Growing support, better results, and higher expectation levels are already playing a big part in the 'Wagner Revolution'.
Dean Hoyle has in my opinion pulled off the biggest marketing master stroke that this club has ever seen. In a world of football dominated by money and television, the very stature of clubs such as Huddersfield Town are under immense pressure to attract current supporters to not only attend games but also to attract and retain new supporters.
Turn on the television on a Saturday afternoon and football is thrust down your throat but it is not any old football just a small selection of the production line and that selection is mainly of the top ten clubs in the country.
As a child, as I mentioned in my previous article, I was mesmerised by the old ground, the sights the sounds on my very door step drawing me in, the only real way to watch what I wanted was to step inside and see what it was all about for myself.
In today’s world you could live right next to the hallowed turf and still never step outside of your living room to watch any of the chosen top ten clubs up and down the country in glorious high definition, multi angle slow motion action.
LOOK: Did you make it into our Huddersfield Town vs Derby County fan gallery?
So just exactly what does this mean to a club such as ours?
We have all seen over the years the varying attendance levels at home as we drift up and down the divisions. Just how or why someone would spend £20+ on a game of football from a team offering very little success to shout about is becoming a concern.
Okay the odd run in the cup here or there gets the missing fans or the town as a whole excited but in all reality this is not a long term solution to growing or retaining a fan base and ultimately growing and retaining our club.
Step up Dean Hoyle with his initiative of:
Firstly wanting to give this town a team to be proud of, something on a Saturday where you know you may not get the result you desire but you will be as best as is humanly possible guaranteed to see the on pitch desire and effort required to try and get that result.
This he has achieved by not only taking the well thought out risk of bringing in fresh and innovative coaching staff but also by investing heavily in the playing squad and training facilities.
Secondly realising the fan base as a whole was stagnating, just meandering along not really going anywhere, not growing, not capturing an interest beyond those already onboard and ultimately not generating the income levels to offer anything new.
The way he has jumped onto this and introduced a season ticket price which makes the whole area and beyond sit up and want to be involved, combined with the cut price match day offers and suddenly 18,000 home support is almost guaranteed week in week out. Less empty seats more volume for the team and more sales around the ground a win-win for all.
WATCH: Town players celebrate win over Derby County with the fans (courtesy of Sammy Johnson)
So my hat goes firmly off to Dean Hoyle and his team for creating the wave of euphoria surrounding the Wagner revolution, however with this we are now seeing something relatively new to the club in recent years and that is the rise in expectation levels surrounding the new found fans.
Phase 1 has been complete and appears to have attracted new fans whilst creating a real buzz and building some long overdue momentum but let us not under estimate the work which will come even harder after our fantastic start to the season. The work of managing the expectation levels of those new found and returning older fans whilst keeping all of those fans singing from the same song sheet.
The last thing the club needs after placing such positive building blocks is to drift back to the negativity of old. As a Town fan of many years I know only too well that we have a very fickle bunch of fans that are just waiting in the background ready given half the chance to spring to the fore again and scream we told you so and undo all this hard work.
As an example after the recent defeats to Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End fans are suddenly thinking we have no right to lose those games. How dare we lose we were top of the league. Grumblings of discontent and doubt about the squad already been heard. Something David Wagner has already stated his annoyance at, 1 bad performance in 14 games and the heavy handed critics are at it hard and fast.
We have had one bad performance out of 14 in a season where all the TV pundits nailed on our relegation before a ball was kicked. The fans have been amazing so far and I know the majority would be the same if we only had one good performance out of the 14.
Let us all keep our expectations real and remember for 90 minutes the players need the 12th man on their side not their back. Whatever comes and goes before or after those 90 minutes are pure words and opinions which are all valid to each extent but on a match day we must be one or the game is already lost.
LOOK: Huddersfield Town 1 Derby County 0, 22.10.16: Match Action from the John Smith's Stadium
If anyone still has any doubts over the manager or his squad and their commitment to a match then look at some photographs of the win over Derby County, they all scream passion in abundance. A result which was deserved earned and rightfully won against a team of top quality high value players.
Keeping newly attracted fans and retaining the attention of those once lost has seen massive progress this season under the steady hands of chairman Dean Hoyle. Getting fans onboard in this media mad world of television football is a thankless task but in my book there is still nothing better than the live stadium atmosphere on a match day. Whilst the thrill of been in your own back yard is great the thrill of getting one over your rivals on their turf is even better.
As a fan you know you’re hooked for life when every match win, lose, or draw, game after game, season after season the buzz of watching your team either down at the John Smiths Stadium or getting ready to set off on your travels kicks in.
This brings me onto at the time of writing our next game - Fulham away and just a little light hearted story to share.
The last time excitement and expectation levels were in a similar place and standing as now, with town sitting in the upper sections of the second tier of football was the 1999-2000 season when we ultimately missed out on the play-offs on the last day of the season away at Fulham.
This is a game I will never forget. Not because we lost or missed out on our shot at top flight football but because of the events surrounding the day. The excitement and anticipation levels were high that morning of the game as we jumped in the car and headed south. Getting near Fulham however things changed, we missed the turn off for the ground and somehow ended up bang in the middle of London, with traffic nose to tail and no idea where or how to get out of it.
Then suddenly as if by magic a parking space appeared, yes hard to believe but there it was a Sunday and a free parking space smack in the middle of the big city. A plan was forged we parked the car and jumped in a taxi also been very smart asking the driver to write down exactly where we were for later. £25 later we arrived at Craven Cottage just as the teams were finishing the First Half yes we missed opening 45 minutes but still our spirits were high we had arrived.
The rest as far as the football goes is history however the day was not lost, now we could tour London and see the sights for a while before heading back north. This is where things got rather strange, asking and showing people our slip of paper provided by our friendly cabbie resulted in everyone who we asked not actually knowing where we were heading. After taking almost four hours wandering searching and asking we stumbled upon our car with great relief.
LOOK: Last Time Out - Fulham 1-1 Huddersfield Town, 22.08.15
This is one event of my life I can only look back on and laugh about with great joy. Without Huddersfield Town in my life this day and many others would never have occurred. Sometimes the football is just a part of the bigger picture of joy and adventure. The making of many new friends, who without the club I would never have made.
16 years on I head back for my first visit to Craven Cottage since that day but this time the travel has been pre-planned on the train and a hotel for the weekend already booked no mistakes travelling this time. We also plan to meet up with the Southern Terriers in Putney on Saturday with our very own Andy Booth in attendance prior to enjoying the game.
Indeed 16 years on I have learned from my mistake more planning less haste has been put into the trip and the feeling from the club is exactly the same, a better squad and setup completely and I’m sure the lads will be giving it all again come Saturday whatever the result.
Darren, 44, resides in Golcar with his wife Mary and seven children who are all avid Town fans as well. Season-Ticket holder Darren grew up in Deighton, mesmerised by the floodlights of Leeds Road which he could view from his bedroom window.
From his very first game in the 1980-81 season he was hooked and these days can be seen around Huddersfield driving for Streamline Bus Company wearing one of many Town shirts.