Fans for Foodbanks

Cowshed Loyal and HTSA have teamed up with The Welcome Centre in Huddersfield to launch the ‘Fans For Foodbanks’ initiative, with the aim of helping those in our communities who need assistance over the winter period.

We will be operating collection points at the Gas Club (1-2pm) and HTSA cabin (1-2:30pm) on home matchdays from 4th November (West Brom) to 30th December (Burnley).

We are happy to accept donations of tinned foods, dried goods, toiletries, sanitary products, pots, pans, bedding, and winter clothing, so long as they are unopened and in date.

If you can’t make it to one of our collection points but would like to help, you can donate directly to The Welcome Centre here.

Statement Regarding New Name

We feel the need as a group to address some of the concerns we have seen across various platforms of social media with regards to our new name Cowshed Boys.

The decision to change from NSL was one which took a lot of time and consideration, as did the selection of CB as a new name, and it was never our intention to make anyone feel excluded or left out. 

As a result of the feedback from the Huddersfield Town fanbase we have decided to act accordingly and alter our name to ‘Cowshed Loyal’, we feel it is a name that still accurately represents us as a group, and we hope will remove any potential obstacles or feelings of exclusion that certain members of the fanbase may have felt surrounding the previous name. 

Thank you for your continued support.

Can’t Help Falling In Love

The South Stand, and the NSL, is all a journey. We hope the journey to be a long and even more successful one, but we understand that there will be ups and downs as well as obstacles to overcome amid all the pleasures. The journey so far has been a remarkable one, and we thoroughly appreciate the fact that so many people get behind what we do in the South Stand, and it makes all the effort worth while.

With that being said, we have now set ourselves a standard. Those early games in the season like Brentford, Wolves and Barnsley showed exactly what the South Stand is capable of: an electric atmosphere that drives the players and makes the John Smith’s a fortress. Things had slipped a bit heading into the game at home to Ipswich. Admittedly, games against teams like Blackburn and Port Vale do not necessarily whet the appetite the same way upcoming games against Brighton, Leeds and Reading do; but this is when the players need the fans most.

What we saw on Saturday was one of the better atmospheres in the stand this season, and hopefully this carried around the ground too. It always helps when the team are putting on a dominant display and the tempo of football being played tends to result in the volume levels being ramped up a bit, but we can’t stress enough how important 90-minute support is. Take the recent Forest home game for example; the team trailed at half time and fans were wondering again if it was going to be important points dropped in a winnable game. However, pushed on by the support around the ground (and Forest’s defence..), the team managed to turn it around.

The introduction of new chants such as “Izzy Izzy Brown” and, perhaps most notably, the Chris Schindler song, were all great bonuses to what was a good day on and off the field. Much like Town, we need to stay consistent in the South Stand, and show the players and the club why it is so important that we have home fans in there. Of course the game was comfortable, with goals from Brown and Schindler propelling Town up to third in the table. The most important thing remains that all people, young and old, go home from matches having had an enjoyable experience, and hopefully what we do in the stand affects that.

We’ve had some incredible moments already, and we all know that under Wagner et al. we have the potential to make more, so let’s continue the journey loudly and proudly.

There are fairly substantial costs involved in producing displays like we did vs Ipswich. We are looking to go bigger and better for the upcoming home game against Newcastle. We look to generate funds through merchandise and donations – so if you would like to help us out then please follow the link HERE. Thanks!

Four Days, Three Goals, Six Points

Being a Huddersfield Town fan isn’t often something which brings up repetitive joy, but for some reason things have changed this season, more specifically over the last seven days. Three wins, five goals and nine points have ensured that after somewhat of a blip, Town fans will be heading into Christmas carving the turkey with a smile on their face.

From a spectator’s point of view, it has been two vastly different experiences on the road, something which isn’t really commonplace in the Championship. Sure, there are grounds with soul like Hillsborough, Oakwell and (begrudgingly) Elland Road, but stadia like that are quickly being replaced by the more modern style of football ground, as seen at Cardiff, Rotherham and now Bristol City.

