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Upon the arrival of two brand new leaders for the Radford men’s soccer team, Marc Reeves and Maciej Sliwinski, the program has taken a turn in the direction of success. With the number of wins on the rise every year, the program has also recognized their prominence within the community and most importantly, their fans.
In regard of those fans, head coach Marc Reeves founded a club to specifically connect with their supporters in a way that essentially makes them a part of the team. The club is known as the #9 club, honoring one of RU’s all-time best players, #9 Donte Washington.
About a year after the origination of the #9 club in 2010, the core of the group began calling themselves the Radford Ultras. This name stems from the innovative minds and hostile performances of the members that have been known to be the difference inside of Cupp Stadium on game day.
“The Radford Ultras really got creative with big flags, banners, songs and actions,” explained Reeves. “These guys did a great job of making it a tough place for opponents to play.”
But, it wasn’t all easy for Reeves and Sliwinski as they were still getting their feet under them as coaches while simultaneously going out of their way to build a positive reputation with students and the surrounding community.
“We got out there and promoted our games and wanted our team to connect with the students and community in trying to gain their support,” said Reeves.
In return, the program made their way into the RU history books by going undefeated at home, making them the first team to ever go unbeaten inside of Cupp. And with plenty of reasons to go watch the men’s team play, fans not only get to see them win but also play a pivotal role in those wins.
Just like most pro teams and nationally known college programs do, Radford wanted to establish a sure connection between the team and their fans. Like the name of the club suggest, #9 is the number dedicated to the fans in a way that gives them the accountability of performing from the stands while the players perform on the pitch.
“A loud supportive crowd can make a big difference at certain points in a game and lift a team when needed,” explained Reeves. “I love it when they get behind our team and some of things they do or say can certainly be funny for the general fans. “
Winning games and putting on a show for the home crowd have always been the priority for the men’s soccer team but with a positive reputation rapidly growing amongst the campus community, the Radford Ultras have been able to maintain as an edgy unit that can’t go unrecognized at an RU home game.
Already having over 2,000 names and email addresses in their database, Reeves noted the importance of the current members but also expressed a sincere passion for the club to attract new members who may not know about the camaraderie shared between club members.
“We have a ton of ideas and we want to keep moving forward and grow the level and intensity of our support,” said Reeves. “I believe we can do more to attract students and provide a more exciting fan environment and we will continue to work hard both on and off the field. “
With clear intentions of progression, the Radford Ultras have also placed an overlying desire to get results at home again this season and with six remaining home games, there is still a fair amount of hype around RU taking the Big South this season.
Grab your calendar and find a way to make time to see the next home game. Surly you won’t miss the Radford Ultras at the game and before you know it, you’ll be chanting right alongside them. To find out how to join the club visit this link http://ruhighlanders.com/sb_output.aspx?form=16 or just show up at the game wearing all the red you possibly can.