Whitchurch Alport set for season start with moment under the spotlight to come

Reporter:

Colin Channon

WHITCHURCH Alport have been a busy lot this summer. For some, the season had barely ended before changing rooms were extended, a press facility was built – along with a new tea bar – gallons of paint were applied around their Yockings Park home, new nets and net supports went in and a few bob was spent on the playing surface, too.

Alport appear to be a club who just can’t sit still and the improvements on and off the pitch over the past 14 months or so has certainly been hard to ignore.

Their Twitter account is one of the most active at Step 6 and Alport’s following on social media has more than quadrupled and gets plenty of traffic, whether there’s a match on or not.

Average gates climbed an astonishing 210 per cent last term (their 236 average was the third highest in the country at Step 6) so there’s lots to be positive about for anyone attached to the club.

And last week, the television cameras descended on SY13 when the club’s press officer, Martin Wild, tried to drum up a bit of media support ahead of Alport’s first FA Cup match at Walsall Wood, which ended in a 3-1 defeat for the Reds.

“I sent out a speculative email to Midlands Today last weekend, which is obviously our regional BBC news outlet,” said Martin.

“On Monday morning, their sports producer Nick Clitheroe rang me to say they’d been trying to get hold of us, so it was a very timely email in that regard.

“The lads were down to train twice this week so Nick asked if he could bring along a cameraman on Thursday and get some background on the club, so they could air the piece the following day.

“I arranged for three stalwarts of the club – our president Peter Wainwright, vice-chairman Johnny Allman and matchday secretary Marc Haller – to be at the ground for 6pm so Nick interviewed them, and then took time to talk to our co-management team, Luke Goddard and Carl Everall.

“Both are very comfortable with the press so they’ve made my job really pleasurable and rewarding.

“The players put on a cracking session and there was a really good vibe about the place.

“As Luke said, players and managers will always come and go, so it was great to give Pete, Johnny and Marc their moment of glory, as things haven’t always been as rosy at Alport as they appear to be at the moment.

“The BBC were hugely complimentary about us and said the piece would attract around 600,000 viewers so our profile will have increased significantly on the back of this.

“The recording they did was excellent and they even went down into the town to speak to a few of the locals, so we were all so proud to get such prime television coverage.

“A lot of people at the club work so hard for little recognition so it’s really nice we were able to make them all even more proud of who they represent. Without our army of volunteers, we’d never experience moments like these and they’re a massive part of what we do.”

Email:

colin.channon@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Whitchurch Herald

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