This contrast has been no better evidenced than in the last four days, when Town have made the trip to Burton to play in the Pirelli Stadium (capacity 6,912) before three days later playing in what was a Premier League stadium last season in Carrow Road (capacity 27,244). It would be quite hard to describe the Pirelli Stadium without making reference to the fact that despite the charm of it being a small ground in a big league, it is actually quite soulless. The rise of Burton Albion is a remarkable one, but in a way the support hasn’t yet caught up, and as such every game for Championship clubs there will feel a bit like a cup match. Still, despite a horrendous game of football up until the 85th minute, Town fans were in good voice and witnessed first hand how terracing can be a huge hand to the general atmosphere. Singing, bouncing and just generally getting the sense of a bit more freedom – everything we know and love about the South Stand. Hopefully an experience we can replicate at some point, especially under the lights.

Although there was roughly 1,000 less fans that made the journey to Norwich for the crucial match, it was nice in a way to see familiar faces. Plus, with Sky making the game literally inaccessible for almost everyone, it was a decent turnout regardless of our league position. Another valuable win followed, cheered on from inside our plush little pen in the corner of the ground. It’s just one of those things; two polar-opposite experiences but the same outcome allows you to make pretty sound comparisons. For what it’s worth too, Norwich have a good home support, and their equivalent of the South Stand being opposed with the away end allows for some good old fashioned back-and-forth.

The phrase ‘Non-League to Premier League’ would be one that could often be used in exaggeration, but in this case it feels true based on the experiences. From standing on the terraces in Staffordshire to playing in front of a 26,000 crowd in Norfolk, it really is a signal of the beauty of the league we play in. The respective atmospheres felt vastly different too. Being crammed into a small stand like the away end at Burton makes it feel like you could be the loudest fans ever to grace the sport, whereas being one of 400 in what is essentially a section of the home stand at Norwich can feel like a very lonely place.

Still, noise was made, the team were cheered on and perhaps most importantly we got to see the arms-aloft celebration at the conclusion of 90 minutes. As I was reminded numerous times wearing the famous ‘bruised banana’ black and yellow shirt from 1987-88, Town have had worse days away from home.

At the moment, we are witnessing a team that is heading into every game with a sense of belief. Seven points out of nine against the relegated teams away from home should make us even louder and prouder in our support than ever before.

Get yourselves down on Boxing Day and then to Wigan, and witness the journey continue.

Food Drive, Atmosphere, and Three Points

Three points for Town on Saturday left 18,000 fans leaving the ground happy – but the NSL had a successful day in more ways than one. For our second blog, we thought it was worth taking a look at how our day panned out.

In typical fashion, the lads met a few hours before kick-off outside the Riverside Stand gates. Head into the storage container to grab the usual flags and poles before wandering pitch-side to our home in the South Stand. Whilst often we’ll spend time arranging the layout for that game’s display, we didn’t have anything extraordinary planned for this so it was a matter of scattering out the flags before the crowds came in. We’d still like to see more of them waved and held – so if there’s one around you, please take part! We’re still working on upcoming displays for future games, however we haven’t met a viable compromise on the previously-mentioned foil situation yet meaning this is still on hold.

Set-up was complete – time to head to the Gas Club. For a few weeks we have been promoting a series of charity campaigns run by the group in support of the Welcome Centre Huddersfield, a food bank supporting people in crisis (find out more about them HERE). With the Christmas period upon us we felt that this was an ideal charity to support this winter, so we have put together a financial donation page alongside plans to collect food for those in need. On Saturday we completed the first part of our food collection and managed to collect a very healthy number of bags full to the brim with tins, biscuits, toiletries, kitchenware and so on. We will be gathering outside the Gas Club on Boxing Day between 1pm to 2pm prior to the Nottingham Forest clash, and we would massively appreciate any further bag donations. Please help out where you can – it can make a difference in a huge way. We also surpassed our target of £500 in the fundraiser, so thank you to everyone who has so far contributed to that. We’d like to take the amount as far as we can, so the link to donate is below.

