CCM Fans and the club

Discussion in 'Central Coast Mariners FC' started by Shaun Mielekamp, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Shaun Mielekamp

    Shaun Mielekamp Well-Known Member

    Hi Everyone

    For those who don't know me I am the CEO of the Mariners and have been living in the Coast for the last 10 years. Since the day I started at the Mariners I have logged onto this forum everyday and read every post, the good bad and the ugly.

    I am a huge believer in official forums and am very passionate for this forum to remain and grow as one of the core voices for our members. This forum I believe can and will make a huge difference to the future of the club.

    Since I have started I genuinely have tried to speak to as many members, passionate supporters, ex supporters, ex employees, local businesses, community leaders, local clubs, CCF, councils, politicians and anyone who cared about the Mariners to find out what I can do to make a difference.

    I held as many "welcome Wednesdays" as I possibly could so everyone had the chance to meet me directly before the season kicked off and ask any question they had. Plus I asked plenty of questions myself and many of these have lead to great initiatives we have already put in place.

    The first thing I realised is that there is a lot of history both good and bad which will provide its own very unique challenges. The second thing that was clear is that it was impossible for single person alone to make serious change here on their own and only through genuine action, listening and empathy would it be possible to rebuild the community support that this great club was built on.

    The purpose of this thread was to purely highlight my passion that I believe this forum should thrive and grow and not take days for new posts to appear. Everyday should be engaging and an insightful part of being a Mariners supporter.

    I can't promise that I can be on here everyday to reply to all posts simply because I am sure you all want me to be working as hard as I can everyday to make the club better and there is more to do in my role than just troll a forum.

    But I can promise you that I will continue to read every post in my own time and hope that the administrators will flag with me directly on any major post that needs addressing so important questions don't go unanswered.

    My email is if anyone needs.

    I will dedicate some clear time later today at 3pm to stay on live and answer as many questions as I can to you guys on here. I won't always have the most popular or favourite answers but I will answer as honestly as I can.

    The purpose of this thread apart from introducing myself is to simply ask this question :

    How can the club engage with this forum more to better listen to our members?

    I look forward to meeting you all and hearing your ideas

    Kindest regards
    • Winner Winner x 13
    • Like Like x 6
  2. Gratis

    Gratis Well-Known Member

    Thank you Shaun, it's a pleasure to have you post.

    Personally I am very happy with the direction the club has taken and the initiatives in place to achieve this. As always there will be room to grow into the future and whilst there is open dialogue this will be achieved, within reality of course.

    I am also happy with the on-field approach and believe this will really ignite the fans, but am also realistic that it is a consolidation year with more success to come in future seasons. I believe other fans will appreciate this too and will be quite happy knowing we are playing positive, proactive football with the famous Mariners spirit.

    Over the years this site truly has been a source of great ideas and a reflection of fans attitudes. There have been times when what comes about later, or is reported in the media, could almost word for word have been found in a post or two here.

    At the same time it has been a place for people to vent, argue, and throw about frustration. Football is a game of emotion and sometimes a rant is in order and this is a place for that too. Maybe just keep in mind that not every word immediately written and posted is a true reflection of what that same person thinks tomorrow after some elucidating conversation with others on here. Then again sometimes it is.

    Look forward to discussing further at 3pm.

    Appreciate your time and effort. I'm sure it will be a comfort to many just to know they have been heard.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. adz

    adz Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Shaun, thanks for joining CCM Fans! We really appreciate you making yourself available on the forum like this. I (and most people…) wouldn’t expect you to be available to answer posts 24/7, but it is fantastic if you can pop in every now and then like you have done now.

    As far as the club engaging with the forum more – there have been a few ideas thrown around over the years. Or mainly one I guess, and that has been to have a separate section (like we have CCMFC, Aus Football, Other Stuff, etc) for asking questions directly to the club.

    I’ve never really liked this idea as it usually descends into people using it as a general complaint line i.e. “I bought a ticket on the weekend and sat in Bay 17 and someone in Bay 16 said a rude word and ruined my whole day. I DEMAND AN EXPLANATION.”

    Or, in the early days, the Mariners were trying to be more involved with the Marinators Club (or this is what I saw anyway) and asked “Okay so you have the full resources of the club available. How can we help out?”. Answer: Buy us a bigger megaphone.

