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22nd August 2017

Fans Panel Meeting

Wednesday 21st August  2017

 

Attendees:  Phil Buxton, Barry Brown, Kiel McCloy, Carol Lindley, Mike Lindley,

Paul Margrave, Carol Green, Gary Fox, Phil Scorah, Chris Scorah, Tracy Armstrong,

Carl Hall, Gavin Baldwin, Shaun Lockwood, Stewart Piper, Ray Green, Jackie Green.

 

Apologies:  Stewart Thompson, Dave Stewart

 

Updates/Follow Up from last meeting:

  • Offer for last 3 games was introduced and Season Ticket holders to bring a friend for £5
  • Coaching team remains as: Richard Horne, Pete Green, Rhys Lovegrove and Sean Leaf (Match Day only).
  • Players have been going over to supporters after match
  • 6 Players have signed 2 years deals
  • 3 new signings were made for Super 8’s
  • Plan in place to secure top 5 finish – Toronto game was discussed as Players do not arrive home until the Monday evening and semi finals to be played on 24th September
  • Will be in Schools later in year
  • Whitehaven game was in memory of Liam Maughan

 

Supporter Feedback 

  • CH thanked Mike Lindley, Chris Scorah and Paul Margrave for their reports – all good comments
  • Home attendances only thing letting us down.  Shirt and Match Sponsors hitting targets.  We encourage any suggestions. It was suggested that on field performance determines crowds but this is not the case at all times sometimes it is the quality of the opposition as well. Not knowing the fixtures for July, August and September affects fans purchasing Season Tickets
  • CH announced that on Thursday (24th) the First Team Squad are training at Bentley ARLFC to involve all the juniors.  The estimated 100 juniors will then attend the Newcastle game.  The Club will then be looking at doing the same at the 2 other local amateur clubs – Toll Bar and Moorends.  Also the Club has invited the 500 attendees from the NCS scheme to the Newcastle game.  All this to try and encourage Junior membership of the Club.
  • It was suggested that Social Media is not always the best way to promote the Club.  Shaun Lockwood, new Head of Communications, is looking at all Marketing and Media during the off season.  Members offered take posters etc round their local villages
  • The RL structure is rumoured to be changing in 2019 – no details yet
  • It was suggested Fans feel detached from the Players.  Can Man of the Match be presented immediately after the game on the pitch?  The Coach needs the players back in the Dressing Room after the game to speak to them and injuries to be seen to; also Sponsors have to be given a big consideration.  We are one of the few Clubs that Players join supporters in the same room after a match but we are always open to suggestions.  Players who are injured, or not in the squad, could perhaps come over to the Restaurant before the match and speak to the fans and go to the Family Area.
  • Cost of events e.g. Presentation Night/Season Launch can be very expensive due to cost of food and drinks – this leads to lack of attendance/support.  Can there be any cheaper alternatives? We need to do something different to attract supporters.

 

Dons4Life

Could we resurrect a Supporters Group under the Dons4Life name?  Events could be held to link the Players with the Supporters.  Meeting could be held elsewhere within Doncaster and the Club Doncaster Staff would attend.  Proposals could be made and the Group give their opinions – things could be tried and then discussed within the Group to agree what works and what doesn’t.  Discussions would be meaningful and staff would go with actions.  We hope this will appeal to the attendees here tonight, think about it and see where we want to take this.  An open Fans Forum will be arranged  for all fans to attend.

 

Junior Dons

Club Doncaster is putting a package together for Junior Dons, looking at 5 – 11 year olds and 12 – 16 year olds.  We hope this will attract new blood.  CH stated that his ambition is to see the Dons Academy and a Reserve grade for Doncaster and if he sees just one player progressing on to play for the First Team he would be very happy.  This would be a massive step. Suggestions were made to have curtain raisers before the game and also option for T-Shirts and Caps to be included in price of the packages.

Discussion took place with regard to a Club ‘Mascot’.  This choice will be given to Junior Dons members.

 

Season Tickets 

The Group was asked what they think about introducing a Season Ticket with adds on – the price could include parking, programme and a draw ticket.  Also could the Club Doncaster DNA card become an addition?  This could increase the number of Ticket sales and increase attendance by making the Season Ticket more attractive for the fans to purchase.  (For comparison; Rovers last year sold 2300 Season Tickets whilst this year they have introduced the Under 17’s for £30 and Silver Plus Membership.  Sales have gone up to around 5000 for this season).

The Rovers Silver Plus members receive a Dons Season ticket for the extra price which means we have sold 250 Season Tickets already for next season.  This is a Club Doncaster contribution to the Dons. This is another opportunity for the Group to come up with suggestions and ideas.

 

Other Questions and Comments

 

  • Discussion re communications – up to date information is still not being put on website.  CH reiterated that the RFL has control of certain parts of the website and news about players leaving or new signings will not be announced until official paperwork has been RFL sanctioned, regardless of any rumours or news from other websites.
  • Season Tickets will not be on sale at a discounted price on the last game of the Season but will be on offer at a discounted price until Christmas.  We are going to make the offer attractive to Fans.
  • Could a Draw be made for all Season Ticket holders at the end of the season?  Prize for example – Juniors to meet the team and Adults a photograph with the team perhaps or new shirt.  Shaun Lockwood will be looking at a range of incentives for holders.
  • Do we know the percentage of season ticket holders and those who pay on the day? It is about 40% Season Ticket holders. 
  • Comment:  Richard Horne is a good coach, the fans like his type of rugby and he has got his finger on the pulse.  To make a change he needs to sign his type of player to make progress
  • Comment:  Club Doncaster can’t change things on it’s own and neither can the Fans – we need to work together. 

CH stated that the 3 main topics which need to be addressed are; Attendances Dons4Life Junior Dons

 

Carl Hall thanked all for their attendance and would probably meet again before the end of season.

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