Why not try the Woodside match-day experience?

I think if the '˜dirge' that passed for Liverpool versus Manchester United on Monday taught us anything, it's that all that glisters is not gold.

Friday, 21st October 2016, 8:30 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:13 am

Don’t get me wrong, as an Albion fan I have one eye on the Premier League dream tempered with another phrase at the back of my mind, be careful what you wish for.

Even at Championship level, fans find their ‘supporter experience’ constantly altered with kick-offs changed to accommodate live TV coverage. From February 13 until September 10, Albion didn’t have a 3pm Amex kick-off on a Saturday. I appreciate football has moved on, and I dread to think without the level of TV money on offer the state some clubs would find themselves in but ultimately that still doesn’t make it right.

I would never desert the Albion, 43 years is a long time, we’ve been through a lot together, thick and thin. As previously stated, one of my biggest disappointments has been the almost enforced change from supporter to customer.

A welcome antidote to this has come in the form of Worthing Football Club, itself not without its own trials and tribulations.

From the inside there’s a clear timeline as to what’s gone on and, quite simply, without George Dowell I’m not sure if there would even be a club playing at Woodside.

One of the overwhelming aspects of the match-day experiences and something that is highlighted to me by both visiting match officials and other clubs, is the amount of youngsters playing football on the 3G pitch after the game. With youngsters ultimately being the future of the club both on and off the field, to have all those young lads, and ladies, kicking a ball around is a real fillip.

Aside from that with realistic admission prices, excellent food, a very nice, yet not overpriced, bar, and a young, exciting team playing attractive attacking football, the Woodside match-day experience is exactly what a football fan is looking for.

I’m clearly biased and, without doubt, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. With the Albion at Wigan this Saturday, Worthing entertain Hendon in the Ryman Premier League, 3pm kick-off.

There’s free match-day parking at Worthing High School, and if you’re one of the 22,000 Albion season ticket holders, a large number of whom live in the Worthing post code area, you get in for £5 on production of your season ticket.

Ultimately, if Monday made you think about all that was wrong in the game, Saturday at Woodside will be the flip side of the coin. Hopefully see you down there.

Sir Bradley Wiggins’s Tour De France victory spawned a new British sporting hero and helped catapult British cycling to a higher level. Unfortunately, banned substance allegations currently hang a cloud over Sir Brad’s win, with rival cyclists Froome and Hoy’s comments not really helping his case.

Hopefully, if not just for him but British sport in general, he will be totally exonerated. My only concern is now to a certain extent the dye has been cast, with the good old British tradition of ‘mud sticks’.

While one swallow doesn’t a summer make, one dreadful season also won’t destroy a football club. In Steve Allen, Ferring Football Club have the right man for the job in what are truly desperate times.

I recall in my younger days as fanzine editor, Barry Lloyd banging on about ‘real football people’. Back then I thought it was merely a cliché but age has taught me he was talking sense and Steve was just the kind of person he was referring to.

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