Non League Daily

Villagers Chairman hails "wonderful acheivement" in Trophy

Two years ago North Ferriby won the Doodson Sports Cup with a penalty shoot out victory over Curzon Ashton. The competition was part of a successful season for the Villagers, as they sealed promotion to the Conference North.

The final was played at Farsley AFC's Throstle Nest attracted a crowd of 179 and they saw United keeper Antoni Pecora become the hero with four penalty saves as Billy Heath's side retained the trophy they had won twelve months earlier.

Fast forward two years and the Villagers are on the trail of silverware once again. However, with all due respect, the trophy is question is somewhat more prestigious than the Doodson Sports Cup and will be played out on the grandest stage of them all.

United chairman Les Hare was at the Eon Visual Media Stadium on Saturday to see his club go through the shoot out lottery again and see off Bath City to become only the fourth club in history to reach the FA Vase and the FA Trophy Final. So what was that like for the man who is credited with overseeing the Villagers turnaround in fortunes?

"I think obviously like a lot of other people it was simply an outburst of emotions. There was happiness, joy and probably a lot of relief. Most of all it was a great sense of pride at what a wonderful acheivement and how great it was to be involved"

For a Vanarama Conference North club, reaching the FA Trophy Final may seem to be a distant dream, something Hare acknowledges to be true. However there is only one riposte to accusations of watch your dreams for the man himself and he thinks his club are a classic example of that.

"I think as far as the journey goes it is constantly evolving. I think one or two people have said the situation in football is a case of watch your dreams. My response to that it what is wrong with dreaming, if you can't dream then what can you aspire to. I think with North Ferriby we demonstrate the club motto of "pride, passion and belief" every week of the year"

With one promotion already sealed, an FA Trophy final and consolidation at a higher level on his CV, Villagers manager Billy Heath has formed quite a reputation in Non-League circles. His chairman admitted he was full of admiration for Heath's work after what he described as "a magical journey".

"Billy's record can speak for itself. Since he has come to the club he has moulded a squad together on more than one occasion, he constantly tweeks it when he has to and he works within the tight budget we have at our club. With a small squad he has to rely on getting the right players and he does that time after time, the past two years have been a magical journey"

So, as his side prepare to walk out at arguably the most famous stadium in world football, how will Hare look back at that Spring evening in 2013, when the Villagers walked away with the Doodson Sports Cup. The man himself admitted that, whilst he did respect the competition,it can be seen as a yardstick for just how far his club had come in the last two years.

"There is a total contrast between that day and where were are now, it is poles apart. It also reflects the magnitude of the where we were and where we have come to. No disrespect to the Doodson Sports Cup but the fact we are plying our trade at a higher level, against many professional clubs, when you look back to that day you would never have thought in a million years we would be playing at the new Wembley in less than three weeks time"

When the Villagers walk out at Wembley to face Wrexham you can bet there will be nobody more emotional inside the home of English football than the man who has overseen their transformation.

Image: David Gill Media

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