Pic: Gary House
SLOUGH TOWN are not content with being back at home after 13 years away, they want to bash the bookies while they’re at it.
Bank Holiday Monday’s 2-1 victory over Hayes & Yeading was significant in a lot of ways, but the fact that the win kept the Rebels within sight of the Southern Premier leadership was small fry in comparison to the overall picture.
Homeless and in exile since 2003, false dawns and frustration have been in plentiful supply ever since as the club’s board and fans have worked tirelessly to get their club back in the town they were kicked out of due to financial disagreements so long ago.
No fan should have to go nearly 15 years without watching their team play a home game and although joint-boss Neil Baker can’t profess to being on the whole journey with them, he sees his part as helping fill Arbour Park by giving the fans exactly what they want.
Baker, who takes the team along with lifelong friend Jon Underwood, said: “Last Monday was clearly a massive step for Slough Town.
“To walk out to a capacity crowd of nearly 1,500 was a big moment, it signalled our return and I believe that there is a real appetite for football in the town. Whilst we may have skipped a generation for some fans with how long we have been out of the town there seemed genuine delight with the day and the fact Slough were back home.
“Obviously there would have been a lot of one time only guests or a few times a season, but I believe that we will see a significant jump in our regular crowds at least short term and if we can keep up with the positive start to the season, then there is no reason to suggest that this can’t remain longer term.”
Nothing draws a good gate like winning football, but if the bookmakers are to be believed then apparently we shouldn’t expect to see the team near the top of the table for too much longer.
Baker added: “A few of the big boys had us down for 50/1 at the start of the season and despite starting really well we’re still 12/1 to win it!
“I think we’ve got an outside chance and we want to take the club to the next level. It works both ways, the bigger the crowds the bigger our chances. With the cost of professional football these days, a family can spend an afternoon out for less than £15.
“So many kids these days just watch football on the TV and rarely get to watch games live, so it is our job to try and buck that trend and provide a good family afternoon out.”