Faversham prepare for "The Big One"
Julian Beal looked ahead to Saturday's British Energy Kent County League title showdown and insisted: Size really does matter!
Faversham Town can take a massive step towards promotion back to the Kent League with victory over Premier Division leaders Lewisham Borough on Saturday.
Article courtesy of www.favershamtownfc.co.uk
And the 29-year-old midfielder is urging Town's growing band of supporters to turn out in force to cheer the Town to a victory that would send them top of the table.
Beal said: "This club has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, but I really think that we are building something special here this season.
"This first year back as a senior club has been absolutely fantastic for a number of different reasons but my best memories are of our brilliant fans.
"They have been superb for us this year. It's no surprise to me that our poorest performances have come away from home - the lads just love it at Salters Lane and that is all down to the home fans.
"We had 450 for the local derby against Norton and even more for our first game against Sittingbourne when there was well over 1,000 here.
"Now I only hope that people will turn out and support us on Saturday against Lewisham because believe you me, it makes a really big difference. I reckon our crowd is worth at least one goal to us and to beat 450 and have a record crowd would be fantastic."
Beal dreams of emulating his father Brian by becoming part of a successful Lilywhite side. And he looks back fondly on the days when he would cheer on the Town from the terraces alongside fellow first-teamer John Goodwin.
He said: "My dad Brian Beal enjoyed success as a Town player back in the 70s and he later became a coach at the club. I can still remember being in the clubhouse after the games, sitting in the corner with my can of Coke!
“It was a very dull and damp place back then, but the atmosphere was warm with the players staying on for a few drinks and chatting about the game.
“I can also remember 1990 being a very special year. It was when Faversham won the Kent League under Paul Prior and the crowds were big then too. John Goodwin and I would be there singing at every home game.
"They were great times and I only hope we can bring similar successes to the club. There is no reason why we can't as far as I can see."
Faversham Town trail Lewisham on goal difference alone going into Saturday's showdown and Beal believes the Lilywhite Army can inspire his side to a famous victory.
So much so that he has been joined an unprecedented PR effort to raise awareness of a game the club has dubbed The Big One in striking posters that have sprung up around the town.
Beal revealed: "We've been handing out tickets to parents of kids at Faversham Town Juniors and Faversham Strikeforce, putting up posters and handing out fliers. Anything to get the message across.
"We have made a big effort to let people know all about this game and how important it is to all of us."
Former Folkestone and Canterbury City star Beal believes the club's strong fan base and the stream of young talent coming through the ranks is a great combination for the future prosperity of the Salters Lane club.
He said: "I believe we have a very bright future with some very promising players coming through the ranks of both Town Juniors and Strikeforce.
"Next year we will have our own youth team and with this sort of structure, together with the greatly improved facilities, I believe this club should not only aim for the Kent league but the Ryman League.
"In all honesty, I believe we can pull in gates that would not look out of place in the Conference. That is quite incredible when you think about it.
"But to keep the ball rolling we really have to win on Saturday so I'd urge every football fan in Faversham to come up and cheer us on against Lewisham Borough.
"It'd be a dream come true to take the club into the Kent League and this weekend is crucial. As for the future, with such brilliant fans the sky is the limit."
Faversham Town boss Terry Cordice echoed Beal's claims and pointed to several home wins where the fans had made all the difference.
He explained: "We need a big crowd there on Saturday, we really do. Against Norton it really helped us. Some of the lads have never played in front of so many people and it inspires them.
"We had 166 through the gates against Old Roan and that was great too. It really helps the lads."
Cordice saw his side come from behind to win 2-1 at Snodland on Saturday - but it was another match that had been overshadowed by talk of The Big One.
He said: "I know for a fact that over the last two weeks, all the lads have talked about is the Lewisham game. Well, now they have their chance - they don't need any more incentive this week. It's the big one."
*The game kicks off at 2.45pm and Faversham Town chiefs have urged fans to park with care in the area surrounding Salters Lane.
A spokesman said: "We are expecting a big crowd and know that this causes a nuisance to local residents so we would ask people to either leave the car at home and walk to Salters Lane or park with due consideration.
"We get on very well with our neighbours and we would like to keep it that way. That's why we have invited them all to the big game too!"
Article courtesy of www.favershamtownfc.co.uk