Supporters Section: Burg Brigade 1728

Burg Brigade 1728 is the newly formed supporters group of Fredericksburg FC.  Non League America was able to speak with one of the founders, Tom Leiss to get a closer understanding of the connection to the team, its history and the match day atmosphere they hope to bring to every game.  The Brigade was formed ahead of their first home match on June 9th against Legacy 76.  Enjoy this exclusive interview with Tom Leiss, founder of the Brigade – and also blogger for Soccer Junkies, and columnist for the Free Lance Star of Fredericksburg.

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Non League America: How did the Burg Brigade 1728 come to be?

Leiss:  Being a soccer fan and D.C. United fan, I’ve always seen what a good supporters’ group is like, both on television while watching various leagues from around the world and in person at RFK Stadium.  I wanted to try and bring that here for Fredericksburg. Just from being involved in various aspects of the local soccer scene in various aspects for the past 30+ years, I know there is a huge love for the sport here, so I wanted to see if we could pull together a group to show it for the two clubs now that they’ve moved here.  As a member of D.C. United’s La Barra Brava, you can see how much of a positive affect it can have on the players because they show it after games and in news articles when asked about the home support. We hope we can build the same here and have our own extended football family that will support the club and the community.

NLA:  In terms of support, what does the supporters hope to bring to a FFC match?

Leiss:  The plan is to bring a good atmosphere to the games at home and on the road when possible . . . on the road will more than likely grow more as the group becomes more established.  As we grow, we hope to develop songs and chants for the games, have flags to wave, instruments to play, make banners and so on.  Ideally, the group will also be something fun outside of the games as well.  With the games played in downtown Fredericksburg at the University of Mary Washington, the field isn’t that far from local restaurants and we hope to eventually find one where we can meet before the games and march up to the games.  It will hopefully help the group grow and hopefully also help let people in the area know the team is here and will encourage more people to come out to the games.  I have a great role model, so to speak, to try and draw from as a member of La Barra Brava, so hopefully, that will help us develop our own group into a strong one as well.

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NLA:  Thoughts on the stadium at University at Mary Washington?

Leiss:  The Battleground Athletic Complex is a great venue for soccer.  Great field to play on, great stands and even has room to potentially tailgate before games.  It is very impressive for a DIII-level university as well, and is centrally located both in the area and in the region for the players that the club draws in, as well as soccer fans who are looking for a club to support in the lower leagues of U.S. Soccer.

NLA:  Thoughts and reactions from the relocation and merger between RVA FC, FASA, and FXGB FC?

Leiss:  There was good support when the teams played down in Richmond as RVA FA. Particularly in the first year of the team as it made its run to the NPSL National Championship, but it seemed to wane a bit last year.  There was already the USL-side Richmond Kickers there, so it seemed to kind of split the supporters a bit as the teams would sometimes play at the same times.  Here in Fredericksburg, this is the only team to support.  If we can tap into the local soccer network–the youth clubs in the area, parks and recreation, adult leagues and soccer lovers both fervent and casual–I think it’ll be a great draw.  The doubleheaders should also help too, you can basically can get two quality soccer games for the price of one in the afternoon/early evening and then head out and enjoy downtown after the game.  I think there are a lot of people in the area that heard about RVA FC and how good they are, how quality their soccer could be, and now they don’t have to travel an hour or so south through the typical I-95 traffic to go see it.  Then since there are local and regional players on the team, they can truly represent the Fredericksburg region now since they will be playing here.

NLA:  Any Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or websites we can plug for the group?

Leiss:  Right now, all we have set up is the Facebook page, but once we get the group going more, hopefully, we can get a Twitter or Instagram.
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Burg Brigade 1728 is only the second supporters group in the NPSL Mid Atlantic Conference.  Along with Neptune’s Armada, they look to bring the passion and support to the region.  We wish them the best of luck for the rest of the season.

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