    So I think that we, as fans, need to be able to do our part in giving good (as in constructive) feedback when we get this opportunity. While those might be valid complaints or requests, these aren’t really things that should go directly to the CEO or best use of the resources the club. If we start wasting your time, or others from the club, that’s when these things get abandoned. Just my opinion though.

    On to what we can do, however, there have been a lot of in-depth discussions about the larger issues within the club and community on here. For example, getting more members, or the whole North Sydney experiment. Usually the best ideas pop up in the middle of a thread - the topic of discussion may change a few times - rather than in a dedicated Q&A type scenario. This is where we get some really good ideas and the times when it would be great to have some interaction with the club directly on them. I think we have put out some brilliant ideas on club management, community interaction, etc., rather than simply whinging about the cost of pies – although seriously, the catering is one massive issue on game day… price, quality of product and service…!!

    We might not have big numbers, but we do have loyal followers who come to the forum daily, or every other day, and have done for years. Some are business owners on the Coast (sorry, IN the Coast?), some are mad football fans, some are casual fans… there’s probably a better way to break down our community here but basically you will get a number of different opinions and ideas from all sorts of backgrounds. One thing in common though and that’s we all want the Mariners to succeed.

    From a personal point of view, I’d love it if the club would help build our numbers here. In the early days, we had a lot more people but then it was a lot of bitching and fighting with each other. Also just a lot of stupid posts that didn’t really mean anything so anyone new reading it would say “what is this garbage” and close the page straight away. We’ve cleaned all that up and the aim is to keep it family oriented, generally positive – although if the team plays badly, we need to let people vent about it! Having said that, we had the forum going before Social Media was a thing, and I've seen a lot worse than we EVER had here being thrown around on Facebook and Twitter.

    Not sure how feasible this would be but I’ll aim high and say it would be nice to have our logo on the big screen at games. If there are any “spare” advertising boards (hope not!!) if we could jump on those. Also in the match day handout, "the Loose Cannon" – we actually paid to have our logo in it not last season but the one before. From memory it was $150 for the season, so if those are still your rates you might want to look at bumping that up a bit, because we had a bit of a laugh with some other people who were sponsoring the club. That year we had business supporter sponsorship of the club too. We were not even asked if we would be interested in renewing either!

    And my number 1 request for the site - well, before it was "just a forum" has always been access to high quality photos. It would help a great deal to (re)build to become the resource fans deserve if we have access to high resolution photos - not just from this season, but going back to the beginning. It might sound petty to some, but doing a website without quality images is just crap... :D

    That’s probably enough blah blah for now, and sorry for the long post, I can crap on about this stuff all day. I’m sure there will be some other ideas thrown in, and these are just some of my thoughts.

    Again, much appreciated that you have taken the time to join our fan community here, and thanks!
    • Like Like x 4
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. midfielder

    midfielder Well-Known Member

    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  5. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Well-Known Member

    Hi Shaun,

    Your post and your following statement have drawn me from self imposed exile.

    "I am a huge believer in official forums and am very passionate for this forum to remain and grow as one of the core voices for our members. This forum I believe can and will make a huge difference to the future of the club."

    I go back to season one and the Marinators. The Marinators were a "non organisation" that were one of the great things that helped develop the Club. This forum was the voice of that "non organisation" and I believe the strength, and the only way a non organisation could work.

    Back then among other things the Marinators were instrumental in the first fan day and barbecue, They made up a table at the Club's presentation dinner and presented a trophy to their player of the season. Unfortunately that presentation was not permitted by the Club to be made on stage and left a bit of a sour taste even back then. The Club did not know, or did not want to know, how to interact with the Marinators and was the main reason why that group did not develop the way the Cove did with SFC.

    If you and the club, can continue to interact with the fans through this medium then maybe we can see the halcyon days return and even grow.

    Possibilities from the fans include sponsorships, scholarships, increased support and things that are only limited by the imagination.

    Fans, more than anything else, want to be a part of the Club.

    In the early days a great opportunity was wasted. Your post has convinced me that we are at last headed in the right direction. :overheadl:

    Even enough to get me back posting here.

    Mods this thread needs to be tagged and placed up the page.
    • Like Like x 4
    • Winner Winner x 2
  6. FFC Mariner

    FFC Mariner Well-Known Member


    Happy to come out of exile and a thriving forum (as it once was) would be great.

