BRIGHOUSE Town are going for promotion to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One North and that’s official.
Confirmation not only comes from chairman Chris Lister but team manager Paul Quinn and his players.
Lister and vice chairman Ray McLaughlin confirmed yesterday they had applied and manager Quinn before his players took the field at Clayborn on Boxing Day against Liversedge told them the committee and he had every faith in their ability, and he was looking on them to deliver the goods in the second half of the season.
So the chase is now on to move up from Step Five to take on the real world of semi-professional football. However, standing in their way immediately are some very tough home games in the first two weeks of January, commencing with Thackley on Bank Holiday Monday, January 2 (3.00pm).
On Saturday week Winterton Rangers are the visitors followed on the Tuesday, January 10, with currently third-placed Bridlington Town at the Dual Seal stadium and then on the Saturday second-placed Tadcaster Albion the visitors.
Retford United, currently top of the Baris NCEL Premier Division with 48 points to Town’s 35, although the Nottinghamshire side, relegated last year from the Evo-Stik NPL Division One, have played three games more.
Town have got games in hand on all the seven clubs above them apart from Parkgate who, like Town, have played 19 but have notched up 39 points.
In an attempt to attain a record NCEL league gate at their neat Hove Edge ground off St Giles Road, Town officials have had the foresight to note FC Halifax Town entertain Gainsborough Trinity on Sunday, New Year’s Day, at The Shay, and that Huddersfield Town and Bradford City are also away on the Monday.
Chairman Lister is inviting FC Halifax fans to come and support the other `Town’ in Calderdale by letting them in through the turnstiles for £3 if they show their season tickets or the programme from the Gainsborough game. Concessions will apply, and he is also inviting Huddersfield Town fans who are not travelling to Meadow Lane to watch the Terriers take on Notts County to also bring their season tickets or the match programme from tomorrow night’s home game with Carlisle United to get in for the same price. Bradford City fans not travelling to the Don Valley Stadium for the Bantams away game with Rotherham United can also bring their season tickets and the programme from Saturday’s game with Shrewbury to gain admission for the same price.
Manager Quinn applauds his chairman’s incentive and just hopes his team get the support locally as well that they deserve on the back of scoring ten goals in their last two games.
“It will be great if we can draw a good crowd in several ways, first the club needs the revenue, the players will enjoy playing in front of a good crowd and if they enjoy what they see they will hopefully come back and we have three home games on the trot for a change for them to check us out again.”
Quinn said his players had come through a tough derby game on Monday and he had checked them out Tuesday and nobody reported any injuries. Our only long term injury is winger Alex O’Keefe who will be out for some six-eight weeks.
“We are training Thursday evening and then the players will report next on Monday when we take on Thackley who are two places below us.
“It is the start of a tough run of fixtures but if we can take points from these games then come the end of January then we could really be in the mix.
“We have put a good squad together and as I told them at Liversedge I have every confidence in their ability to do well in this League.
“I am delighted the committee have backed the team and to go for promotion, although there is the cost, and secondly it would be a crying shame if we had ended up obtaining one of the two places available but had not applied to go up.”
Vice chairman McLaughlin commented last night that if Quinn had been appointed ahead of the close season, worked through that and then hit the league programme running, Town could well have been in the top four right now.
“The committee had no hesitation in backing him and we are delighted he and the players are up for the challenge.
“There is a real sense of purpose and lets get on with the job at the club and with our team structure in place, a good second team now under Darren Laycock and the youth set up with U-16s, 18s and 19s and a good young coach in Simon Wood, then the only way is up.
“I just hope with it being the last day of the festive holiday and no sporting attractions in the immediate area that we can draw a bumper crowd on Monday to back the team and what we are trying to achieve.”