BROMLEY AT WEMBLEY: Leading the team out at Wembley is something that every kid dreams of about their home-town club, says Jack Holland

Sunday 13th May 2018

LEGENDARY Bromley captain Jack Holland says he will fulfil a boyhood dream when he leads out his home-town club at Wembley Stadium next Sunday.

The 26-year-old inspirational leader will walk out behind manager Neil Smith as Bromley play Vanarama National League North side Brackley Town in The Buildbase FA Trophy Final on the hallowed turf.

BOYHOOD DREAM:  Bromley captain Jack Holland
says leading his home-town club out at Wembley
Stadium has been a boyhood dream.
Photo: Edmund Boyden

“You know what, being the 125th year of Bromley Football Club, it’s been a very emotional year with the passing of Glyn Beverly, our president, and we’re doing this for him,” said the central defender.

“I honestly think he’s somewhere looking down at us because everything we’re doing this season is for him and remembrance for him.  If we’re fortunate enough to lift the cup that will be for him and it will be a very emotional time for us all.”

Bromley completed their Vanarama National League campaign with an embarrassing 5-2 defeat at Maidenhead United on 28 April to finish on a personal best of ninth-place on a club record 70 points.

Smith has been keeping his squad ticking over during the time between their defeat at York Road and playing their biggest game in their history in seven days’ time.

Bromley playing at Wembley still feels like a dream, ever since Smith’s heroes gained a 1-1 draw up at Gateshead to beat Steve Watson’s side 4-3 on aggregate to set up a winner-takes-all showdown against Brackley Town.

Kevin Wilkin has guided the Northamptonshire side to third-place in the Vanarama National League North and they travel to Harrogate Town today for the Promotion Final.

Holland said:  “We’ve got players here, the Ben Chorley’s, the Roger Johnson’s the Alan Dunne’s, who have been there and done it but for players like myself who have come through Bromley, it’s going to be a great day and it’s what you dream off as a kid, you always dream of playing at Wembley, lead the team out especially for myself. I can’t imagine it!

“The support is going to be very crazy, but it’s going to be emotional, very emotional, willing them out and playing with all of them there and it’s something to look forward to.

“You’ve got people saying Brackley are in the league below, but they could be in our league by the time we play them and especially with the gaffer and the management and our players in general, we won’t look at them any different to anyone else standing in our way.

“We’re going to give them a level of respect but they’ll know we’re coming full force and we won’t be letting our guard down. We’re going to give it as much as a go as we possibly can to end this on a high.”

Bromley FC at Wembley? Really. It still hasn’t really sunk in yet but Holland is relishing the chance to create history for his home-town club.

“Personally it will be one of, if not, one of the best days of my life! Having all of my family there, my friends, the supporters and everyone’s that’s believed in you.

“I don’t really know of a bigger dream than to lift a cup at Wembley, I honestly don’t and to lead this group of men that we’ve had this year has been an honour and it will mean a lot to not only myself but the whole boys.

“I keep saying it and I try not to say it anymore but I am literally six minutes away from the ground. I’ve grown up round here, I’ve played through the levels and I’m hopefully leading the team out at Wembley. It’s something that every kid dreams of about their home-town club and I hope this is just the start.

“When I first came here it was five and a half years ago on loan and we were in a relegation battle in the Conference South and every year we’ve got better and better and we’ve got promoted (in April 2015) and in the National League we’ve becoming a team that are mentioned with the play-offs and mentioned with the best teams in the league and that’s a testament to the club.

“I’ve seen the plans that are in place and that’s what made me sign my two-year deal.  The plans that are in place and the way the club is going forward, the gaffer (Neil Smith) has been here longer than me, soon as I was here he was here with me, so what he’s done with the club, it’s going in a very positive direction and it’s going to be a very exciting few years here.”

Bromley will have over 20,000 fans at Wembley Stadium on Non-League Finals Day and Holland had this message to the fans that backed the club during the season.

“Just be as loud as you can! Enjoy it! I think they’ve earnt it over the years of their support.  They’ve earnt a good day out and it’s been a long season, especially the ones that have travelled with us but all I want to say again on behalf of the whole club, THANK YOU! It really does mean the world to us and to sell that many tickets for Wembley is unbelievable for us and I hope you all have a good day and we give them something to smile about.”

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Photographs courtesy of Edmund Boyden –

Stockton Town  v  Thatcham Town
The Buildbase FA Vase Final
Sunday 20 May 2018
Kick Off 12:15pm
at Wembley Stadium, Wembley, Middlesex HA9 0WS

Brackley Town  v  Bromley
The Buildbase FA Trophy Final
Sunday 20 May 2018
Kick Off 4:15pm
at Wembley Stadium, Wembley, Middlesex HA9 0WS