    I think its possible for most of us to recount the errors and misunderstandings between fans and the club - faults on both sides I expect. There is zero value in rehashing the past unless its to learn from it

    However, deep down we all want the same thing regardless of our individual opinions.

    One little thing that has always made me feel a bit envious of other teams is the rapport between players and fans. On game day, we dont really have it. So many times the players simply trudge past and thats even worse away from home. Patrick Z always dragged players over and he seemed to understand the relationship. So often, thats not been the case.

    An example is how WSW,Sydney and even Adelaide players interact with their support post game (win or lose)

    Every bit of engagement helps
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. Gratis

    Gratis Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen the two of you for a while! Good stuff.
    • Like Like x 4
  8. Shaun Mielekamp

    Shaun Mielekamp Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone, i am here online and will start answering the posts but please ask away and i will do my best.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. pjennings

    pjennings Well-Known Member

    Hi Shaun,

    Thank you for taking the initiative to come and interact on the forum. I view this as another very positive step alongside the Welcome Wednesdays where I got to talk to Peter Storrie at length at CCLC and
    yourself and Tony at Ettalong.

    HAL scheduling

    My first point probably relates to the boom/bust cycle we have with NSW games and is probably something that you have input to rather than control.

    Last year we hosted 3 NSW based games (and no NYE game) out of 13 home games with no regional round. This year we have 6 NSW based games as well as NYE game out of our 13 home games (and sold? the regional game to Victory). We should always have the NYE but for a more even approach we should have 5 NSW based games one year and 4 the following. If as mooted, we have a Southern Sydney team and/or Wollongong we could see up to 15 NSW based games to be share at 8 one year and 7 the next.

    On a similar theme, this season we have the F3 derby against Newcastle as our final home match. While this may be a vital match it is more likely given the Jets recent and not so recent form be a nothing game. In my opinion the NSW game should not be the first or last games or indeed the NYE games. These games should be the easiest to sell and don’t need added attractions/incentives that hosting an interstate team might need.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Shaun Mielekamp

    Shaun Mielekamp Well-Known Member

    Hi GrA

    Thanks for the feedback and kind words. I get what your saying in regards to the need to vent and agree it is hard to read tone via the written word alone and often things can read totally different the next day. Even my post read very differnt to me at 7am this morning than it did at 1am when i wrote it.
  11. Atomic

    Atomic Well-Known Member

    Hi Shaun,

    The proposed walk out song that I read about in the paper, and how it was decided via consultation with fans... can you elaborate more on that? I'm not asking about the song, more about what your perception is of fan consultation. I think it's fair to say, non of us on this forum knew anything about this proposal, and to read that the fans were consulted was a real slap in the face... for me at least.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  12. FFC Mariner

    FFC Mariner Well-Known Member

    Hi Sean,

    Re fan input:

    A simple poll to members (via email) would be a simple and very transparent way to get input on things.

    things like:

    • New playing strip
    • Walk out song
    etc etc
    • Agree Agree x 10
  13. Shaun Mielekamp

    Shaun Mielekamp Well-Known Member

    Hi adz
    I could not agree with you more that above everything else the number 1 bit of feedback I have received on how to improve match days is about the catering. Having dug into this there is a bit more to this feedback than just wanting to criticise the contracted caterer. Gema catering re a highly regarded and well experienced stadium caterer of whom I have a great relationship with as they serviced Pirtek stadium also. The main difference i actually belive is that there is a higher demand on the catering at Central Coast stadium because there is a very limited amount of options in Gosford. A 5:15pm match should be prime game time that everyone loves to attend because you should be able to go to the game and enjoy going to dinner with the family afterwards. However with the entire post match load having to be picked up by the leagues club a bulk of the crowd either need to eat during the match or rush home after - this I believe puts more demand on the catering than is experienced at other stadiums. That being said i in no way want to gloss over the fact that things need to improve infact this reason actually highlights why it needs to be improved. We are in regular dialogue with the stadium and caterer about how to make improvements this season.

    In regards to your comments on the history of the forum there is no doubt that social media and supporter behaviour has dramatically changed since facebook and Twitter have surfaced. That reduced numbers on the forums but i believe it actually cleaned up the conversation and left the key board warriors who just wanted to stir the pot moved on to more entertaining landscapes.

