A BLUE and white army more than 3,000 strong will be in Blackpool tomorrow cheering on Halifax RLFC.
The huge following will be hoping Fax overturn the odds and return home with the Northern Rail Cup.
Leigh are favourites to win – but the mood in the Fax camp is positive in what could be a defining month for the club.
On July 26 the Rugby Football League will decide if Fax are worthy of a place in Super League.
Club director Mike Riley said practically all the 3,300 ticket allocation had been sold, apart from a few corner seats.
And some fans had bought direct from the RFL.
The match at Bloomfield Road has a restricted capacity due to building work and last night around 8,000 tickets had been snapped up.
Mr Riley said the Fax turnout – and a victory – should help the club’s Super League aspirations.
“We are confident and on our day we can beat anybody,” he said.
“A lot of our fans have gone to Blackpool for the weekend and we are all hoping tomorrow’s going to be a great day out.”
Mr Riley said the team’s following would show the RFL there was a groundswell of support in the town that would support a Super League team.
Crowd pulling power is one of the criteria being considered along with facilities and the redeveloped east stand at the Shay passes the test.
If the RFL decide to promote Fax the club would face an active few months preparing for starting in Super League early next year.
Clubs in the championship turn over around £1 million and that would grow to around £4 million in Super League.
“A win tomorrow would not do us any harm,” said Mr Riley.
Fans are encouraged to turn up in fancy dress in their club’s colours with a chance to win tickets for the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.
Halifax chairman Michael Steele said the club’s fans had an enviable reputation for good behaviour and it was vital that was maintained after crowd disturbances at previous big matches.
The match kicks off at 5 pm and will be covered live on Sky TV.
See Monday’s Courier for a full round-up of the action.