Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Garforth Town owner wants a United front

Published Date: 23 April 2008

By Wendy Walker & Leon Wobschall

Garforth Town are hoping to finish their inaugural UniBond League campaign on a high on Saturday – and spoil FC United of Manchester's play-off party.

Town, who went down 2-1 at Mossley last night, can't stop FC United claiming a top-five finish in First Division North, but they can have a say on who the Red Rose side face in the play-off semi-finals.

And with the visitors having sold all 1,500 of their allocation for this weekend's game, Town owner Simon Clifford is hoping Garforth can sell 500 in the all-ticket fixture and get a vocal support behind his side.

Clifford said: "They have sold all their tickets and we would like to get as many Leeds people behind us as we can because there is great rivalry between the two cities.

"We will be outnumbered, but we need anyone in Leeds who can get up there to get up there because it would be great to get a record crowd.

"It is important for them to finish as high up the table as possible, because that could help them in the play-offs. But we beat them at their place earlier in the season and we want to beat them again.

"It is a game most of our players have been looking forward to for a couple of months – we want to spoil their party and finish our own season on a high."

Garforth, who were belatedly promoted from the Northern Counties East League in May when Durham City withdrew their UniBond League application, were in the play-off hunt at one stage and though they are set to finish in ninth or 10th place, Clifford is more than happy with their season.

He stepped down as boss before Christmas to concentrate on his business interests, but Town continued to make progress under joint-managers Steve Nicol, Alan Billingham and Vernol Blair.

Clifford, who has confirmed he will return as manager next season, said: "I think we have had a really good season. I think we were one of the favourites to be relegated because we only just managed to scrape into the league, and we kept virtually the same team.

"Our aim was just to hold our own and then next season really have a go at it. But we're very, very pleased with the way things have gone."


Clifford is now hoping Town can attract a bigger crowd on Saturday than the 1,385 that turned up at Cedar Ridge for the cameo appearance from Brazilian superstar Socrates a couple of years ago.

Anyone wanting a ticket should contact the club on (0113) 2877145 or George Williams on 07968 748066 for further information.

Last Updated: 23 April 2008 10:44 AM