New fan club forms to support Peoria City soccer team

PEORIA — Drew Clark watched the birth of the Peoria City soccer team and felt a calling.

So I launched a soccer fan club called The 309.

“When the season started, I came to the game and saw fans scattered in little pockets of excitement, and I thought about ways to make it better for them and the team,” Clark said. “So we founded The 309, wanted to give the team a dedicated fan club and make our presence felt.

“It’s been a blast.”

Yes, Peoria City was announced as a USL 2 expansion team in 2000, endured delays in launching because of the pandemic, and finally got on the pitch at Shea Stadium for its inaugural season in May.

And The 309 soon followed, fulfilling soccer’s tradition of hard-core fan groups.

Related:What is Peoria City? Everything you need to know about the city’s new soccer team

Drew Clark, foreground, founder of The 309 soccer fan club, leads the cheers for the Peoria City USL 2 soccer club during a match Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at Shea Stadium in Peoria.

“From the very beginning and during the launch of Peoria City, it was our hope that the supporters group would form organically by those individuals that have a great passion for soccer rather than have it developed by the club,” said Bradley University soccer coach Jim DeRose, who helped found Peoria City, assists the coaching staff and operates Shea Stadium during matches. “He drew and his group have been incredible in developing The 309 from square one, and plot a plan of growth and membership that reflects the supporters vision of the best way to support the players and club.

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