South Shields FC are hoping fan power can take them to the next level – after the club revealed record-breaking season ticket sales.
More than 350 supporters have bought a season ticket, a figure three times higher than the same stage last year.
I’d like to see us sell even more season tickets because we’re very ambitious, and the supporters are central to thatGeoff Thompson
It comes after the Mariners enjoyed an incredible campaign last time out, winning four trophies, including the FA Vase at Wembley.
They also won promotion to the Northern Premier League Division One North, meaning they will come up against teams from Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and even Wales.
The club has an ultimate goal of reaching the Football League – which remains four promotions away – and chairman Geoff Thompson says it is vital the public continues to back the Mariners if they are to realise their ambitions.
He said: “It’s great news that we’ve sold more season tickets than at any point in recent times.
“There’s an exciting season ahead, as we will have new visitors to Mariners Park and new grounds to go to. Season ticket holders will be seeing us go up against teams we’ve never played before, and that’s exciting.
“I’d like to see us sell even more season tickets because we’re very ambitious, and the supporters are central to that. We need people to be behind the club. We’ve invested heavily, and without the fans’ backing, the club won’t prosper.
“We really do need to get the maximum number of people through the gates at home games in order for the club to progress as we want it to. We’re really hoping that we’re just at the start of an exciting journey.”
Last season, the club had an average attendance of 1,275, with almost 40,000 supporters passing through the turnstiles across the campaign.
They will kick-off the new season with a trip to Greater Manchester to take on Trafford on Saturday, before their first home match against Brighouse Town three days later.
Mr Thompson added: “Pre-season has demonstrated how well-prepared the players are and the progress we’re making.
“We’ve played against sides significantly above us in league standing, and have fared very well. We don’t want to go into the season feeling over-confident, but we’re well prepared and playing some great football.
“Hopefully, people will respond to that and visit Mariners Park in their numbers, where they will have an enjoyable day out and watch some great football.”
A season ticket to watch the Mariners costs from £140 for adults, £105 for concessions and £25 for under-16s.
They are still available by visiting Mariners Park, or calling the club on 0191 454 7800.