I was at St Andrew’s on Tuesday afternoon to watch the Player of the Season awards presented by supporters clubs and groups. I enjoyed watching the training session and chatting with other fans but the best part, for me, was the chance to get nearer to the players. Footballers who play in the top tiers of football live in a different world to ordinary fans; they don’t live in the same streets or drink in the same pubs. If you look at the pictures of Tuesday’s event that accompany the article on the official site, in pictures 23 to 28 you will see fans getting autographs and pictures with players. It was very clear that they valued the opportunity to talk to players.
Only a limited number of supporters were invited and able to be there on Tuesday. I hope the club will find a way to stage a similar event for more fans. I remember the open training day before the start of the 2011-2012 season. It would be great if the club could arrange something like that. Supporters would appreciate it and, I would imagine, it would boost sales in the club shop. What is good for the fans is good for the club.
In the pictures below, the top three are of the open training day in August 2011; the others were taken on Tuesday. I didn’t get any signatures or pictures of myself with players but I did manage to give one of my AWCA scarves to Zigic and he obligingly held it up for a photo. I don’t know if he understands my reasons for getting the scarf made but the photo is one that I’ll treasure.