Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division
Everybody’s a winner if Wakefield AFC can smash the 500 crowd barrier for the clash with unbeaten Penistone Church Reserves on Friday night.
That’s the view of Wakefield manager Adam Lockwood whose ambitious club are running the ‘#Challenge500’ promotion in bid to entice new supporters.
Four hundred tickets have already been sold so Wakey are well on course to hit their goal and former Doncaster Rovers defender Lockwood says a huge attendance benefits everyone.
“It is good that we’re trying to progress,” Lockwood told Non League Yorkshire.
“I think it is great for the league, I think it is great for the area and great for football.
“Hopefully the profile of the league will go up and I’m sure the teams coming to play in that environment will enjoy it.
“For our level of football to be getting that sort of interest is amazing.
“You want to keep breaking barriers in any aspect of life so if the club can do it, it would be great.
“We’re on a journey and we’re going to have dips and positive times.
“Hopefully we can do things to keep increasing the profile of the club and keep developing the club in the community.
“That’s the number one aim; to have a community club that is not just here for football.
“It will help people in different ways and off-the-pitch and on-the-pitch, can we affect lives in a positive way?
“That’s what we are trying to achieve.”
If the attendance could easily go far beyond 500 if there is a surge of people who just turn up on the night.
It would be an unbelievable achievement as such an attendance would be almost unheard of in the County Senior League.
The aim of the challenge is to increase the Wakefield fan-base, but does that more pressure on Lockwood’s side?
“Every week as a footballer, no matter what level, you should put pressure on yourself to perform,” he said.
“There’s an element of enjoyment but everyone wants to play their best and that’s why you take part in sport.
“We’ll be no different.
“We’re looking to perform and keep our performances levels up in every game we take part in.
“But we do need to keep performances up so people do enjoy coming to watch us.”
Wakefield have won their two home games in the league in front of big crowds of over 300.
Wakey put seven past High Green Villa and then beat Houghton Main 5-0.
But Lockwood knows his men face a stern test in Penistone who have won all four of their opening matches.
“Penistone have a good record and it will be no different to any other game in this league,” he said.
“If we’re not on song on the day we’ll find it tough on the day.
“That’s no different to any league in the country.
“If you don’t prepare right and perform on the day, teams will give you challenges.
“Penistone will be no different to that and their record speaks for itself.
One downside for Wakefield is they have only played once – a cup game – since the 2-1 defeat at Ecclesfield Red Rose 1915 on the 25th September.
Lockwood would not be drawn on his views on the break, caused by two late postponements, but he admits it is not ideal.
“It is always disappointing not to play but we keep focussing on the next session and the next game,” he said.
“That’s all I have ever done.
“One thing for sure is you get set-backs so you have keep focus on improving and pushing forward.
“Things have been out of our control and we can only control what we can do.”