Concord Rangers chairman Antony Smith: Club ready for its biggest ever game (From Basildon Recorder)
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Concord Rangers chairman Antony Smith: Club ready for its biggest ever game
CONCORD chairman Antony Smith says they are ready to revel in the spotlight of the national TV cameras when they take part in the biggest game in the club’s history tomorrow.
Highlights of the Beachboys’ FA Cup clash with Edgar Davids’ Barnet and an interview with Concord manager Danny Cowley will be broadcast to millions of viewers on ITV’s draw for the first round proper on Sunday lunchtime.
And Smith, who has taken the small Canvey Island-based club from the lower reaches of the non league to within one promotion of the professional game, is praying they will still be in the hat when the show airs.
He said: “It will be excellent in terms of raising the club’s profile and it just makes the whole weekend even more special for us.
“Dan said they’re just going to be comparing his career with Edgar’s – which will make for interesting viewing!
“But from our point of view we are just going to give our all as we always do because we are never in any game to make up the numbers, and I just hope we go there and enjoy it all.
“I’d love to beat them on their own patch because that would be really memorable, but there’s no pressure on us because we are big underdogs and if we bring them back to our place on the Tuesday that would be great too.
“The main thing is just to be in that draw for Sunday and if we are there then we’ll have had a good weekend.”
Concord have enjoyed huge success over the past six seasons, culminating in promotion to the Conference last season with a dramatic play-off win at Lowestoft.
But for Smith, tomorrow’s game will eclipse everything that has gone before.
He said: “If you put everything into perspective it’s probably our biggest game ever.
“We’re going to a big club in Barnet, playing at a brand new stadium in front of the biggest crowd we will have ever played in front of, and they are managed by Edgar Davids – a world famous footballer. And up for grabs is a place in the first round proper of the FA Cup.
“The Lowestoft game for us last season was huge but, even then, for me our biggest game was always winning the Essex Senior League at Barkingside.
“We’ve done so much sometimes you don’t have a chance to take it all in and weigh it all up, but this all feels really special at the moment.”
Concord have laid on three free coaches for the supporters travelling to the game and Smith says they’ll take hundreds of fired up Beachboys to The Hive.
And when it comes to who he’d like to be drawn against on Sunday, the chairman has two preferred teams.
He said: “Like Danny Cowley has said, I really want a trip to Molineux because my dad is a Wolves fan. I don’t know why – I think it’s because he’s so old that when he used to watch them they were winning things! But he’d love that so it would be great to get Wolves.
“The other one which would be great would be Sheffield United because it would bring us up against Lyle Taylor, who was such an important part of our club and getting out of the Essex Senior League. So fingers crossed all around.”
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