THE drum began to pound about 10 minutes before kick-off and somebody flicked up the volume.

By the time the teams arrived on the immaculate Valley Parade pitch, they were met with a wall of noise.

The North West Kollektive were at it again, encouraging the kind of vociferous audience that no other rival in League Two can hope to match.

Tucked away at the top of the North West Corner, they can be heard more than seen. But the flags fly like the Italian tifosi and the chants ring out.

“Last season there wasn’t a home advantage, especially at the end,” said Ben Hall, one of the fans behind City’s atmosphere section.

“We still had a chance of the play-offs but there was no urgency, nobody pushing them on. It was completely flat.

“A lot of clubs in this division aren’t going to care if they’ve got nobody in, for them it’s up to the players.

“But when you play for Bradford City, you’ve got 16,000 fans urging you to get forward. It’s going to make a massive difference.”

That has already been witnessed with the home wins over Oldham and Stevenage – games watched by a combined tally of 31,521 people. The din generated during Tuesday’s 4-1 win was even greater than for the much-touted “homecoming”.

Those supporters in the Kollektive see it as their role to provide a constantly bouncing backdrop to lift the team.

They originally formed when City began taking off under Phil Parkinson. Congregating in K Block in the Kop, they helped the club with the flag displays and scarf parades that were such a feature of the cup and play-off runs.

But Hall admitted: “The biggest problem with the Kop is its size and putting out the flags on seats was such a logistical issue.

“We didn’t have any storage space so we shoved everything in a little cupboard under the stairs by the Bantams Bar.

“You then had to lug them all the way up the stand and it took hours getting everything ready. I think we put out more than 400 for the Millwall game in the play-offs.”

James Mason had been a major ally within the club and Ryan Sparks has been equally keen to adapt a specific singing section to get the crowd going.

The North West corner was the obvious option. Using the upper section stops the risk of impromptu pitch invasions – something that hit City in the pocket early in the 2019-2020 season – and allows the group to self-police without the need for a wall of stewards.

Hall said: “We have a good relationship with Ryan and he’s pushed it forward.

“Hopefully, two or three years down the line, it will get bigger and bigger and we’ll be able to at least fill the middle bits of the corner as well.

“There’s always going to be a lot of people who want to stay in the Kop. But we’ve made it clear we’re not going back because it makes no sense for us to be in there.

“We’re not telling people in the Kop you’re not allowed to make noise and sing. We want everybody involved.

“The Kop is massive, that 12th man when you shoot towards it second half. We understand that.

“We still want that to be special, particularly the lower tier behind the net.

"We used to have lads who would be with us in K Block in the first half and then go down to the bottom to be behind the goal in the second. They wanted to be there right in front of the players to join in any celebrations.

"But we’re hoping that the next two or three games, people move into the corner with us because that’s where the noise is.

“Because we work with the club, they give us the chance to come in early and set things up. They can see we’re trying to do it properly and not just winging it.”

Without the traditional terraces, it is becoming more widespread around the country to set up specific singing sections.

“Forty to 50 per cent of clubs have probably got something similar,” said Hall.

“Look at Crystal Palace. It isn’t huge but the atmosphere created by having an organised section is unbelievable.

“The more that we can tap into the next generation of fans the better and show them there are ways to support your club without causing trouble or letting off pyrotechnics. There are other ways to create atmosphere.

“Jump on that bandwagon now and push it as much as we can.

“The biggest test for any atmosphere section is what happens when results go badly. We’re going to have to pull through that.

“Derek Adams has said the atmosphere really helped the players. The more noise we can create is going to help the team massively.”