Gateshead Calling On Newcastle For Support
The biggest success story on Tyneside last season, was the oh so near miss when Gateshead suffered Wembley heartache, and just fell short of a return to the Football League.
As the season drew to a close, crowds increased and the play-off semi with Grimsby saw the International Stadium draw a record crowd for a competitive match, with 8,202 coming through the turnstiles.
Many of the extra fans were Newcastle supporters and now Gateshead are hoping to build on that interest and try to encourage as many of them to return next season as possible.
Considering Gateshead are up against so many clubs in the Conference with much bigger gates who have no Premier League club on the doorstep, it was a great effort by owner Graham Wood and Manager Gary Mills.
The big target in terms of support is to record an average of at least a thousand, something Gateshead have never previously managed in the Conference.
It would mean an extra 500 or so would have to be attracted regularly, to add to the 500 or so diehards who turn up week in week out.
Vice-Chairman Brian Waites is heading the drive to attract more fans and says;
“There are thousands of Newcastle fans living in Gateshead, and we also have Sunderland fans in the region, who got behind us last season.
“The support we had in the last 2 games was phenomenal, which shows the potential there is at what is the region’s top non-league club.
“It is important we build on this surge in support and keep many of the new supporters on board.
“Newcastle and Sunderland are massive in this area, and always will be, but it would be great if Magpies and Black Cats could adopt Gateshead as their second club.”
“We made a lot of friends and impressed many people, hopefully they are hooked and will come back.”
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Sadly, in the shorter term, a big chance to help Gateshead has been missed.
I find it difficult to understand why Newcastle United can’t send the first team to play a pre-season friendly at Gateshead, this would give a massive lift and cash boost as the Conference club approach the new season.
So Newcastle can send the first team to Oldham on July 15th, yet three days later, a club that United should be doing everything it can to work with and support, instead Gateshead get to play the NUFC reserves three days later on July 18th.
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