CHIPPENHAM TOWN chairman Neil Blackmore hopes to see more people pile into Hardenhuish Park next season as the Bluebirds make their debut in the National League.
The club enjoyed a bumper crowd for their recent 2-1 defeat to St Neots Town over the Easter weekend as more than 1,100 supporters turned up to see the newly-crowned Southern League champions.
After witness the croweds come out in support of Mark Collier’s side, who are likely to be plying their trade in National South, Blackmore would like nothing more than to see those fans to return for the next campaign.
“It’s massively important (for those fans to come back),” said Blackmore.
“Although we haven’t sat down and discussed specifics with the manager, I know it is going to cost the club more money.
“We need these people week in, week out, and we need local businesses to support us as well.
“We don’t know what the exact figure we will need for next season because we haven’t had that meeting yet.
“We decided we wouldn’t have that meeting until we knew where we were.
“We still have a bit more celebrating to do. But once that is out of the way, we will sit down with the management team to see what we need going forward.”
Blackmore was quick to praise manager Collier, who took charge of the Bluebirds in November 2013, and his backroom team for delivering promotion.
He also believes the team spirit he has created at the club is one of the main reasons they have been successful this year.
“I’ve said it many times before, he (Collier) is so easy to work with. He’s good with the players, he’s good with the fans and he is good with the press,” the chairman said.
“We don’t agree on everything but we often agree to disagree. We are able to talk through our problems without falling out, we just get on with it - he’s made my life a lot easier.
“Every season that we have played, we have learned from mistakes. This season, we strengthened the squad in one or two places.
“We’ve managed the players a lot better than we have previously.
“Yes, we have had a bit of luck along the way, but you need that.
“The spirit within the team this season is phenomenal and when we haven’t played good football, we have still won games.”