SWIFTS chairman Gary White has urged the club’s fans to turn out in force and help roar them on to a play-off semi-final victory at Parkside this Wednesday evening (May 1).
A place in the Bostik North play-off final will be on the line when fifth-placed Heybridge go to second-placed Aveley in a match which kicks-off at 7.45om.
And Gary, who has overseen the club for three seasons, says their magnificent and vocal travelling Black & White Army of supporters have always been key to getting big results both home and away.
He said: “We have a great set of fans and they have followed us through thick and thin over the years, experiencing some memorable games along the way.
“The support they give the lads is not unnoticed and it’s great to see all the players hugging fans at the end of games and showing appreciation for such an excellent away support.
“We had the third highest average home attendances in the league this season, behind Felixstowe and Bury, which are much larger towns than Heybridge, which is essentially a village.
“And away from home I reckon our numbers were the highest in the division, with us regularly taking between 80 and 100.
“Last Saturday’s game away at Bury attracted a crowd of 565, which was impressive for a game which had relatively little at stake.
“It is a real pleasure going to away games and seeing so many fans there and this really lifts our players when they see and hear the support.
“And with two drummers in our away following – in Josh Longman and Brandon Spreadbury – it always adds to a great atmosphere and I know it will be the same at Parkside too.”
Both sides are in form with Aveley finishing their league fixtures with a 4-0 home win over Soham, and Swifts picking up a second win on the bounce courtesy of a 2-1 success at Bury Town.
The winner of Wednesday night’s clash will face the winner of the other tie between Maldon and Coggeshall in a final which will kick-off at 3pm on Sunday.
Swifts lost 2-0 in last season’s play-off semi-finals to eventual winners Haringey, and Gary hopes they can use that valuable experience to their advantage this time around.
He added: “There are only a handful of players in the current squad who played there in last season’s play-offs, including Guillem Ramon, Harrison Chatting, Matt Price and Kresniq Krasniqi.
“All are highly experienced and talented and that experience last season will stand them in good stead for Wednesday and they can help the less experienced players also.
“Julian Dicks, his assistant Karl Duguid and their squad have done very well this season after a difficult start, and finished 15 points ahead of sixth-placed Bury Town.
“But there is very little to choose between the four play off sides and it will be fascinating this week to see who joins champions Bowers in the Bostik Premier next season.”