Thursday, October 22, 2009

Northwich Victoria owner Jim Rushe says FA Cup clash is an opportunity

Source: Northwich Guardian

12:00pm Thursday 22nd October 2009

JIM Rushe reckons Northwich Victoria have a chance to tempt back their stay-at-home supporters this weekend.

The club’s owner has promised to pull out all the stops to make Saturday’s FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round clash with FC United of Manchester one to remember both on and off the pitch.

“We’re in the spotlight,” he said.

“But we’ll use it as an opportunity to show our fans what we are capable of in terms of creating an experience they will want to try again.

“There are a lot of people – most of them volunteers – working hard behind the scenes to make that happen.”

The biggest crowd to watch a match at the Victoria Stadium since Rushe bought the club off previous owner Mike Connett in December 2007 was the 1,700 that saw Wrexham win there last season.

So far this season Vics’ highest gate is the 724 that watched a 1-1 draw against Southport on August Bank Holiday Monday.

Rushe hopes that figure will be doubled, at least, on Saturday.

“If we get it right off the field in terms of our hospitality and the way in which we organise things, then I hope people will be persuaded to come back again,” he said.

“The team has been playing well and winning matches this season but so far that hasn’t been enough to improve our attendances too much.

“The past couple of gates have been encouraging though, so I think the message is getting through.”

Vics are unbeaten in seven league and cup matches while FC United of Manchester put out another of the Blue Square North’s form teams, Stalybridge Celtic, in the previous round.

They have already gone further in this season’s competition than any other in their short history.

The legacy from Saturday’s match, whatever the result, is foremost in Rushe’s mind.

“I want everything to run smoothly,” he added.

“We’ve put a lot of effort and work in this week to make sure nothing is left to chance. There’s not much more we can do now.

“Everybody around the club is excited, both on and off the pitch.

“I just hope it’s an occasion we all remember.”