Shots Trust chairman Tommy Anderson was appointed to Aldershot Town's board of directors in August 2016, making the 21-year-old the youngest Director of a professional football club in Europe.

Not to rest on his laurels, he quickly helped implement the then-new "Boost the Budget" scheme which allows fans to contribute £10 a month - money that goes directly to Gary Waddock's playing budget for the season.

The scheme, which replaced the Player Share, has already bore fruits with the loan singings of Kundai Benyu from Ipswich and Jonny Giles from Oxford United - both of which were paid for using funds from the Boost the Budget iniative.

However, it has come in for some criticism from supporters who feel that a supporters trust should not be paying for new singings as it is not what a supporters trust is set up to achieve.

We sat down with Anderson to chat about the Boost the Budget scheme and to iron out exactly how it works when it comes to securing new talent for the Shots.

We'll be sharing the second part of the interview through the week - in today's first part Anderson explains how the scheme came about and addresses criticism of the Boost the Budget scheme.

RO'D - So Tommy, let's start with you telling us a bit about Boost the Budget and how the scheme came about.

Boost the Budget came about when we had an invitation from the football club to join the board back in April and we turned around and said this is what we want to do for you and they set out what they wanted us to do.

We felt if we could offer something tangible by Boost the Budget helping Gary, the players and the management and getting the fans involved, which as a supporter’s body we should do.

That’s how it all came about and you can do so by contributing £10 per month and we’ve always said if 250 fans did that, we’d raise an initial target of 30,000, some people contributed more but at the moment it’s going well, I’m really enjoying it and it’s the start of something good here.

Bringing Kundai and Jonny in is hopefully two of many.

You were appointed to the Board of Directors in the summer, yes?

The Trust has never had a seat on the Board of the football club and that had to change - when you have 700 members behind you I think it’s only right that the main supporters body joins the board.

That offer made by the football club in April was discussed, there were a lot of pros and a lot of cons but the pros outweighed the cons and when we took the decision we were doing it in the best interest of the football club.

Certainly, for any supporters trust, you look at Chester, and a lot of clubs in League One and Two, they have a lot of fan representation on the board and for Aldershot to do that, and for me to be the man chosen, is brilliant and overwhelming.

Signed via Boost the Budget: Kundai Benyu

There has been some criticism from some sections of the support about Boost the Budget, how do you address those criticisms?

It’s a mixed one and it’s something that everyone will have an opinion on.

My personal view is that back in 2013 the Trust tried to buy the club outright from administration, it didn’t work, a year later we set up a private fund to enable us to gain funds to get us into community ownership, that didn’t quite kick off so what do you do at that point?

I think you either support the football club or you work against it, and I think by working against it you can damage everything that you’re trying to do here.

For me, the only option was to work together and find something tangible going forward and us joining the Board was an invitation that the football club didn’t have to make, they did that because they thought that the Trust could offer something different and I’m pleased to say that we are.

A lot of people will have concerns about it but we aren’t handing money over to the football club, I’ll sit down with Gary personally and the first team and we’ll work out targets and the whole finance of the deal.

We’ll work with Ipswich and Oxford, in Kundai and Jonny’s case, and we’ll work out how it’s affordable.

All the contributions made will then pay for that, any membership money will not go towards Boost the Budget, it’s simply significant donations that come our way in a separate bank account.

You’re always going to get criticism, but at the same time what other option did we have?

So membership fees to the Shots Trust don't contribute whatsoever?

Every single membership fee is held in a separate account, Boost the Budget donations and all our fund raisers that we do will go into the Boost the Budget account.

We’ve had the Race Night in September, the Quiz Night in November and the Christmas raffle which enabled us to sign jonny.

The fundraising and the support that I’ve had from fans this year has been fantastic and I want to thank every one of them for that.

I think, like with everything, that you’ll get pros and cons and positive and negative comments but for me, the positive comments and the actions we’ve done have outweighed the negative ones.

We’ve had the Race Night in September, the Quiz Night in November and the Christmas raffle which enabled us to sign jonny.

The fundraising and the support that I’ve had from fans this year has been fantastic and I want to thank every one of them for that.

I think, like with everything, that you’ll get pros and cons and positive and negative comments but for me, the positive comments and the actions we’ve done have outweighed the negative ones.

Latest Boost the Budget addition: Jonny Giles

Would you have bought into Boost the Budget personally if you hadn't been a Director or behind the scheme?

I think I’d buy into it myself - I spoke to a lot of people who used to contribute to the Player Share before Boost the Budget.

That was fantastic for ten years at this club but Boost the Budget has taken on a lot bigger fundraisers and we’re hoping to get a lot more serious.

We have a better relationship with the football club and it’s bringing everything in-house.

From a personal point of view, I used to contribute to Player Share, it’s something I’ve always believed in and I think the fans need to feel that they’re valued.

At the same time, I think the fans have got to help the football club - it is a shoestring budget here, it isn’t the largest budget in this league - we only spend what we can afford and if the fans can help then brilliant and I think £10 a month, for a lot of people if they haven’t got vasts amount to give the football club, can feel like they are contributing in different ways and it is certainly appreciated.

Would the loan signings of Kundai Benyu and Jonny Giles have happened without Boost the Budget?

I don’t think those two loan deals would have happened without it to be truthful, they’re costly enough where the finances at the football club are challenging.

Everyday is a challenge but Boost the Budget is there to help Gary and further down the line I’m sure there will be targets Gary has that we can’t facilitate right now but without Boost the Budget I don’t think those two transfers would’ve happened.

The second part of Ryan's interview with Tommy Anderson will be published on Thursday.