The start of the 2014 Airtricity League season may be still over three months away but Dundalk fans have already started planning ahead for the new campaign with over 100 of the club’s supporters, young and old, attending the first meeting of ‘The Shedside Army’, in the Lilywhite Lounge last Tuesday night.
The supporters group has been set up in a bid to give match going supporters one definitive voice. A committee is almost finalised and plans are already in place for a membership scheme to be set up along with fundraisers like a Poker Classic, a supporters game against their Drogheda United counterparts and a bucket collection. All the proceeds collected will be made available to help supporters gather the materials needed to generate a better atmosphere at home and away games.
Mark ‘Maxi’ Kavanagh is one of the committee members involved and he explained why the ‘Shedside Army’ was formed.
“One of the problems we had at times last season was that there was no money available for fans to make banners or flags or to buy drums. Any money that we raise will go to buying banners, paint for flags, things like that.
“A better atmosphere at games means more people will come through the turnstiles and the club will have a bigger budget. If that happens, everybody connected to Dundalk FC is a winner.”
Maxi said he was delighted with the turnout on the night, especially from the younger generation.
“We have a lot of young, enthusiastic supporters who are the new generation of Dundalk fans coming through. The purpose of this group is to give them direction and structure”, he said.
“Some of the ideas brought up at the meeting were excellent. The committee has some members who were involved with the ‘Save Our Club’ campaign in 2012 so they have experience of what we need to do.
“Our aim is that when the 2014 season starts, the fans, as well as the players, are ready to hit the ground running.”
A further meeting is planned for this week with details on the fundraisers expected early in the new year.