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We wanted to find out about our players attitudes to football. Wanderers have always aspired to play an attractive style of football but what else would make for an ideal football experience. We asked six questions related to striving for perfection.

SUMMARY OF ACTIONS: 1. Coaches and volunteers will be encouraged to deal with players who bring a negative attitude to their team, do not take responsibility for their actions, who are late, or who cheat. 2. Coaches and players will be encouraged to think about how they can make new players feel welcome and whether there is anything that made them feel part of the club when they joined. 3. The club will strive to find the best facilities possible for matches and training. 4. More social events will be scheduled throughout the season. 5. More visibility of training, fixtures, results, and match statistics will be posted on social media.

Question 1: Are you aware of Wanderers' purpose?

This was actually a tricky question as we had only shared the club's vision with the club membership a few weeks before launching the Player Engagement Survey. Nonetheless, 56.5% of players correctly identified that we aim 'To use football to make a positive impact in the communities we serve'.

34.8% thought it was 'To promote the "Wanderers Way"', which is a phrase and a hashtag we have used in the past. The options with no votes were 'To win matches whatever the cost' and 'To find a way to win'. The latter was a phrase first coined by FA Cup winner and former Wales manager, Bobby Gould, before we took the field at The Oval at the 2012 restaging of the first FA Cup Final.

Question 2: Think about your best memories of playing football, with Wanderers or other clubs. Which of the following things are important to get right so that your experience of playing for Wanderers is as close to perfect as possible?

We gave people 15 different options which they had to rate by importance.

1 = Low importance - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 = Of high importance

(Where the votes resulted in a tie, the total score divided by total votes was used to calculate a final ranking).

The Index score indicates the strength of feeling, where 100 is the average. Respect towards teammates, Fair play during a match, and Being welcomed into a team are seen as the most important by these measures.

Respect shown towards opponents


Index = 121

Respect shown towards match officials

Quite important

Index = 120

Respect shown towards teammates

Very important

Index = 141

Absence of cheating and gamesmanship

Very important

Index = 134

Fair play during the match

Very important

Index = 137

Playing football with a clear identity


Index = 110

Organised and prepared players and manager

Quite important

Index = 132

Quality playing facilities


Index = 119

Socialising with teammates after the game


Index = 121

Feeling a sense of belonging

Very important

Index = 119

Being welcomed into a team

Very important

Index = 137

A good, close, competitive game

Neither important or unimportant

Index = 101

Benefits to my physical health


Index = 134

Benefits to my mental health

Quite important

Index = 119



OUTCOME: Wanderers will continue to discourage players from cheating or employing gamesmanship in matches. The coaches will discuss how best to make new players feel welcome so that steps can be taken to strengthen this part of the club.

Question 3: Have you heard of the following initiatives?

We wanted to gauge the understanding of some of the existing campaigns in football.

  1. Black Lives Matter - 100.0%

  2. Rainbow Laces - 82.6%

  3. Show Racism The Red Card - 78.3%

  4. FA Respect - 73.9%

  5. Kick It Out - 69.6%

Question 4: Not thinking about the result of the match, how do you think the matchday experience for players can be improved?

This question gave players an opportunity to express their own opinions in their own words. There was lots of fantastic ideas and we used some online sentiment measurement tools to gain insights into what was most important to our members.

Words relating to 'time' (e.g. time, minutes, hour, late, on time) came up in almost half of the responses. This is an issue everyone is aware of and will be of particular focus during pre-season.

Feelings relating to 'positivity' occurred most frequently and the club have already taken action to remove players whose attitudes negatively affect the teams they play in. We will continue to explore ways to promote players' enjoyment, which feeds into creating a proactively fun environment.

The third most common words related to relationships and socialising.

OUTCOMES: The club will penalise players more harshly for incidents of lateness or unexpected absences. Coaches will be encouraged and empowered to create a positive pre-match atmosphere in the changing rooms and in the warm-ups. Volunteers will continue their work to develop a brilliant team spirit throughout the four squads.

Question 5: At any level of football, what are three things that irritate you?

Nearly 15 different irritants were mentioned - yet VAR was not referred to once! With so many, it was difficult to pick the most frustrating things or to choose those which are within the club's control.

Poor quality facilities scored the highest number of mentions.

Poor officiating came up frequently, but then so did moaning at referees and players blaming other players for their own failings.

Selfish or lazy players also came up regularly, along with lateness.

Fortunately, there were very few references to abuse.

OUTCOME: The club strives to find the best available facilities to play at and will continue to do so. If there is ever an opportunity to provide constructive feedback to officials, coaches are encouraged to do so in a positive manner. Coaches should always speak frankly with players who are moaning, blaming others, slacking off, or not participating as part of a team.

Question 6: If you could improve any aspect of Wanderers off of the pitch, what would it be?

There was a broad and varied collection of responses. Some suggestions included;

  • Dedicated social events throughout the year which bring the Men's and Women's sides together OUTCOME: End of Season Awards booked in with Hallowe'en and Christmas Parties to be scheduled. Volunteers will be asked to consider events which don't revolve around alcohol to ensure we cater for all players.

  • More football coverage on social media OUTCOME: The Club Secretary will be posting more fixtures, results, and match details online this season for both teams.

  • Pre-season Tours OUTCOME: After the disruption caused by COVID, Wanderers will be touring Berlin in July with a squad of 19 players.

  • More consistent enforcement of rules

  • More regular communication about club matters

  • Increased community engagement

  • Participate in Summer Tournaments

  • Host charity matches

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