After a three-year exile Worksop Town are back at Sandy Lane this season, but how much does that really mean to the people of the town?
Martin McIntosh has put together a squad that seems capable of achieving promotion.
If they did they would be in the Conference North, just two divisions below the football league, so the Guardian took to the streets to find out how much Worksop coming home means to the fans and whether they think there’s a season of success around the corner.
Frank Ballard has been watching the Tigers for years and their homecoming comes as great news to him: “I’m really happy they’re back at Sandy Lane.”
“Hopefully with a few more fans – and a bit more support – the players will play that bit better so we can go up.”
While it’s good news for Frank, the majority of Monday’s shoppers seemed either unaware of the Tigers’ return or non-plussed: “I’ve never watched them. I want them to do well but I’m a Nottingham Forest fan so I’m there most weekends,” said Ben Taylor, who summed up most people’s views.
There is the fact of course that playing at Sandy Lane might bring back those fans on the periphery, those who are interested but not enough to travel to Hucknall or Ilkeston, and there were a few who admitted that they will attend more games now they’re played at a more convenient location.
“I’ll go when I’m free,” said Tom Harding, “I would like them to get promoted, hopefully they’ll get that new ground though. I reckon that will bring a few more punters in.”
Lesley Fisher was not aware that the Tigers had been playing away from the town but she was keen for them to enjoy some success: “I think it would be really good if they went up, the town would enjoy that.”
“It’s sad that they were playing in other towns, I didn’t know that had happened, I suppose it’s good news that they’re back here then!”
Wednesday 17th August sees Worksop’s competitive return to Sandy Lane, as they play host to Stafford Rangers.
If McIntosh’s side can get off to a good start, buoyed by increased home crowds, it might just be a season to remember for the Tigers.