Ramblers need more fans, less negativity, say club officials

Brad Works
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AMHERST - Fans in the stands and less negativity is all that is needed for the Amherst Ramblers to succeed, club officials say.
Head coach and general manager Corey Crocker and president George Baker said Tuesday that despite a recent surge in public criticism about the squad's current placing in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League standings and questions about the team's bank account, the organization remains in the black financially, but needs support from the fan base to stay there.
"Yes, we're in last place, but there are not very many points between last and first," Baker said.
The Ramblers are two points out of a playoff spot in the Bent Division and eight points back of third-place Bridgewater, which visits the Stadium on Saturday at 7 p.m. Truro leads the Bent with 42 points. Amherst has 24.
"I know the coaching staff has the green light to go out and make some trades and pick up a couple of new players to help us over the hill," Baker said. "We're not like other hockey clubs that have major sponsors. We need people coming through the front door in order to afford players. If the fan base keeps going down, it's going to be tougher and tougher to stay in the black."
After piling up wins to start the season, the Ramblers have been inconsistent in their slide to the bottom of the division.
Baker said there is money set aside to add a few players, but admitted it is not a great deal. He added the upswing in criticism is not helpful for the community-owned club and suggested the energy expended in being critical would be better spent helping volunteers and players.
The head coach agrees.
"Our focus as a coaching staff is on the 23 players in the locker room and winning and making the playoffs," said Crocker.
He added all sports teams experience negativity and acknowledged the Ramblers are no different.
"If you are going to be negative, direct your negativity to the coaching staff," Crocker said. "If you direct it toward the players, it affects their on-ice production and execution, if affects their focus in school and it doesn't motivate them to play.
Crocker said he and his staff are constantly trying to improve the club.
"It's unfortunate that we don't have the resources as some teams to go out and immediately put youself over the top, but we're working toward it. We've created a product through the draft and it's a work in progress."
It's a product, the coach says, that has the core players and will only get better.
"If more fans come out and support the team, it will rally the players. When you skate out on that ice you feel the energy as a player. It all helps to win hockey games."

bworks@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League, Bent Division

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Recent comments

  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    I have to agree with both Mr Crocker and
    Mr Baker, this is an Amherst team and
    definitely requires more support from the
    local population. It is easy to kick a team
    when it is down, however in this case
    let us all think positive and bring your
    valuable support to the Stadium and make this (the team) to be proud of.
    Please no more negative criticism, it
    will not help in any way, shape or form.
    Let's strive to bring at least 800 fans
    out to the remaining regular season
    games and shoot for a playoff position.

    THANK YOU

  • Tim
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I couldn't agree more with Mr Kennie. They may not be playing their best hockey right now but not going to the games and not supporting them isn't going to make them play any better in fact it will probably have the opposite effect. I know myself regardless of rather their in first place or last place me and my kids will be at every game we can make it to. I know the ticket prices have gone up over the years but so has the price of every thing else in the world today thats just the way life is. Come on people come out and turn the jungle back into the jungle. Alot of opposing teams used to hate playing in Amherst because of the crazy fans, lets make them hate again.

  • ras
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I always thought amherst had the best fans in the world. but that does not seem so now. true fans will support their club in good times and bad, win or lose. get out and support the Rams.
    on another note, I don't see too many creatrive ideas coming from the exec. to get fans out.
    Re: back to september, family nights, two for ones etc.
    people are creatures of habit, if they satrt going to games they won't want to miss one, if they're not going they won't. the executive have got to come up with ways to get these 8 to 900 + fans back in to the groove of going.
    off the ice this is probably one of the best groups of kids the rams have had, and corey and jeff are certainly a big part of this.
    these kids and this team are a big part of this community and it would be a shame to see it gone.