“Clarence Park needs to be a fortress,” says City boss

Saints celebrate John Frendo's winner. Picture by Leigh Page

Saints celebrate John Frendo's winner. Picture by Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

JAMES GRAY and Graham Golds have issued a rallying cry to the fans ahead of St Albans City FC’s first home game of the season.

The Saints travel to Poole on Saturday before welcoming Hungerford to Clarence Park on Monday night, and the joint managers are hoping for an electric atmosphere for the homecoming.

Gray said: “We’re all really excited for the first game at home.

“We need our home form to be spot on so Clarence Park has to be a fortress. The fans play a massive part in that. Five or six times last season they were singing and, believe me, it makes a difference.”

He added: “If we’re going to achieve anything this season we need them behind us, backing us from the off. We’ll have blips but if we can get everyone pulling in the same direction – the players, management, owners, fans, youth team and reserve team – then we can bring a feel-good factor back to St Albans, which has been in the doldrums [in recent years].

Last season City’s highest attendance was 615 with an average of 376 – the fourth highest in the league – but Golds is hoping for more this time around.

“The fans play a huge part in the game; you could see that against St Neots last year when they were trading chants; it lifted the players,” he recalled.

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“Just seeing Clarence Park busy will lift the players and give them the extra 20 per cent needed to win tight games. The fans really can be the 12th man.

“St Albans City is a big club and there is no reason why we can’t get 600-plus fans at home games. If we’re successful in entertain and winning, then the fans will keep showing up.”

The Saints were involved in the highest attended game of the season, the 2-1 away loss to champions Leamington, which attracted 1,027 fans.

At the time, Gray said the ground was rocking and Leamington’s players fed off the crowd’s energy; something he wants to see at each and every game at Clarence Park this term.