Friday Sep 20, 2013
TAMWORTH v GATESHEAD
by NICK HUDSON
Saturday, September 21 at 3pm
VFM sounds like the 'Smooth' name of a catchy new radio station rather than a dated but still valued acronym for life - let alone football.
And this weekend loyal followers of The Lambs - and those teetering on the edge of getting involved - should take special note of at least the next few paragraphs of my Tamworth FC v Gateshead preview missive.
For a new survey, commissioned by none other than the 'Fourth Estate' - the BBC - on the cost to fans of supporting their favourite football team makes interesting reading.
And while Dale Belford, the team plus directors and staff at The Lamb are all striving for one goal - a place at the top table of the most elite club in world football (yes that's still the Football League with the Premiership at the pinnacle of ambition), let us not forget the most important ingredient in the mix.
It's the fans - for without them everything turns to Turnips or suffering through a season of Paul Jewell's "famous achievement" of leading The Rams to a record low points total of 11 (ELEVEN).
Now admittedly things won't always go right on the pitch at The Lamb - but one thing that's undeniable is fans of Tamworth FC are WINNERS in the Value For Money League.
And, with the exception of sunny Southport on the North West coast of the UK, there's no finer place in the top five footballing divisions to get your money's worth.
The Lamb is the high altar of price consciousness in our cash-crazy world. I'm delighted to say fans in Tamworth are splashing out LESS cash when they go to watch their beloved team watch on an average Saturday or Tuesday night. That VFM currently means that for the price of £15.50 - Lambs' fans can get a match day ticket, a cup of Rosy Lee and a proper gleg at their top programme.
One person who's in no doubt about Tamworth's bargain prices is chairman Bob Andrews. He's proud of the club's achievements in this 'league' and believes the club offers fans a "fair price", adding: "We've worked hard to keep the costs down. "I'm not surprised we are among the lowest. We just want to offer value and I hope the fans see it that way too "
In the Skrill Premier, Barnet cost the most to see with a top ticket price of £25. While further afield, the Gunners fire the top shots for seat prices - the cheapest at the Emirates Stadium is £26 and a season ticket can set you back
More reasons to be cheerful: Well tomorrow's home game against Gateshead gives fans the opportunity to say 'hello again'
to former Tamworth FC boss Gary Mills.
The man who led Tamworth back into the Conference Premier four years ago returns to the Lamb this Saturday
with his new charges from the North East. And Lambs boss Dale Belford and Mills will be looking to erase the memory of
midweek disappointment - as both teams went down 3-0 at home.
The Lambs will need cheering on after their reversal to promotion candidates Kidderminster Harriers - and boss
Belford will be hopeful that goalscoring talisman Richard Peniket has shaken off an ankle injury that saw him substituted just before half time in the Harriers game.
Hamstring troubles for Richie Baker and a groin strain for Ben Richards-Everton will keep the physio department busy up to Saturday's 3pm kick-off.
Although sentiment is an unwanted bedfellow in football, Lambs boss Belford is pleased former Tamworth coach Mills is "back in football".
"It will be good to see him," said Belford who believes it's a crazy world when 12 months after taking a team
into the Football League and winning the FA Trophy - he's get sacked (Gary Mills' fate at York City).
"I am sure Gary will do a great job at Gateshead. He will certainly be up for the game on Saturday," added Belford.
The Tamworth boss accepts responsibility for Tuesday's defeat and "flat" performance. "There is a need to put
it right this weekend," he added.
I told you there was THREE reasons to be cheerful . . .