Watford Football Club are now firmly into their third Premier League season since the Hornets promotion back 2015. With the Hertfordshire outfit thriving having not been threatened to leave the top flight, the atmosphere around the club should be vibrant but this is not always the case for Premier League grounds where home fans are struggling to bring the noise on a game by game basis. Like fellow competitors, The 1881 Movement are Watford’s representatives of the fans and have created an impressive singing section which heralds some of the finest displays in the country. They kindly answered a few questions about the modern day atmosphere.
Q: How did the 1881 movement come about?
A: I had the opportunity to sit in the away end in a corporate box (this isn’t me at all, but wanted to gauge how other fans saw/heard us) at the 2013 play off final against Crystal Palace. As we all know it was shocking! 3 days later I contacted the club to see if we can get a block area at the Vic where all like minded fans could be together. 5 of us met at the Toby Carvery on the A41 as we set out how we can do it. That summer I gathered fan ID’s and on an excel spreadsheet “moved” their seats and sent to the club to get officially moved. The 1881 was born.
Q: As a whole how much do you think Vicarage Road’s atmosphere has improved since then and where do you think the clubs home support ranks in the league?
A: I’d like to think the overall the atmosphere has changed in a positive direction. Our location in the ground is and has always been since the start of 2014, difficult to create a full stadium atmosphere but we continue to at least try. Where are we in terms of compared to other prem teams Home support? I’d like to think we were at least top 10. Again though difficult to gauge because at some grounds the “Home” singers are much closer to the away end.
Q: Personally I feel the atmosphere has suffered after our initial buzz of the first season back in the Premier League, would you agree this is challenge faced not only among yourselves but also the league as a whole?
A: We are all human. If we go on a poor run (like we have) then the atmosphere will naturally die off a little. We need to continue to try and change people’s mindsets so we sing no matter what. In my own opinion this is easier in the championship. …this maybe down to a couple of things. Results and less day trippers
Q: Expanding on this further, do you think the league as a whole has effected the clubs culture? We’ve seen a vibrant Huddersfield fan base visit so far, is this a coincidence with it being their first season or is it more than that? To what extent can you influence the Stadium?
A: Think we were just as vibrant in our first season back in the premier league as Huddersfield were the other day. Our away passion is still very good in our third season though. Can we influence our home fans? I think so to a point. However I think this goes only to to the extent of our nucleus fan-base (ones who would still come whatever league we are in)
Q: Where do the 1881 go from here? What is your vision now?
A: We want to be the first supporters group to produce and display a vertical banner in the country. Not club lead. Also continue to do what we do and then support the club if they want to go full on into safe standing. The vision will always be the same since day one. Charter a plane into Europe and become the best in the country for displays and passion.
What do you make of these comments Watford fans? Let us know in the comments below!