An Evening Assembly

FORUM, n. a place or occasion of open discussion.

Unfortunately the forums held at Mossley AFC over the last few years have been anything but. I'm not going to rake up any of the many events from the recent past explaining why but, generally, supporters who'd made the effort to attend were more often than not left feeling like a child sat on a naughty step come the end of the evening.

That appears to have changed though as the first forum "under new management" was light years away from any previously experienced.

The evening began with the board informing us as to the current status of the club and any other related news. This in itself immediately elevated the forum to a level above its predecessors by the sheer fact that the club was actually telling us something instead of telling us off. As supporters we don't need or want to know every minute detail involved in the running of the club but, occasionally, we would like to have a look at the grander scheme of things and this is what we got.

The highlight of the night though was a Q&A session with manager Gerry Quinn. Addressing the people in attendance as adults he was engaging, funny, knowledgeable and responded with a degree of honesty that I think caught everyone by surprise. It certainly made a change from previous meetings (no names mentioned) where questions were answered with questions or you were made to feel like you'd just asked if you could force feed them your daily excretions whilst using photos of their beloved family members to clean up the mess.

Add into the mix the informal atmosphere the event took place in and the end result was a group of happy and enthused supporters; surely the main objective of nights like these.

If you didn't make this meeting (and there were many of you who didn't) I can't recommend attending the next one enough. Besides being informative for us - the supporters, it's also a chance for you to inform the club. Technically it was in the past too, only now there's no threat of having your head bitten off or being treated as an 'enemy of the state' should you choose to proffer a smidgen of anything that could, in some way, be perceived as a criticism.

The main thing to come out of the night though is that we're being treated as supporters once again rather than irritants and, personally speaking, that's more welcome than any cup or title.