Introducing: The Arsenal FC Armed Forces Supporters’ Club

Long time readers of this blog will now that we have been long terms supporters of both the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans and The Royal British Legion. For these reasons, we were delighted to have a sit down with the founder of the Arsenal FC Armed Forces Supporters’ Club – who have recently been given official supporters club status by The Arsenal.

The group was originally founded by Chris Mead, an SAC in the Royal Air Force and lifelong Arsenal fan.

“I started the Arsenal FC Armed Forces Supporters’ Club after seeing some chaps cleaning up a memorial before Armistice Day. Helping them out were a couple of former Spurs players. After a discussion with them, it transpired that they belonged to the Armed Forces Spurs Supporters Club.

I came away from the discussion wondering if Arsenal had a similar supporters club. A supporters club  which could unite Arsenal fans in the military no mater where they were stationed across the globe. It was quickly established that they did not. So I took it upon myself get in contract with Arsenal and form one!

The majority of supporters club are regionally based. I wanted to set up a club that when I got posted, whether it be with the United Kingdom or beyond, would cater for my needs. It was always a frustration of mind having to track down and make contact with a new supporters club everytime I was posted elsewhere.

Despite only having been up and running for a short time, Arsenal FC Armed Forces Supporters’ Club already have a good and safe network of people who attend games as a group. We arrange to meet up before and after games – both home and away.

We are now looking to increase our network, and bring awareness to both serving military personnel and veterans that Arsenal has a place for them.

Over time we intend to use our position and association with the club to raise money for the various military charities, as well as thebe invited by the club to be involved on Remembrance Sundays and Armed Forces Days to assist the paying of respects.

We hope to continue to grow and evolve to encompass all UK service personnel worldwide.

Arsenal FC Armed Forces Supporters’ Club already has a pot of tickets that can be purchased through the club, via safe and easy ticket exchanging.

The supporters club is open to all Arsenal fans that have served, or are currently serving, in any of the British Armed Forces. Membership is currently free.

If you want to join, please get in touch through Twitter: @ASCArmedForces

Additionally all non-military Arsenal fans are invited to show their support for the British Armed Forces by following their twitter feed: @ASCArmedForces.

We wish the lads running the supporters club luck and hope that it continues to grow and support the British Armed Forces and The Arsenal.

She Wore

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Who are Ostersunds?

Founded in the same month that Arsène Wenger became our manager, the Swedish side were created in October 1996 when three local clubs, Ope IF, IFK Ostersund and Ostersund/Torvalla FF, merged together.

A fourth club, Froso IF, joined the following year and the club then began its life in the third tier of Swedish football.

Known in the Allsvenskan for its English links, director of football Daniel Kindberg used his friendship with Roberto Martinez and Graeme Jones to start a partnership with Swansea City – and the Swans even played the inaugural game at their new 8,000-seater Jamtkraft Arena.

Nowadays, its manager Graham Potter who is continuing Ostersunds’ English connections. The  former Football League defender – who is best known for his time with York City – joined after the Swedish side had been relegated to the fourth tier in 2010, and achieved successive promotions during his first two years in charge.

Two years later they had been promoted once more, this time becoming an Allsvenskan side for the very first time in their existence, and then they lifted their first major trophy, the Svenska Cupen, after beating six-time champions IFK Norrkoping 4-1 in the final.

Their Europa League record has been equally as impressive this season. After earning a shock win over Galatasaray in the second qualifying round, Saman Ghoddos’ two goals helped them reach the group stage of the competition.

 

From there it just got better for them, finishing second in a group featuring Athletic Bilbao and Hertha Berlin after only losing one game. They are the Sweden’s sole representative in this year’s competition, and the only Swedish club to have ever progressed beyond the Europa League group stage.

Keenos

No excuse for Arsenal to not play full team

There are zero reason’s why tomorrow Arsenal should not play the fullest strength team possible.

With no FA Cup at the weekend after a dismal display against Nottingham Forest, Arsenal do not have a game this weekend.

Our next two games are the away and home ties against Ostersund in the Europa League. A full week between the cold air of Sweden, and the wet and rainy Islington.

After the Ostersund double header, we play Manchester City in the League Cup Final. Therefore it is important for the side to get a big win in Sweden to bring back to London – allowing us to rest key players for the League Cup Final.

With us out of the FA Cup and not in the race for the league title, the Europa League and League Cup should be Arsenal’s prioritiy. Whilst top 4 is good for the bank balance, it means nothing if you do not win trophies.

I expect David Ospina to start ahead of Petr Cech, and there is a lot of confusion over whether Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng is cup tied or not. Other than the same old players being out injured, I would expect us to put out the strongest side available.

This includes the likes of Mesut Ozil and Henrik Mkhitaryan, Laurent Koscileny and Hector Bellerin.

Beating Ostersund in the first leg is important, and will take the pressure of the second leg 3 days before that Europa League Final.

Back the team, even if you do not the regime.

Keenos