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.

An Unwritable Script

Sometimes, even as a Huddersfield Town fan, life throws up dream situations. Heading into three fixtures in eight days, which included a trip to Rochdale in the FA Cup and home games against two promotion rivals, you got the feeling it was going to be a crucial week for David Wagner’s men.

Like supporters do we backed them all the way, starting with the short trip across the Pennines to face the Dale at Spotland. A tricky fixture on paper with the tremendous home form of our opponents, but thanks to our fans we made it like a home game, something the players were keen to comment on after the game.

After a scrappy opening 40 minutes Town broke the deadlock at the right time; new boy Collin Quaner with a dream debut goal, something to lift the travelling support moments before the break. From then on Wagner’s side made light work of their League One opponents, something notable in the stands as the mood went from slight apprehension to a full-blown party atmosphere.

There was something about the trip to Rochdale that was a pleasant reminder of a by-gone era. As mentioned after the Burton game, I have a liking for intimate stadiums as they tend to bring out the best in the game. Everything feels so close and you really do get the illusion of being almost on top of the game, something that helps contribute to the noise.

Back to Championship action and Town had the tough task of hosting league-leaders Brighton and Hove Albion at the John Smiths Stadium. Night matches in terms of atmosphere are ones which can tend to go either way, as could the contest on the field, but there was no way we were going to be let down by our team.

With displays planned for the Leeds and Newcastle games (both on Sky), we decided to keep things simple in terms of visuals in the stand. Laying out flags may seem like a fairly basic approach to take, but it creates a very effective and aesthetically pleasing show of our support for the team – similar in many ways to German fan culture.

A barnstorming first half saw Town go in at the break 3-1 up thanks to goals from Tommy Smith, Nahki Wells and Elias Kachunga, leaving many people claiming at half time that it was the best 45 minutes they’d ever seen from a Terriers’ side. In truth, it was for that reason that the stadium came alive. The noisy, unrelenting and vociferous support of a team which gave us so much to cheer about, live on Sky Sports for the whole country to see, was a perfect way to christen the newly named “Cowshed”.

Walking away from the Town ground after playing the Championship leaders off the pitch whilst simultaneously knowing you did your bit to support the team is an incredible feeling, and one that everybody in the South Stand that night could possess. It was another hugely positive step in what has been a wonderful journey so far.

Such is the nature of football however that basking in success and glory is not an option, as three days later we welcomed our neighbours Leeds United to the JSS. It seems like every week we say that a fixture is our most important of the season so far, but this one really did feel like the proverbial ‘six-pointer’. A lunchtime kick-off live on Sky (the last of which we won I fail to remember) did not do much to calm pre-match nerves, and fears of a flat atmosphere were shared amongst the contingent behind the goal.

Complete with a display revealing our identity and a banner portraying our devotion to the cause, we were ready. The preparation had all come down to this moment: the hard hours painting, arriving at the ground over two hours before kick off to plan the choreography; we finally had the South Stand against our biggest rivals and it was important not to slip-up on another chance to impress off the field.

A first half goal from Izzy Brown brought this colourful fixture to life; an explosion of noise representing sheer joy but also relief as Town had once again got the all-important first goal.

This fixture did mean more than others due to the proximity of the teams, the bragging rights and the added spice of it being two promotion contenders, so when Chris Wood equalised before the break the nerves set in again. That is when it is most important to back the team; we have heard the players talk about the effect of the supporters, and in derby matches it is just as important if not more so.

Just as the game looked to be heading for a draw, that man scored that goal to spark jubilant scenes around almost all of the ground except for one unusually quiet contingent of travelling Leeds fans. A just reward for another dominant performance, but the manner in which the three points were secured is something we will never forget.

If I could, I’d go back to that moment and replay it all day long. The players celebrating in front of the South Stand at the end, Elias coming over to the masses, Izzy and Tommy Smith throwing their shirts into the crowd, the clear sense of hype after the skirmish at the end, it all shows that we are one.

A lot of people claim they have never head the Town ground like that; those last four minutes of added time with the whole stadium stood holding their breath in expectant fashion, and when the whistle went it was a release of pure ecstasy.

This could be my favourite week as a Town fan in living memory and it may be the same for many others too. The moments keep on being created, the journey gets more and more magical, and now we look ahead to the crucial visits of Newcastle and Reading, when we must all be ready and willing to back the team again. After all, it’s what they thoroughly deserve.

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.