am sure, the interaction, the swapping of opinions and the coming up with solutions are in there as are the arguments, the fall out and the relief when something goes well. It is often shared pain and suffering but sometimes, yes sometimes, the joy overtakes it all and whilst I find it difficult to articulate that feeling, it’s what keeps everyone going and engaged.
We start that journey once more with the first game of the 2021/22 season now at home in front of our fans when we welcome Morpeth Town on Saturday 14th August Kick off 3.0pm.
Our home programme continues on Tuesday evening 17th August at 7.45pm when we welcome Warrington Town to stretch their legs against a strong Stafford Rangers team followed by other August home games against Radcliffe on the 21st August at 3.0pm and local rivals Buxton at 3.0pm on the 30th August. You can buy tickets for each of these first home games by visiting our website and going to our ticketing box office. Admission prices have once again been held at last season’s prices at Adults £10, Concessions £7.00 and U16’s £3.00.
The Football side of the business is though only a part of the story and whilst it is definitely the glamour part, the bit with fizz, it is dependent to a huge level on the engine room, our Social Club.
Facilities for everyone
The Social Club is in style, a traditional honest space, consisting of 3 great function rooms. The Jon Downing suite named after our ex-chairman, can entertain some 200 guests and The Stan Robinson Suite which can hold another 150 and is named in honour of our ex director. Both were until their passing local businessmen and good friends whose hearts were always in the club. The third is our Chairman’s suite newly and fully refurbished under the supervision of our current Chairman, John Bromley and can accommodate 80 guests. All of our rooms are let out on a regular basis for special occasions, parties, celebrations, family get together or by businesses looking to hire the right place for the right price with free parking on site. The blood transfusion service uses one of the rooms on a regular basis along with many small groups/clubs.
Part of the Community
If we could, we would, carry out some further upgrading to the Social Club but finances won’t allow it and we work proudly with what we have. What it lacks in modern lines it makes up for in its character and it is a part of the fabric of our local community. We have hosted large weddings on many occasions as couples enjoy one of life’s major celebrations and played our part in loss and sadness hosting funerals and wakes for families feeling pain. The club has three fully stocked bar and a comprehensive kitchen. The Social Club is where we will be celebrating any success this season, why don’t you join us?
For more information please contact our Social Club Manager Harj by visiting our website and complete the enquiry form at www.staffordrangersfc.co.uk
There are many large and small businesses in the Stafford area that we would love to be part of the journey going forward. We are delighted to be associated with our many local businesses sponsors but we want to reach out to more of you. Of course we want to encourage your financial support and believe we can tailor commercial packages that will encourage you to join us on the journey together. We, like many of your businesses have a history and a story that you are proud of but we are driven more by our desire to build an even more exciting future that can deliver our vision of becoming the best non-league football club on and off the pitch, with strong core values to bring people together. Would you like to name our stadium after your business? Do you want to get exposure through our social media platforms? With nearly 20,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram we can get your business message and profile delivered in an effective way. Adding your business to our match day social media posts provides up to 35,000 impressions for a match day sponsor per game.
We encourage and mentor youngsters in many different age categories and the U18’s and U16’s Development Squads objective is to develop great home grown talent through into the first team. Investment in youth is paramount but we can do so much more with the right partners willing to play a part in putting the club and their business on the map. If you would like to find out more or at least have an initial discussion please give me a call on 07774 198835.
After at least two disappointing seasons we can now dream of changing things and turn those into reality. We want to win pure and simple, the desire is there and we believe we have the basis of a squad to deliver. We want to get as many people into the ground as possible to be our twelfth man.Rangers can’t truly succeed and be the club the town and community would like to have without the wholehearted support of the town. That’s because unlike several of our competitors we aren’t owned by multi-millionaire chairmen and directors. We are owned by our shareholders who are also our biggest fans and the club is run on their behalf. So if you want the Boro to go from strength to strength come and support us on match days, you will make a difference.
We are working long and hard to ensure that Stafford Rangers is a fun and safe place for Mum’s and Dads to bring their families so why not try us out in August when football comes home on the 14th August. Sustainability is always about encouraging the future and that’s always the next generation. You can buy tickets on our website by clicking the link to buy tickets.
The sun may still be out, the grass freshly cut and we could all be singing Sweet Caroline together how good could that be, what a great day that could be !