As the season enters its final stages, with just four weeks remaining, Ospreys prop Paul James has called on the region"â¬â¢s supporters to "â¬Ëstick with the team"â¬â¢ as they look to secure a third Magners League title in five seasons.
As the season enters its final stages, with just four weeks remaining, Ospreys prop Paul James has called on the region's supporters to 'stick with the team' as they look to secure a third Magners League title in five seasons.
His comments come ahead of a busy spell for the Liberty Stadium outfit, with three of the last four games all at home, and after last weekend's disappointing Heineken Cup defeat at Munster, which saw the Ospreys exit the tournament at the Quarter-Final stage for a second successive season. The Ospreys will need to win all three home fixtures to keep alive their hopes of pipping Irish sides Munster and Leinster to the silverware, ahead of a final weekend returning to Limerick for a potential title decider against the Munster men.
"It's more important than ever that the supporters stick with the team now and come out in numbers to get behind us for these final three home matches. Things didn't go as any of us would have wanted out in Limerick, but we have to pull together and show what the Ospreys are all about. We are a close knit bunch in the squad, the majority of us are local guys and we take great pride in representing our home region, so nobody is more disappointed than us.
"We know how much it means to the supporters, how keen they are to see us succeed, and in many cases how much money they spend following us right around Europe, so we are determined to deliver the kind of performances that they demand in these last few games, and take the chase for the Magners League to the very last weekend. All we can say is stick with us, get down to the Liberty Stadium for the remaining games and help to push us over that line. Anyone who was at Munster last weekend will fully understand what people say when they talk about the 16th man, the crowd at Thomond Park was incredible. It would be great if we could generate something like that at the Liberty Stadium, as we have already done this season."
To help encourage supporters to make the most of the remaining three games, Ospreys management have announced details of some exciting match day initiatives, starting with next Saturday evening's game against Edinburgh (KO 7.30pm).
For the first time ever, the Ospreys Village will be open for fans in the North Car Park area of the stadium. Open to all supporters from 5.30pm, the Ospreys Village will play host to Swansea band Silver, who will be performing throughout the evening, with a special £2 a pint promotion between 5.30pm - 6.30pm. The Village will remain open until shortly before kick-off, and will be open to fans post-match until 10.30pm, allowing supporters of both sides to discuss the game over a leisurely beer. As an added bonus, there will be a Season-Ticket Holders and Members cash draw, which will take place at between 5.30pm and half-time, with one lucky supporter able to win £200. Younger supporters are not being left out, as the popular Family Funzone, which proved such a hit when launched for the Leinster and Connacht match, returns in the South Stand and will be open to all ticket holders before the game.
Ospreys Managing Director Roger Blyth commented:
"We realised the disappointment that supporters are feeling at the moment, but we feel that there is an awful lot to be optimistic about.
We are still very much in the hunt for the Magners League and Scott Johnson has arrived to help take us to the next level, so these are exciting times for the region. We are always looking at ways that we can enhance the match day experience here at the Liberty Stadium, and we have listened to supporters views about what we can do to make it more enjoyable. With the Ospreys Village, live entertainment and the FunZone in operation, we are making the Liberty Stadium a place for the whole family to enjoy a great night out this Saturday, and every matchday."
Paul James added:
"It's fantastic that the Directors have put together all this entertainment for Saturday night, all the squad hopes that the supporters will respond to this positively and get behind us for this game, and the Dragons and Glasgow fixtures afterwards. As Ospreylians we are all in this together."