Recently Shrewsbury Town in the Community launched their Affiliated Supporters Club project, which will be leading the way to get more fans involved, with funding available to assist fan clubs throughout Shropshire and to improve the fan experience.
The Affiliated Supporters Club project will also help Shrewsbury Town to engage with exiled supporters, watching from counties outside of Shropshire and even reaching fan groups across the world.
The first Supporters Club to sign up to this project has been “ShrewsfansUSA”, located in Minnesota. Club Secretary Tom Elcock took time out of his day to discuss the supporters club with Shrewsbury Town in the Community;
“I’m the only member of the supporters club from the UK as I’m originally from Wombourne, near Wolverhampton. My dad’s family are from Broseley, Telford and have always been Shrewsbury fans.” Explained Tom
“I started watching Shrewsbury in the late 80’s after coming to watch matches with my family.”
“I moved to the USA 13 years ago in 2004. Before the start of the live streams this season we listened to as many games as possible. This way was possibly not as interesting for people to listen to not being exiles as the games are to watch, especially this season.”
“The supporters group seemed to start properly being a larger group this year, with the ability to be able to live stream games making it easier for everyone to get involved with. “
“It’s a bit of a neighbourhood event, lots of the Children who are part of the group run around and play football in Shrewsbury shirts, it’s a rather funny feeling seeing your club like this from 4000 miles away.”
“The players have become household names on the street, it’s not your usual premier league stars that the children love.”
“We’ve set up our own twitter (@ShrewsfansUSA) which has other fellow exiled Shrewsbury fans following through this. They’re part of it from other states as well, such as Wisconsin.”
Speaking of the normal gathering the supporters club get for a fixture, Tom said, “15 or so of us watched the FA Cup replay against West Ham United, however for a normal Saturday league game there’s around 10-15 of us watching the games. Around half of those who gather to watch the games are children. The kids have loved the late winners this season against the likes of Rotherham and Doncaster.”
“I feel like the success of this season has helped. At the start of the season ahead of the game against Northampton I told most fans not to expect world-class football like you’d see in the Premier League.”
“But I think the success of the season has helped form the supporters club, but also being able to connect with players by watching them live every week at the same time helps those who aren’t exiles connect with the football club.”
On the success of Shrewsbury Town Football Club this season, Tom explained;
“I’m so impressed with the work ethic of the team. Some teams have more expensive players but the Town have left everything on the pitch and work together to get the right result for each other and for the supporters.”
“We will be watching the game against Doncaster tomorrow, it’s on at 9 am for us! It could be a tight game, maybe 1-0, but I feel like it will be a 2-1 home win. Carlton Morris has worked hard over recent games so it would be good to see him get on the scoresheet.”
“The consistency of players who know the system has helped this season, Hurst isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel and we’re not tinkering too much.”
“You can see in away games such as Wigan we might have to set up differently to get a point as these are tough fixtures.”
Speaking of the project that Shrewsbury Town in the Community have started, Tom said, “I think that the Affiliated Supporters Club project is a great thing to have that. Particularly for me, because apart from family and friends it’s the biggest thing that I miss about being away from the United Kingdom and to have that connection is great.”
To find out more about the Affiliated Supporters Club project and to sign up visit shrewsburytowninthecommunity.com/affiliated-supporter-clubs/.
Shrewsbury Town in the Community would like to thank Tom for taking time out of his day to speak to us regarding the Affiliated Supporters Club project and we hope you enjoy the game.
You can follow ShrewsFansUSA here on twitter to keep up to date with what the supporters club are up to.