Yeovil Town will today launch a series of initiatives aimed at increasing the average match attendance to 5,000 supporters.
The Glovers this season have registered their two lowest crowds since joining the Football League in 2003 as gates fall at many clubs across the country.
Target 5 aims to rebuild this home support, with Yeovil bidding to add at least 1,000 fans to the average 4,005 that currently come through the turnstiles for a game at Huish Park.
The first part of the scheme that promises to include incentives for season ticket holders, local senior and junior football club members, schools and corporate groups will be rolled out for the npower League One clash against Carlisle United on Saturday, November 24.
Children that attend the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust development centres and school coaching programmes will be able to watch the Glovers entertain the Cumbrians for free if they attend with an adult, who can buy a discounted ticket for £10.
Chief executive Martyn Starnes said: “We are obviously concerned at the numbers attending Huish Park recently and we need to rebuild our home support. It’s a challenging environment for most clubs at the moment and we recognise it’s going to be a tough task to return our average attendance to 5,000 but we have to set ourselves a target that will enable us to move forward with our ambitions.”
Target 5 will offer family packages and ticket bundles, with promotional schemes involving club sponsors and advertisers. Supporters are invited to send in their ideas to increase attendances with a prize on offer for the most original suggestion.
In conjunction with the Community Sports Trust, local schools and clubs will be invited to stadium tours, coaching sessions and half-time activities. A new area on the club website will be designed to feature youth football news and exclusive video clips.
First team manager Gary Johnson said: “I am very conscious of the need to build a new generation of supporters for this great club. It was a fact that was drummed home to me recently when I bumped into a group of youngsters from one of the local teams.
“Their enthusiasm was amazing and it made me realise we must engage with all the youngsters of the area. Not only can we satisfy their hunger for a connection with this club, but who knows we could quite easily, with help from the Community Trust, find the next Wayne Rooney out there in Merriott or Pen Mill or Lyde United.
“Supporter bases change with the passing years and we must be prepared to engage with and encourage the younger supporters out there in the local area.”
The Glovers’ clash with Oldham Athletic on Saturday, December 22 has been designated Kids For A Quid, where under-16s can watch the match for £1.