RESTART THE FIRE
Dear Mr. Tateishi,
I’m coming back to you to the open letter I’ve sent you on the 20th of October of last year.
At that time I felt a wake up call was much needed as I noticed a failure to deliver on the promise to preserve and protect the identity of STVV. The result was a clear disconnection between the club and its fans.
A lot has happened since then and it’s time to recognize the efforts you and your team have done so far to mitigate these crucial problems:
– The appointment of Peter Maes has certainly been a good move and this not only in terms of the excellent results these last couple of matches. He combines a passion for the game in all of its aspects, a healthy dose of realism and a clear insight in the mentality of our club and its supporters. It’s safe to say that our new coach embodies perfectly the soul and spirit of our fine city.
– The new players with a clear track record in the Belgian league you have contracted are not only of value because of their technical qualities. They are also adding much needed leadership within the team and take us all to a higher level.
– Picking up players directly from the youth of Sint-Truiden and give them the opportunity to experience professional football is demonstrating that we are still a club where young players get the chances they deserve. As they are born and raised in our region they represent a link between the team and its local fanbase.
– The transparency you have given by regularly informing a delegation of the fans is also appreciated as it shows a clear resolve to connect with the most important stakeholders of the club.
I would encourage you to keep this momentum and continue to follow this chosen path the next coming years.
A couple of days ago, I watched a 6 year old video of the match OHL-STVV. Thousands of fans made the trip to Leuven to support the team proudly carrying the yellow-blue banner. Passionately cheering and chanting for the club they hold dearly. This fire has been lying dormant for a couple of years now, but it never completely died out. The decisions you made these last couple of months have been instrumental to poke up the fire once more.
Now it’s time to prepare for the nearest future possible when we will once more have the opportunity to set Stayen ablaze again. In my humble opinion it will be key to focus on the youth within our fanbase. I remember the early 2000’s at a time STVV was also confronted with a lack of enthusiasm and passion in the stands. A couple of young people stood up and took it on them to revitalize the club. Meetings were held and flyers were distributed in schools to call on the youth of Sint-Truiden and all other fans young at heart to once more support the team in a way fitting to its history. As a result Sector L was created. All fans who are now in their 30’s and 40’s will certainly remember this time and I’m certain that what now has become nostalgia still serves as a foundation for our relentless involvement with the club.
The teenagers and twenty somethings of our city are now experiencing very challenging years in which their ability to explore the benefit of their youth is hindered by a virus we can’t control. When the stands are open again they deserve their ‘Sector-L’. With this letter I call on them to take the banner of STVV once more, to live and breath Yellow-Blue once more. And I encourage you, Mr. Tateishi, to facilitate their endeavors to the fullest extent possible.
On the 23th of February 2024 our club will turn 100 years. At this exact same date, my son will become 4 years old. It’s my intense hope that we will leave him and the newest generation a club living up to its creed: Voetbal, Volk en Vuur!