Darlington director John Tempest is appealing for fans to bring a friend to the Vanarama National League North game against Tamworth on Saturday.
There’s a growing feelgood factor around the club following the arrival of former players Tommy Wright as manager and local lad Alan White as assistant manager, the signing of new faces Greg Mills, Luke Trotman and Josh Heaton, and the fightback from 3-1 down to gain a draw at Kidderminster last week. In addition, Quakers are just four points below the play off positions.
JT said; “We are currently averaging around 1,500 fans for home games at Blackwell Meadows which is only 1.5 per cent of the town’s population, and that’s not taking into account the fact a good number of our supporters come from outlying towns such as Richmond, Newton Aycliffe and Middlesbrough.
“While we really appreciate the number of our fans who come from the town and support us in many generous ways, that percentage is disappointing to say the least. Some people have said that the viewing experience at Blackwell Meadows isn’t very good and don’t attend matches, but these are often the very same people who said that they would never go back to the Arena. In addition, from our research a year ago we were led to believe that more people would come back to the club when it returned to the town, but this hasn’t really materialised.
“So how do we get more people to come? On the pitch we are now in a new management era and with Tommy bringing in new faces I would like to think that these factors would create more interest. Personally I feel very excited about the future direction of the club, and having, for example, over 1700 fans at matches creates a better and more exciting atmosphere and improves the financial stability of the club.
“Off the pitch Blackwell Meadows is a work in progress and in January we will have an additional 300 seats. Some of these will be allocated to families, as at present it is difficult for smaller children to see much at all. In the long term a concrete terrace at the away end will also enhance fans’ viewing, but obviously this depends on funding. Blackwell Meadows might not be a palace, but it’s our home, and like any home it takes a while to get it the way you want.
“In summary, please be patient and stick with the club. There is an awful lot of good work going on behind the scenes not just within Darlington FC but within the board of the DFC Supporters Group as well, so if you can bring along a family member or friend on Saturday it would be much appreciated.”