STRATFORD Town supporters are uniting to help play their part in ensuring the club continues to grow.
Having watched the team rise from the Midland Alliance to the Southern Premier, passionate fans say they want a stake in guiding the club to further success by raising money and offering manpower.
Having now formed the Stratford Town Independent Supporters Association, they urged the board to work with them ‘ for the mutual benefit of the club’.
Chairman Rob Maisey said the board of directors, supporters and community needed to work together off the pitch to help Carl Adams’ side on it.
In a statement, the new group said: “We feel that as supporters there is more we can do to help the club through fundraising and also by offering our manpower to help with ground maintenance, stewarding, or in whatever capacity we can assist.
“Although our offers of help have been declined by the club in the past we have requested to meet the board of directors to hopefully reopen a dialogue and offer our help again.
“The club has achieved unprecedented success in recent seasons and in our view this success canonly be maintained through a combined off field effort that involves greater involvement from the supporters and the community.
“We do not wish to downplay the efforts of the board of directors who have done excellent work to bring the club to this point, but we do want to be a democratic voice that reflects and communicates the views of the supporters more formally and encouragesthe board to be more open and transparent in their communications.
“We only want to work collaboratively with the board for the mutual benefit of the club.”
Membership of the association is just £2 a year for juniors (under 16) and £10 for adults and membership forms can be found at https://stratfordtownisa.com/home/join-stisa
On the pitch, Stratford will be looking to build on their midweek Birmingham Senior Cup progress by overcoming Grantham Town tomorrow (Saturday) in the FA Trophy first qualifying round at the DCS Stadium.
Adams saluted a ‘resilient’ display as Jamie Sheldon’s goal was enough to defeat Stourbridge in the county cup first round on Monday night.
The host Glassboys had the better of the first half but Town, given a half-time rollicking by Adams, were much improved in the second period and leading scorer Sheldon converted a 63rd-minute winner after Will Grocott crossed from the left.
Last Saturday, Town were held to a 1-1 home draw with King’s Lynn Town. Richard Gregory put Town ahead from Barry Fitharris’s cross just before the hour but Lee Stevenson leveled and Town ended with ten men when Fitzharris was sent off.
Edwin Ahenkorah, Dan Summerfield and Kieren Westwood are all injury concerns to face a Grantham side, who occupy one place above Stourbridge in the Northern Premier League.