STUNNED football club officials have been taken aback by the amount of commitment shown by supporters during pre season.

Halesowen Town have reported increased ticket sales - even though the club missed out on promotion after tragically losing out in the end of season play-offs.

General manager Dave Hawley confirmed: "Our supporters have been absolutely amazing. Tickets sales have already exceeded last season which is remarkable when you consider everyone is feeling the pinch financially.

"When football was curtailed because of the pandemic, we gave away free season tickets to those supporters who missed out.

"There was a concern as to whether those supporters who had the free tickets would renew, knowing they would have to pay this time. We felt that something would have to give!

"However, the vast majority of supporters who received free tickets have already renewed for this season and we've been surprised over the number of new supporters we've had applying for tickets.

"There seems to be a feeling that people are ditching the professional clubs, like Wolves, Villa and Albion, coming back to Non League football instead.

"Our average attendance last season was well over 1,000 which is phenomenal when you consider we're playing in the fourth tier of Non-League. Our gates are higher than some National League clubs!

Mr Hawley, who also deals with his club's social media, had an inkling that support was on the rise after reading comments made by supporters.

He added: "There was a load of expectation last season and after the disappointment of the play-off defeat we wondered how that would effect us

"However, within two weeks, supporters were asking when season tickets were going on sale and suddenly, there's real optimism."

Halesowen stage their first pre season home fixture next Tuesday night when they take on Crewe Alexandra. They then host arch local rivals Stourbridge the following Saturday, July 16.