Woking’s focus on the club’s vision for the future

WOKING’S general manager Dave Curtis believes the club need to find new ways of attracting players and fans, instead of using the glory days of the 1990s as the selling point.

The former Cards director says that younger footballers and supporters need to be sold on the club’s vision for the future, rather than fed a story relating to times with which they have no connection.

Dave Curtis in his office at Kingfield. Picture by Michael Fox

In an exclusive interview with the News & Mail, Curtis said: “Unfortunately, I think that we’ve neglected a generation.

“I’m in my 50s, and there’s a lot of fans who remember the past with all our success – but we still think [new] people want to come because of that.

“People weren’t born then, particularly players.

“They don’t remember that period, so that’s not an attraction to them.

“But we [older people] automatically think ‘Why would they not want to come to Woking? We were even considered the most famous amateur club in the world at one point’.

“So we must go above and beyond to attract them in another way. A lot of it is based on reality. We have to sell them the vision that we’ve been relatively successful in doing.”

Part of the vision that Curtis describes has something to do with Darren Sarll, the Woking boss.

Curtis said: “I work closely with Darren. He is excellent and brings a new style and professionalism to the club. I think that will give us success and bring us to a higher stature.

“Judging by the recruitment side of it, where he’s attracting them from is amazing. He’s selling these players a reality in the future.

“I enjoy working with him because he relies on me quite a bit. For example, the budget: myself, Darren and the board members John [Katz] and Drew [Volpe] have regular meetings on this.

“We sort out whatever we can. Where we might not have some of the financial clout to compete with the big boys of your Wrexhams and Stockports, we try to make up in other ways.

“We want to provide as much as we can to attract players, to try other ways to get the players here, which is what we need because it’s a very affluent area, so we should be a decent and attractive place to want to come.”

In addition to tasks such as sorting the team’s accommodation and transport for away days, Curtis also manages the stadium. One of his aims is to improve the ground to increase the club’s attraction.

He said: “The stadium needs a lot of attention. But we’ve got new owners now, and they want to stabilise the club. The bigger picture is that I know we would like to develop the ground, but we’ve got to make sure we’re sustainable.

“It’s a big project to keep the place going.

“It’s mostly a case of papering over the cracks in terms of structure. But at the same time, there’s the romantic side that it’s a good old-fashioned ground that people enjoy coming to.

“We would love to [improve] for the Football League’s standards. There are certain criteria we have to meet, but we’re a little way off at the moment.”

If Woking want to achieve the dream of promotion, Curtis would have a big job to satisfy the Football League in terms of the ground. He needs to show that the stadium can accommodate a change in lighting, dressing rooms and fan safety, which could become a massive overhaul project.

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