As the month of April drew to a close, so did my third full season with The New Saints. To put it mildly, it’s been an incredible journey and one that began one afternoon when I was channel-hopping at home.
I’d had a Molineux season ticket for many years, and with Wolves on the road that day, I was searching the on-screen TV guide for something to watch.
I came across S4C’s Sgorio, and as a football fan I decided to watch the game that was about to kick off. I immediately liked what I saw.
There is no doubt that the vast amount of money at the top end of the English game has brought change. Depending on who you talk to, that is either translated as very good or very bad.
Personally I think it’s some of both, but this is progress, and when you have no influence over what’s happening, it’s best to just draw out the positives and not dwell on the negative.
What I saw in the Welsh game though, took me back in the former. Passion, commitment and honesty were values that started to come through as I began to watch more games as the weeks went by.
Of course, as a fan who loves being at a game as opposed to watching it on a screen, I wanted to visit a Welsh Premier League match. That’s where The New Saints entered the frame, as Park Hall is by far the closest ground to where I live.
I remember my first game and when I got home my wife asked me how it went. I told her I loved it. Used to the segregation and intensity of English league football, I was amazed at the one turnstile where all fans entered.
No police, no lines of stewards separating baying supporters, with people in colours of both the home and away side mingling freely and comfortably wasn’t something I was used to.
A massive pull of Welsh football though was the fact that I had discovered fairly late in my life that I had ancestry from across the border. I had always loved Wales but that tangible connection took it to another level altogether.
From being a fan of TNS to actually becoming involved with the club is a story that I’ve documented regularly in this column. It’s an incredible tale in itself.
Back to the present, although another chapter closes on my involvement, the book continues to be written. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next!
Stewart Bloor – TNS Media & Communications Officer
Rev’s Ramblings is a weekly blog insight into my involvement with The New Saints.