Following Monday’s win over Tiverton Town which saw the biggest crowd at the Cygnet Health Care Stadium in over three years, caught up with Chairman Kevin Sturmey to get his thoughts on the day and his hopes to grow the Peacock fan base ever larger.

He told us:” What a day on Monday! It’s been a tough 18 months for everyone, and it’s felt like we have had to start to build the club all over again. Having averaged crowds of just under 700 in the first Covid aborted season (2019-20) and then having restricted crowds of 600 for the next aborted season (2020-21), Monday was the first time it felt normal for a long time.

It was magnificent to see the turnout and we need that on a regular basis as our ambitions will only be achieved if we can consistently attract over 1000 fans. Bank Holidays obviously help and moving the fixture from Saturday to Monday was always the plan. Thank you to each and every one of you who came out to support us especially as we estimate our support was about 1400! Perhaps Boris will announce a lot of extra Bank Holiday Mondays to help us all move forward out of the last desperate 18 months!!”

He praised the support of the club’s volunteers who helped ensure that despite the 1400+ crowd, everything ran smoothly. The Chairman continued:” As a club run 98% by Volunteers, days like Monday make it all worthwhile as Non-League is not full of glitz and glamour, it’s full of hard work, lots of sacrifices and very often mentally and physically draining. The match day is what we all work for and when you get days like Monday it’s like having a shot of adrenaline injected into your veins! Those days don’t just happen though as it takes a lot of hard work to try to get everything ready and right and all the Volunteers who “work” here give up loads of time to make things happen at every match.”

Improvements are always on the agenda at the Cygnet Health Care Stadium and one of the recent new initiatives ahead of this season was the expansion of food outlets at the ground for games. Kevin remarked:” New fans and irregular fans will hopefully have seen how we have tried to improve the match day experience by providing different food and drink outlets, not just for big games but every single game. We have the Coffee Blue Barista Van providing snacks and excellent award winning hot drinks, the Fast Food Van selling a wide range of refreshments plus the Burrito Bus which can cater for a variety of diets. In addition to the Clubhouse Bar, we now have a small outside bar next to the Coffee Van which provides a range of alcoholic and soft drinks. All of these outlets are there to attract people earlier as gates open two hours before kick-off, and we are certain there is something for everyone. Of course, we will never please everybody but by offering cans in the bars we can keep prices right down and allows us to set up outside bars in different parts of the ground which in turn means it’s quicker to serve fans when there is only one 15 minute interval!”

The playing surface at the Stadium has also improved this season in keeping with the level of football the Peacocks find themselves at. Kevin commented:” Once people watch Non-League football, I think most are surprised how good the standard is when you consider players work full time, train virtually every day and also try to balance family life, especially the ones with young children. The fitness levels are off the scale and the speed of counter attacks and the quality on show is as good as you will often see in the professional game. The pitch held up well but it’s the first time we have had to “force it” as we knew there were some very soft patches but while we have some repairing to do, unless there was a foot of snow the match was going ahead as far as Rob Hake, our fantastic Groundsman, and I were concerned! Rob only joined in October and the pitch has already improved and for the match against Harrow on 21st December it was unbelievably good for Christmas week. It will improve again as long as we don’t get too much rain as we will be over-seeding it and doing some mid-season sand dressing along with a verti-drain next week.

The Peacocks are well-placed in the Southern League this season to challenge at least for a play-off place come the end of April, but the ambitions of the club do not stop there. The Chairman continued:” Once we are in a position to hold meetings indoors safely, we will arrange a Fans Forum so new fans have an opportunity to meet many of the people who keep the club ticking over every day. We can also outline our plans as we have planning permission to improve the Stadium although at present we have a sticking point which we have found the solution for, but we need Somerset West and Taunton Council to support us by agreeing to a slight change to an old Covenant and help us move forward. Football Clubs are the hub of so many communities and we have been on an upward curve for 4-5 years until the Pandemic pegged us back but with so many plans and initiatives in the pipeline, this club will grow into a National League club and personally, I believe we can become a Football League Club. This can only be achieved with sustainability and support from the local Council and Politicians who have to realise how much we have achieved in a short space of time, but more importantly how much we can do for the County Town as we will always be Taunton Town F C, the Pride of Somerset. It would be great to be involved in League matches with our friends at Yeovil Town who have held the mantle of the biggest club in Somerset for decades. We got left behind in the past and had to rebuild the club through some really tough times. However, now is the time to really push on and with Taunton expanding beyond all recognition we need to get these people supporting their local team and not just a Premier League team from a sofa.”

The club recently confirmed the restoration of the original entry prices at the gate before online ticketing was introduced, providing yet another incentive for football and sports fans to come and support their local club! Kevin concluded:” Admission prices have now been set for the rest of the season and can be paid by cash or card at the turnstiles. We are improving our card readers any day which should mean quicker wi-fi to ease queues when a lot of people come late (although we want you to come earlier!) and at £10, £8 and £5 we feel we offer a really good value day out especially when Under 14’s get free admission when accompanied by adults. We introduced online ticket sales due to crowd restrictions before last season but of course there is a card fee to pay, and we felt having a necessary differential in prices on the day compared to online complicated what should be a simple transaction. Therefore, we plan to retain these prices for the remainder of the season. Of course, online tickets may be re-introduced if we feel it’s necessary in line with Government Guidelines or if we expect a sell-out crowd! We welcome engagement from new and existing fans and if you would like any question answered or more information about anything to do with the Peacocks, please email”

Kevin will be providing a further update on what developments have been taking place at the club in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, we’re giving you the chance to win a pair of tickets to a home Southern League game of your choice during the remainder of the 2021-22 season. All you have to do is answer this simple question and email your answer to along with your name and contact phone number.

The question is: ‘Who scored Taunton Town’s first goal of 2022?’

The closing date for entries is Friday 14th January at 12 noon and the winner will be contacted soon after. Good luck!