Thompson delighted by Daggers occasion
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE managing director Steve Thompson reflected on a fantastic day after the fight against racism match against Macclesfield Town on Saturday
by MIKE SIMMONDS
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE managing director Steve Thompson reflected on a "fantastic" day after the fight against racism match against Macclesfield Town on Saturday..
Not only did Daggers end up as 3-1 winners, but 3,721 supporters crammed into Victoria Road, and the cause gained plenty of exposure through the local and national media present on the day.
"It was a fantastic day, and the amount of positive feedback I've had is unbelievable," he said.
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"I've had someone email me who usually goes to the Emirates and had never been before, and he said he is definitely coming back, which is what we want to see.
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"I went out into the car park before the game at half past two, and just saw hundreds of kids coming into the ground, which was wonderful.
"I must be honest and admit that towards the end I did well up a little bit.
"All the players had stayed around to sign autographs and tickets for supporters and it typifies what wonderful ambassadors they are for the club."
The fans in attendance can't help but have been impressed with the Daggers performance, particularly in the second half, as they rained attack after attack on the Silkmen's defence.
Some wonderful goals followed, particularly Danny Green's terrific volley, and Thompson is hoping that showing entices the new breed of supporters back to Victoria Road.
"The best thing was that we won and it was such a great game," he said.
"I was a bit worried at half time, because we were losing and had so many chances to score.
"But we managed to in the second half and there were two disallowed goals as well, so it was a good spectacle."
For the first time in a league match, Daggers fans were allowed in the new Marcus James stand and they did their bit in getting behind the team.
Goalkeeper Tony Roberts, who so often engages the visiting followers in light-hearted banter, was hoping it could become a permanent move.
"I thought it was brilliant," he said. "There was a good noise coming from there, every time we did well, we could hear them behind us.
"Instead of getting hammered, they were cheering for us, and I don't know if we can do it again, but it's a good idea.
Unfortunately, according to Thompson, the security logistics and costs behind such a move, makes it unlikely to happen.
"Not in the foreseeable future," said the managing director, although he didn't completely rule the switch out.
"It's a question of access. We can't have all the fans going through the same part, so it won't change next season.
"Next season we will have to spend some money on maintenance of the stand and it has already cost a lot of money to upgrade all the facilities too."
Daggers are back at home again on April 3, where they are holding another initiative for supporters, with kids let in for just a quid.
With the success of the fight against racism event at the weekend, Thompson admitted it's something they could look to repeat next season.
"We could do something similar next season, but we haven't had a chance to evaluate as a board yet after the game, so that's what we need to do," he said.
You can still sign the petition against racism online at email@example.com