You can donate here

Into the ground by 14:15 to do final set-up at the front; and positively the atmosphere seemed to be taking off early. By 14:45 the stand was 75% full and the Town fans were already finding their voices. A bit of back-and-forth with the Bristol City coach didn’t seem too well received from his end, but only upped the volume of our support pre-match. Getting the noise going before kick-off is important in setting the tone of the game, especially when it nullifies the attempts of the away support in matching us.

Throughout the game it was arguably one of the most consistent vocal efforts from the South Stand all season, despite the possibility of the team’s bad run dropping heads or creating a nervous vibe. There was no time for negativity, even after conceding to make it 1-1 despite largely controlling the game. The noise continued throughout across the whole stand, so hats off to everyone in there. The capos made a monumental effort too. We firmly believe that the noise being produced by the whole ground yesterday will have had an impact on the team, and that was rewarded with three points. A few Bristol City fans were complimentary too:

‘Youse were just unbelievable support wise. We thought Sheffield Weds were good but you put them to shame. Cant give you enough credit and you’ve gained a lot of respect from Bristol City. First time I’ve ever clapped home fans.’

Packing down at the end of the match is always far easier after victory. A quick debrief on the atmosphere’s highs and lows before locking everything back up in the container. Thanks to everyone who sticks around after to help out, too – an ever-increasing group and it doesn’t go unnoticed.

A decent day’s work. See you at Burton on Tuesday.

Work Still to be Done

Town have only lost two out of nine home games so far this season and for all these games home fans have been housed in the South Stand. The change in the atmosphere at the John Smith’s Stadium has been incredible, and the impact made by the NSL and the South Stand contingent is undeniable. Our players and manager have commented on how the atmosphere helps dictate performances, and we feel this was clear in those seven victories. However, what we have taken from the two games in which we have lost – and to a lesser extent some of the other, but slower, games – is that there is a clear correlation between the team’s performance and the atmosphere; and this is something we want to address.

As a group we are exceptionally proud of what has been achieved this season and we are pleased by the club’s commitment to put home fans and atmosphere first – we imagine this is appreciated across the entire fan-base. However we always want to improve and we are by no means finished in terms of instilling a new style of support down at the ground. Despite a marked improvement in noise, to achieve the atmosphere generated by those fans on the continent that we so admire, we need to go further.

What we ultimately want from the South Stand is 90 minutes of unwavering support, whether that’s 5-0 up against a local rival, or 5-0 down on a cold and miserable Monday night. As David Wagner has stated, the team will have its ups and downs this season, but for us this is no excuse to not back the team. We all understand what it means to support Town, and we know that although better times will hopefully come, there are always going to be those where there’s a lack of excitement. To achieve the goals of the group – and to see a full South Stand vocally supporting the team long-term – it’s vital that we step it up in the times where staying quiet seems the easier option.

The NSL consists of around 10-15 core members who direct the group; and 3-4 ‘capos’ who attempt to maintain the atmosphere throughout every game. We cannot dictate this on our own, and we are helped greatly by others starting songs and lending their voices at every opportunity – whether from the back, middle or front of the stand. However whilst there are pockets of fans who do this for 90 minutes, there are others who do not, and it’s our goal to change this. The South Stand is not a spectacle to be ‘experienced’, it is a place to come and participate and support your team actively and passionately.

We ask that everyone in the South Stand come and help make it even more of a success. Turn up, lose your inhibitions and sing your heart out for the whole game. We’ve seen it happen during the better team performances this season, and even some of the worst (Fulham away springs to mind!); so we know that this mindset is there among the Town faithful.