Heanor Town chairman Geoff Clarence has issued a rallying cry for local people to get behind his football club.
The Town Ground supremo has lofty ambitions for the Lions and believes the support of Heanor people and local firms can help realise those dreams.
He wants to see Heanor Town competing at a higher level, alongside near neighbours Belper Town and Ilkeston FC.
But to achieve that, he’ll need help.
“This is a genuine appeal for your support to get behind your local non league football club,” he said.
“After gaining 10 points from our last four games Heanor are now in a genuine promotion challenge, sitting in fifth place of the Midland league, above and around clubs with bigger financial clout.
“My aim and wish is for Heanor Town to join our neighbours from Belper and Ilkeston and play our football at the very best non league level in this area, however I cannot achieve that aim without your support.”
One of the challenges facing the Lions is competing with richer clubs.
The chairman says he can only do so much on his own but insisted he’s still committed to building for the future.
Clarence said: “You only need to look at Hereford FC spending nearly £300,000 last season to get out of this league to see that it is a good level of football, made even harder with only one promotion place.
“Without the support from the people in the Heanor area, our senior football team will not develop and progress.
“Without the support of the people of the Heanor area my backing will be focused on building our budding junior and youth teams along with improving infrastructure and facilities at the Town Ground.”
Clarence’s call for help might well have been prompted by the poor turnout at Heanor’s game on Saturday, when they beat Rocester 2-1 in front of fewer than 100 supporters.
“At the fist team home fixture on Saturday we had 91 paying supporters in attendance,” he said.
“It goes without saying that I am very grateful to each and every one of them, but if the people of Heanor want a team to compete at this level of football or above they need to understand that it has to come from their backing.
“I urge local businesses to also get behind the club with advertising and in turn the local people to support our sponsors as well as the club.
“When was the last time you ventured to the Town Ground to watch a match? And when was the last time you gave your support to the team or the club?
“If we all get behind the club we can make progress and be successful.”
The Lions are at home on 17th December, hosting Shepshed. Entry is £6 for adults, £4 for OAPs and free for U16s.