New Debenham chairman looking to entice fans back

New Debenham LC chairman Steve Sherwood is hoping that his tenure will coincide with an upturn in attendances at Friends Meadow.

Last season, the Hornets’ highest home attendance was 73 for a game against rivals Stowmarket Town, while just 22 people watched the 4-0 victory over Team Bury in February.

However, having stepped into the breach left by the departing Kevin Snell following almost 20 years of service, Sherwood has made it his mission to get more paying customers through the door.

“It is important to stress that my main priority is not to change too much,” he said.

“Kevin did a fantastic job and I am immensely proud to be following in his footsteps.

“One thing we do need as a club, though, is to re-engage with the supporters.

“We have lost some fans over the last few seasons and it would be great to get at least some of them back.”

Sherwood is well aware that gates will only increase if results and performances on the pitch are of an improved standard.

Debenham ended the previous term in poor form, winning just two of their last 11 games, which saw them finish 13th in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division.

With that in mind, the new supremo has revealed that manager Stuart Reavell will be given an improved budget to enhance his playing squad for the 2016-17 campaign.

“There will be an increased budget this year and a loyalty bonus for the players and manager if certain targets are met,” Sherwood added.

“We have a fine management team and we are delighted to have retained their services, despite strong interest from elsewhere.

“But, there were some players last season that did not perhaps give it their all every week.

“Because of that, some of the supporters quite rightly did not want to make long trips to places like March if they were not going to see 100 per cent effort.

“Hopefully, the manager will be able to add some players that will be able to change the mentality of the squad.”

n Meanwhile, the club has finalised its plans for pre-season friendlies, rejecting the chance to start the new season on July 30.

Debenham pre-season: Wednesday, July 20, Hadleigh United (A); Saturday, July 23, Scole United (A), Saturday, July 26, Haverhill Rovers (H), Saturday, July 30, Lakenheath (H), Saturday, August 2, Harleston Town (H).