Published on: Thu, Jun 27, 2019
Many of you may know that Denton is now home to a great National Premier Soccer League team, the Denton Diablos! In their first season, the Diablos have already hit the ground running, scoring goals and exciting fans. The Diablos season is almost finished (final home game is Saturday!) but we’re going to take you behind the scenes with a special group of people who are tasked to carry the banner high and keep the energy up during the game: the Denton Harbingers!
The Harbingers, supported by Alasdair Green, have taken on the task of energizing the crowds through chants, drums and channeling their energy into support for the Diablos! We had a chance to sit down with Alasdair, who is a native of Scotland, on bringing the good game to Denton and the excitement of the Diablos first season.
Q: When did you hear that the Diablos were coming to town?
A: I am an elementary school teacher here in Denton, and I co-founded an after school club for boys to teach leadership and integrity, as well as other character traits that will help them become leaders within our community. We invite leaders in many different capacities from our local area to come and speak to our students.
We had heard about a local businessman who was starting a semi-pro team in town through a prior speaker, so we invited Damon Gochneaur to come and talk to our boys in the fall of 2018. From there, a great friendship was formed over our mutual love for the beautiful game!
Q: When did you start coordinating the formation of the Harbingers?
A: Damon and I really got the ball rolling in February of 2019 regarding a supporters group. I have previously been involved with FC Dallas supporters, including forming a supporters group. I reached out to many of the fans I knew there, as well as the Denton community. We hosted our first meeting at Oak Street Drafthouse in February. We discussed our vision, names, ideas, and the Harbingers were born!
Q: With you being Scottish, how different is it being here in the US, where we aren’t as soccer crazy?
A: The soccer culture is very different here in the US. I think there are definitely advantages to each culture on both sides of the pond. The US game as a whole is still in its infancy, and is more family oriented. In Scotland it is more tribal, with a long history ingrained in society. We do have a soccer crazy population here that is constantly growing, and finding its voice. It is a very exciting time to be involved in the US game!
Q: Who helps come up with the chants?
A: Chants are a combination of simply making up our own, as well as tweaking the words of existing chants. The idea is to make them inspiring and fun, as well as simple and easy for other supporters to join in with! We love nothing more than when people start joining in with us, or have ideas for new chants!
Q: How important do you think the fans are to the success of the team?
A: Fans are integrated into the fabric of the team. The owners vision for the Diablos was that this was Denton’s team first and foremost, and the community would rally around it. The team has had an incredible first season, and that has been fueled by the players and coaches knowing that the fans are fully behind them, cheering them on.
Opposing players have even come up to the Harbingers post match, even after they have been defeated, and thanked us for creating a great atmosphere and supporting local soccer. They recognize that something special is happening in Denton.
Q: What is one thing you’ve learned about Denton this year?
A: My family had known for a long time that Denton is where we wanted to be, so we moved here in January. The city has a multicultural vibrancy and an energy I wanted my family to be a part of.
Since moving to Denton I have really learned that while Denton has continued to grow, it has kept a community feel. Denton welcomes people from all over the world, and not only accepts everyone but embraces our differences. It makes Denton what it is! The Diablos are a wonderful representation of Denton. People from all walks of life, working together for each other, and for our town.
We recently had a crazed Harbinger escape and take over the Square. Check out the special report from DentonRadio.com’s Jake Laughlin: