Exeter City Women’s Supporters' Club
Updated: Mar 21
Whilst on the pitch the 2020/2021 Season has not allowed for all the action everyone had hoped for, off the pitch there has been significant progress in advancing engagement with supporters, both current and potential.
One part of that progress has been the commencement of the Exeter City Women’s Supporters' Club. This week I spoke with founder Clive Harrison to better understand the role in which the organisation hopes to play within the women’s set-up at Exeter City.
The supporters' club was launched on November 1, 2020, with the FA Cup tie against AEK BOCO seeing the group first introduced to supporters. Whilst there have been only two games played by the team since then, the growth of members has been steady. Clive is keen to make sure the supporters' club can provide support to the team on and off the pitch.
“The supporters' club was set up to help increase the Exeter City Women’s team’s supporter base and to promote their matches and events. We support the team with the provision of volunteers as required, prior to the latest lockdown that included track and trace, temperature checks, taking gate money and providing refreshments.
"We also aim to support the team financially, the supporters club donates the refreshment supplies, allowing valuable funds to be raised, and in the future we hope to further aid the team through sponsorship whenever possible.”
At a club such as Exeter City, supporter involvement and engagement has been a key element of how the club operates for many years. That success, so prominent in the men’s set-up, is now hoped to be replicated with the Women’s Team.
“We are already members of the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA.) The FSA are an inclusive, independent, democratic organisation working with supporters, governing bodies, leagues and clubs to drive positive change in football through supporter engagement at every level of the game.
"They nurture and develop supporter networks at local, national and international levels, working with supporters’ trusts, clubs and individuals to initiate and support campaigns on issues of concern to football supporters, encouraging good governance, supporter representation on club boards, community-ownership and sustainable stewardship of football clubs.”
With the pause in football activity allowing the supporter’s club to set out it’s aims, once the team can return to football, Clive is confident that those affiliating themselves with the club can make a real difference.
“We will be at matches providing support for the team, both voluntary and vocal. We hope to increase the membership and build on our dedicated group of volunteers, we always need more willing helpers so that we can expand our efforts.
"This help does not need to be offered at every match; we welcome any time people can offer. A supporters' club committee to help run the group will be formed in time for next season, so if you would like to get involved please contact us.”
The supporters' club associated with the men’s team have made some considerable contributions to the football club. At present they participate in player sponsorship, organise the 50/50 draw at St James Park on match-days (remember those…) as well as organise away travel for supporters.
The organisation has also assisted in purchases of tractors, grass cutters, vehicles and much more besides, if the club has been met with additional costs then the supporters' club have been there to help.
This assistance has now spanned over 30 years. The type of aide offered has, in many times over that 30 plus years existence, been vital. To have a supporters' club for the women’s team will be a significant assistance during times when volunteer help is required and additional costs are encountered.