Friday 4th August 2017
IT’S fair to say that, since January 2007, things have changed at Dumbarton.
They’re two divisions higher, have had four permanent managers, and the first team line-up has gone through several cycles.
One thing that has stayed constant, though, is the Sons Supporters Trust’s effort to run regular buses to away games.
And convener Tommy Hughes is determined to keep it that way.
The Alexandria man has been running the buses for over a decade now – but numbers are needed to help keep the transport going.
With season number six in the Championship about to begin, Tommy is hopeful of more away supporters using the buses.
Tommy said: “The previous 10 and a half seasons we’ve been running supporters’ buses have been hugely successful.
“We’ve had some fantastic away days on the buses. Obviously the promotion-winning days at Annan and Airdrie spring to mind first and foremost.
“But there have also been trips to all corners of Scotland, which have seen some heroic results claimed.
“In fact, you could probably add the previous bus trip to that list – back in April, when we drew 2-2 at Dundee United to claim survival in all but name.
“Since January 2007, bus cancellations have been very few and far between. The uptake has generally been very good.
“However, we would appeal to anybody thinking of travelling to away games from the local area this season, to use the bus.
“We have already had to cancel two buses to the Betfred Cup ties this season due to lack of numbers. Obviously there are factors to that, like summer holidays.
“But there have been occasions during the last couple of seasons where we have had to rely on sponsorship to get buses running, as not enough people have signed up.
“We completely understand that some people prefer to make their own way to away games. In no way do we view this as a bad thing – but we would encourage all supporters to consider the bus.
“It will get you from door to door for as little a cost as we can realistically ask.”
As a ‘veteran’ of supporting Dumbarton home and away, Tommy doesn’t have many places left to tick off.
However, there is one.
He added: “If whoever makes the Scottish Cup fourth round draw can see their way to giving us Ross County away, that would be much appreciated.
“It’s the only one of the current 42 grounds I’ve never been to, or seen Sons play at.
“And of course we’ll be in the fourth round! We’re due another cup run after the one which ended with heads held high in Aberdeen four seasons ago.”
The first Trust Travel bus of the season is due to run to Falkirk next Saturday.
If you are on Facebook, you can use the Trust Travel section’s dedicated page. You can also contact Tommy via email@example.com or, of course, see him in the supporters’ bar tomorrow.
The deadline for bookings is 6pm on Sunday evening.