Looking back. Moving forwards.

Come on, be honest, how many people still replay that Richard Wood extra-time header in their minds on a daily basis? Thinking what if Carlton Morris had played that pass through on goal at one-all? What if we’d had Eisa on the bench ready to run at tired legs? What if Lenell Jo… you get the idea.

Nearly a year on from the event, it still takes some getting used to. But maybe its easier to dwell on what might have been, than it is to think about what we have. Just a few years ago if you’d predicted we’d now be watching a Salop team playing in blue and amber stripes with a loggerheads badge attacking the safe standing section in the South Stand you’d have been laughed out of town. Things have changed, and for the better. And though it’s not perfect, and never will be, its hard to remember a time when the club’s relationship with the fans has been better.

With this, comes opportunities. Perhaps none more-so prominent than the introduction of safe standing in the South Stand. This is something many of us were asking for for years, albeit never thinking we’d ever see it actually happen, but thanks largely to the outstanding work of the Supporters’ Parliament, happen it has.

The South Stand during Shrewsbury Town vs Accrington Stanley, 2014 © STFC Youtube Channel.

Whilst of course, standing behind goal is not for everyone, the experience of those pioneers who have moved to the South Stand has been interesting to say the least. Of course, it is not easy trying to create something from nothing, and it would be fair to say there were one or two people block 9 who perhaps did not welcome a few dozen loud-mouths with flags and a drum into their previously hushed surroundings. Nonetheless, though nobody is claiming it to be of Galasatasary-esque proportions, the atmosphere at New Meadow has by most accounts held-up pretty well, especially when one considers the “entertainment” that has been provided on the pitch. This is something we should all be proud of, but as far as we’re concerned, it’s only the start.

So, what next? The intention of this group is to be more ambitious with regard to the atmosphere at New Meadow, with the initial primary intention being organising flag displays at home games. We believe this can not only create an impressive visual spectacle, but our experience in block 9, even with a relatively small number of flags , has been that the atmosphere as a whole tends to lift when there is a flag display before the game.

We therefore aim to build this into something much bigger and better, by filling the entire South Stand with flags and creating something to be proud of. This is something by the fans, for the fans. And we can’t wait to get started.

Stay tuned for more.

Floreat Salopia.

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