FC Halifax Town v Chorley: Chairman calls on the town to show their support

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Halifax chairman David Bosomworth has called on the town to cheer The Shaymen over the line in their play-off final against Chorley at The Shay on Saturday.

There were 3,655 fans in attendance for Town’s dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Salford in the semi-final last Sunday - Halifax’s biggest crowd of the season so far.

Bosomworth was delighted with the backing from the stands at the weekend and wants an even bigger turnout for the final.

“I must say a huge thank you to the fans who turned up for the Salford game,” he said.

“They were immense. The noise when the teams came made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

“And we need more of that on Saturday. This is our Wembley this season. The prize is huge for us. We’ve got as good a chance as Chorley have but we need to grasp it.

“The crowd could be anywhere between 4,000 and 6,00. Chorley may bring over 1,000.

“All four sides of the ground will be open and it will be a great occasion.

“Hopefully if we lose then everyone behaves themselves and the fans respect the visitors and their supporters.

“But I want as many people to support us as possible. It’s about Calderdale coming out to support its team.

“The fans have a huge part to play. If you went to Wembley, then come and support us again and cheer the lads over the line.”

Bosomworth is keenly anticipating the game, but admits also feeling some apprehension over the result.

“It’s a nervous excitement,” he said. “We’ve had some big games in recent years - Brackley, Gainsborough, Nantwich, obviously Wembley, it doesn’t get any bigger than that - and it will be every bit as nervously-exciting as those games.

“There’s two teams in it. We’ve got a 50-50 chance, but we’re at home and hopefully we get a big crowd.

“It’s just who does what on the day. I have confidence in the team, but anything can happen.

“Your form goes into the game counts for nothing, nor does the fact we’ve beaten them home and away.

“We’re favourites due to the fact we finished above them in the table and we have home advantage.”

The Town chairman says their defeat at Stalybridge in January was the nadir of an up-and-down campaign, but that the appointment of Billy Heath as manager will have been justified if they win on Saturday.

“Whenever you make an appointment or a signing you’re never going to get it 100 per cent right every time,” he said.

“The brief for Billy was we need to get promoted. The reason we appointed him was he understood the division and he had got a team that was under-resourced out of the league.

“We had a manager for six years leave, then we tried a combination of an up-and-coming manager with a wise, old head, which didn’t work.

“We retained the old head and that nearly worked - were we vindicated in keeping Jim? It depends if you place more importance on staying up or winning at Wembley - different people will give you different answers.

“The decision to appoint Billy is only vindicated if we get promotion.

“There are no guarantees in football. We have provided a good budget for this league. I don’t think it’s the best budget in the league but it’s maybe the third or fourth best.

“But even then there are no guarantees. There’s a whole raft of contributions that get you promoted but we’ve given ourselves a chance.

“It’s not been a straightforward season, it’s been full of challenges.

“The low point was obviously Stalybridge away. But the lads have been absolutely tremendous in the way they’ve come back from that adversity.”

Bosomworth added it is unlikely Town will go full-time next season if they get promoted, but says they will face increased costs.

“There is more money from central distribution next season but not enough to make a significant difference,” he said.

“The cost of wages, travel and accommodation will all go up next season if we get promoted, but that’s where we want to be because you’re one step away from the Football League.

“I think you have a chance of reaching the play-offs if you’re a part-time club, but we have to live within our means.

“Unless we can get the crowds on a consistently higher level that makes the decision to go full-time very hard.

“But we are striving to be successful, and that means getting into the Football League.”

If you are going to the game, then we’d love you to share your photos from the day with us.

Email them to newsdesk@halifaxcourier.co.uk with a brief note telling us who is on the photo, or send them to us via our Twitter or Facebook pages.