ANDY Preece is aiming to lure more fans to The Airfield this season – with the same brand of winning football which stunned local rivals Chester FC.
A crowd of 515 saw Airbus UK Broughton spring a surprise by beating Neil Young’s Blues 3-0 on Tuesday.
It was the latest impressive result of an encouraging pre-season campaign for the ambitious Wingmakers, who are making positive strides both on and off the pitch.
Preece, who took over as director of football in January, knows that bigger crowds are key to the club’s future success.
He hopes some Chester fans might even adopt the Wingmakers as their second team next season.
“We’ve got to try and increase our own fan base,” the Airbus boss told the Flintshire Chronicle.
“Hopefully we can get a few of the Chester fans to come back and support us when Chester are away.
“When they haven’t got a game, one or two could come here because we could do with it.
“One thing missing from our games is just a bit of atmosphere, with us being such a young club. It’s about building up the fan base, but we’ll do that. The more success you have, the more fans you have.”
Airbus’ average home attendance last season was 217 – the second lowest in the WPL behind Newtown (214).
The Wingmakers played district league football for many years before breaking into the Cymru Alliance and winning promotion to the top flight of Welsh football in 2004.
They have since gone on to establish themselves as WPL regulars, with impressive new stands springing up on two sides of the Airfield.
Preece’s arrival at the start of the year was a signal of the club’s ambition. The former Crystal Palace striker was lured away from Northwich Victoria – one of the biggest names in English non-league football – and given a three-year contract with Airbus.
Chief operating officer Stewart Roberts has worked hard to provide Preece with a budget which has allowed him to raid his old club Northwich for a host of players, including classy midfielder Tom Field, tall target-man Chris Budrys and defensive linchpin Ian Kearney.
“Stew’s worked really hard over pre-season to help us budget-wise,” said the boss. “He’s trying to give us as good an opportunity as he can to get us into that top six.
“You see the rewards of the hard work of a lot of people have out in when you see the team on the pitch.”