Once I’m in the play-offs I want to get to the Final again and get promotion, says Bromley boss Neil Smith
BROMLEY manager Neil Smith says he wants to guide his home-town club into the Vanarama National League play-offs for the first time.
The Ravens face a nervy time on the final day of their best season dining at the top table of non-league football when they travel to 12th placed Maidenhead United on Saturday.
Bromley wasted a glorious chance to enter the play-off zone when they were held to a disappointing goal-less draw by Barrow at Hayes Lane on Tuesday night.
Bromley are going to take a good number of supporters across to Berkshire for the early kick-off to watch their team get over the line.
Macclesfield Town clinched the league title and go into the final day sitting on 89 points and will be playing League Two football in August – and Smith wants to join them!
The play-off places are occupied by Tranmere Rovers (82 points); Sutton United (76); Aldershot Town (75); Ebbsfleet United (73); AFC Fylde (72) and Boreham Wood (72).
Bromley are in eighth (70); Dover Athletic are ninth (70)and Wrexham are in tenth on 69 points.
Bromley’s goal difference is better than Ebbsfleet’s (+6); Boreham Wood’s (+5); Dover Athletic's (+3) and Wrexham's (+10).
Smith’s men MUST win at Maidenhead United and rely on the gods shining down on the Hayes Lane outfit to grab a play-off place.
Ebbsfleet United travel to third-from-bottom and already relegated Torquay United.
AFC Fylde travel to Wrexham (and Bromley will be praying that Wrexham win) while Boreham Wood host basement side Guiseley.
Dover Athletic travel to Woking, who must win and hope Barrow lose at home to relegated Chester to maintain their National League status.
“It’s been a fantastic season. I don’t think anybody’s let anybody down,” said Smith.
“I think the supporters have had a fantastic time. We’ve still got a great day to come.
“I’ve said to a few people, I get greedy and I want that play-off place and we’ll be going for it.
“It’s another cup final. We’ve had for the last seven weeks, every game has been a cup final, it’s been relentless for these boys and for us to be anywhere near it with some of these massive clubs that are in there is a massive achievement and not just the players and the coaching staff, to the directors and the chairman, who has backed me since I’ve walked through the door – and the supporters.
“I’d love to repay them by getting them in to the play-offs and just try to achieve something that everyone thought was impossible at the start of the season.”
Whatever happens on Saturday, Smith has done a brilliant job to take Bromley’s league campaign to the final day of the season.
Smith said: “It will be the biggest achievement this club has ever had and that’s the championship and that’s the FA Trophy Final to go 46 games and be one of the top seven teams in this division with the size of the club and everything else that goes with it.
“I think it will be the biggest achievement and once I’m in it I want to get to the Final again and get promotion!
“But we’ve got a cup final on Saturday and I want to achieve the best thing this club has ever achieved. That’s all I ever want to do. I’ve always wanted to repay the faith that was given in me and I think, at the moment, the players’ have.”
Smith knows Alan Devonshire’s side are capable of ending Bromley’s promotion dream at York Road on Saturday (12:30).
“They’re at home, they don’t want to lose at home. They don’t want us to be celebrating,” he said.
“Alan Devonshire is a professional, all their players have been fantastic this season and what an achievement they’ve done.
“They’re going to make it hard for us. They’re not going to roll over and I know Alan Devonshire too well for that. We just have to make sure we prepare to our best to get that result.”
Who would have thought Bromley would play the likes of Tranmere Rovers or Leyton Orient in a League fixture – and who can ever forget when the Ravens humiliated Leyton Orient 6-1 at Hayes Lane on that unforgettable night back in August.
Once their personal best National League campaign is over, Smith can prepare to lock horns with Vanarama National League North side Brackley Town in The Buildbase FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 20 May (16:15).
“We’ve had them watched as we have with everybody but have I sat down and studied them? No, because the big games are on a Saturday at the moment.
“Once the season is over, whenever that is, then we’ll solely concentrate on Brackley but one thing I have got at the moment is I have got a full squad to pick from 20 players and I can only have 16 so there will be four disappointed players not even on the bench.”
Visit Bromley’s website: www.bromleyfc.tv
Maidenhead United v Bromley
Vanarama National League
Saturday 28 April 2018
Kick Off 12:30pm
at York Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1SF