It All Starts With...
We all at one point or another had aspirations of becoming a professional athlete, whether that was baseball, football (American), basketball, golf, hockey, or even futbol (soccer). I can recall being all of 5'5 and out jumping guys who were A LOT taller than me; there was a want, which I had/have, to measure up to or suprass what was considered allowable within the world of whatever sport I was playing.
Fast forward, oh say twenty plus years or so and I've found that my desire to lead is still present but it has moved from on the field of play and into the field of community play, per se. What else is a guy with torn up hamstrings, weak ankles, and a suspect achilles tendon supposed to do?
A little over a year ago, I was approached by a friend who wanted me to join him in helping to build a community of fans for the Fresno Fuego (PDL). The immediate thought was that we could simply grab a bunch of our friends and tell them that games would be our chance to let loose a bit, since most of us are all working professionals; what took place was something which we really didn't see coming our way.
We all crave quality and since the PDL is the fourth tier of soccer in the United States one could quickly argue that quality doesn't exist within this league. Well, insert passion, songs, and beer and what took place next was a transformation unlike any that I've been a part of within the sporting world.
Our initial numbers weren't the greatest but as we continued to work and add different parts to our team, the few turned into many and the many promised that they'd bring more energy and friends to the matches.
At the end of the day, the only thing I can ever think of is that it all starts with you, that is if you want change to take place. The Fresno Fuego led the PDL with paid attendance last season, 2015, and our fanbase ended the year with close to 130 paid memberships. Our first regular season match is a little over a month and half away and we're already close to 175 paid members for the 2016 campaign. I'll post a video of the 300 plus people who will be singing and marching by the time the gates open!