    Can you send me a hi-res of the CCM fans logo? let me get back to you on this one.

    In regards to images i will discuss with tyson our media manager and get his thoughts, we have a new photographer on board and whilst i like the idea i probably need to understand what we have available more first before i can commit. I really like the idea though.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  14. Shaun Mielekamp

    Shaun Mielekamp Well-Known Member

    Hi Midfielder

    To expand on this article is easy. I believe fundamentally in the concept of membership and the importance to clubs on having a very strong and engaged membership base. In saying this i don't want to confuse this with season tickets which are called members, they are close but there is a difference. The "membership" numbers from other clubs with stadium reaching capacity is great but if you really look into it the main driver for the purchase is simply to make sure you have a seat to the game. We don't have that luxury and it is easy enough for someone to just buy tickets to the games they want to see and can attend.
    For mine the concept of what does it mean to be a member of your A-league club needs to improve and by having a clearer voice and ability to engage with the club is the first component. I can go on forever in this but i wanted to articulate that membership cannot be about taking away things that the general supporter has to force them to sign up so the club can spruik a higher membership number. Membership is about the relationship between the club and supporter and the club should reward the members as much as they can whether that be through benefits, discounts, voting rights, etc etc - every club is different but the first step is to listen and react positively where we can. We wont always get things right but at least if we are honest we have a chance.

    So specifically to answer your question whilst there is plenty of poetic licence in what Dom Bossi has written that is very different from my actual words - I believe that A-league clubs can do more for their members and the Mariners are going to start genuinely asking the questions of ourselves on how this can be done.
    • Like Like x 3
  15. adz

    adz Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks Shaun :)

    In regards to catering - you mentioned the leagues club and you may want to have a chat with them (although you probably have already) as it seems like they are frequently caught off guard by big games. So maybe if the club is expecting a big crowd, let them know, as a lot of times it has been packed in there and not all the bars are open, or all the food places. I think for some kickoff times the food places don't even open until too late so that causes massive queues when they finally do open, not everyone can eat before the game then... I can't think of specific games/times off the top of my head but this has been an issue.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  16. FFC Mariner

    FFC Mariner Well-Known Member

    Any NSW derby is usually when this happens.
  17. Shaun Mielekamp

    Shaun Mielekamp Well-Known Member

    Hi Ancient Mariner

    Welcome back - and if I have achieved nothing else today at least getting some additional traffic to this site can only be a good start.

    What I have found interesting and challenging is how much history has been packed into the last 11 years here at the Mariners. It has caused rifts and debates but one things has been clear all the way through, everyone genuinely wants the Mariners to do well. I see this forum as a place that this discussion can genuinely happen - the other social media platforms will struggle to control the conversation. There are so many different views, thoughts, ideas, passions and agendas that the noise can be deafening.

    Wanting to make a difference to the boys on the field so they can represent us all and give us something to be proud of just needs to remain top of mind for everyone. If everyone at least starts at that point then there is a chance that this can return to the Mariners I remember as being something extremely special for so many different people.

    glad to have you back. - sorry if i am missing stuff just trying to get through as much as i can.
  18. Shaun Mielekamp

    Shaun Mielekamp Well-Known Member

    Hi FFC Mariner

    Again glad to see another Mariner come out of exile. your point about the players interaction is a great one. This cant be manufactured and there is no secret recipe here. If the players are told to do it everyone sees straight through. In my experience it is a natural relationship that grows when the players really feel that the crowd and community helped them lift and they knew who and what they were playing for. Some player kiss the coach after they score and other kiss the crowd, it just shows what motivates them and is a true reflection of the club culture. From what i have seen so far I am confident our players are itching to show you all just how much hard work they have done in the last few months. I hope this is a key match that reignites this interaction.
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Like Like x 3
  19. Atomic

    Atomic Well-Known Member

    By the way, the Mariners Brass Band has added so much to the match day experience, as do PriorPeter and the other nameless, hardworking fans that put the effort in week in, week out. What do you see as your role (the Club's role) in helping both the band and the active support?

    I think there is a school of thought that the Club should remain at arms length... what do you think? What support do you think would be appropriate?
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
  20. sydmariner

    sydmariner Well-Known Member

    imo they should bring back the eagle boys pizza in bts

Share This Page