FA Trophy Final Is for the Fans. We've Earned It

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), March 22, 2013 | Go to article overview

FA Trophy Final Is for the Fans. We've Earned It


Byline: GILPIN andy TACKLING SPORT'S BIG ISSUES

I'VE built a career on fist-pumping, retrospective articles on the troubles of Wrexham FC.

But even I can't do it every week or they - and me - will become a cliche.

This isn't one of those weeks.

Wales' oldest professional club Wrexham FC stands on the cusp of their first ever visit to Wembley in 149 years.

It's pleasing to allow older, consummate professionals such as Dean Keates and Chris Westwood a chance to appear at the home of football.

But this one isn't for the players. It's not for player-boss Andy Morrell or his backroom team.

This one is for the supporters.

This is the party we've been waiting for.

A stress-free weekend with the business end of the season still to come.

An afternoon where winning or losing isn't the end of the world.

A chance to enjoy ourselves and celebrate just how far we've come as a true fans-owned club.

Many said that model of ownership wouldn't work.

Chris Some say it still won't.

But so far Wrexham Supporters Trust and the club board are making a good fist of it.

They've had luck along the way with the highly-paid Dean Saunders leaving at the right time, a FA Cup run which shored up the finances and a new boss who has exceeded all expectations in keeping the team near the top of the league.

Things won't always be this good, but this isn't the time to think about that.

This is the time for Wembley less than two years after the Dragons were lurching from one darkest hour to the next.

For me the lowest point was in Toronto, 4,000 miles away from Wrexham.

Myself (Penycae), pals Chris Maxwell (Acrefair) and Mark Evans (Plas Madoc, but he'll say it's Acrefair), were in a hotel room in the Canadian city huddled around an i-phone as the news came through on the fans' website, Red Passion.

Wages were not being paid and friendlies were being cancelled.

The squad that then-boss Saunders had worked so hard to create over two relatively painful seasons looked like it was about to implode.

After the dark days of Alex Hamilton, it was happening all over again. …

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FA Trophy Final Is for the Fans. We've Earned It
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