If you ask any of the Arsenal America branch managers, they will tell you that creating -- and sustaining a supporters' group is not easy task. Sometimes the groups are a huge success, sometimes they slowly fade away. Such was the case in North Carolina's 'Triangle'. But now a group that was once just a handful of loyal supporters huddled together in someone's living room, has been reborn and is now thriving with more members than ever before. As Co-Branch Manager Brett Stein says:
"The Triangle Gooners are an ambitious Supporters Club that hopes to be one of the premier groups in the country, creating an environment that could only be rivaled by the Emirates itself. We are happy to welcome any recently transplanted or traveling Gooners or even those who are on the fence about what club they would like to support."
Group Name: The Triangle Gooners
City and State: Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Year established: Originally founded in 2008, re-launched in 2012.
Number of active members: "We have 55 members and get 20-30 for big matches, 10-20 for routine games."
Where we watch matches: London Bridge Pub - 110 East Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601. (919) 838-6633.
"The London Bridge Pub is the official pub of the officially sanctioned supporters club from Arsenal America. We have just recently established this in the last month."
Where our members hail from: "Most of our club are local residents, some born and raised in the Raleigh area others are transplants from all over the United States. There is a strong contingent from the greater New York City area here, with some being former members of the NYC Supporters Club."
The group's beginnings: "The Triangle Gooners had been dormant for years, they'd existed quietly and were rarely ever seen. Despite the existence of a solid Arsenal fan base in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina area there was very little organization or leadership. In the fall of 2012 a small group of like minded individuals decided to take the Bull City and surrounding areas by the horns and begin stocking the local Armoury with Arsenal supporters.
"With members from all parts of the country and globe personal Arsenal experiences are varied but we all bleed the Red & White. Whenever you are in the Eastern Carolina area please join the Triangle Gooners in supporting the greatest team the world has ever seen. RDU is AFC!"
Arsenal in North Carolina: "The Triangle Gooners are the largest EPL supporters club in our area, although Liverpool is a close second. To the south of us about 2 hours away in Charlotte, NC, there is a great group of Arsenal upporters -- the Queen City Gooners. And to the north about two hours in Richmond, VA there is another new supporters club.
"With the recent summer tours and increased TV coverage there has been an upswing in EPL interest of late, but it seems the Gooners in the area have always been around and are just now organizing well."
Group's favorite Arsenal moments: "Our first official supporters club meetup on 12/29/12: AFC blowout over Newcastle 7-3."21 Sep 2011