FA Vase: Mickey hopes for tears of joy
Michael Bailey Lowestoft Town joint manager Micky Chapman has promised the Blues are not travelling to Wembley just to enjoy a day out playing football - they have a job to do.
Lowestoft Town joint manager Micky Chapman has promised the Blues are not travelling to Wembley tomorrow just to enjoy a day out playing football - they have a job to do.
Chapman, who has shared the managerial reins with Ady Gallagher at Crown Meadow since 2004, has been a part of the Suffolk club since joining as a striker 26 years ago and, as he prepares for the biggest day in the club's long history, Town still have their eyes on the prize.
"The atmosphere at the moment is fantastic. This is all part of it, the build-up to the game, but it doesn't detract from why we're going to Wembley.
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"It's a game of football that we want to win desperately," said Chapman, who first became manager back in 1994.
"This is the first time we've reached anything of this magnitude. I mean, going to Wembley Stadium, they don't come any bigger.
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"It is the pinnacle of everyone's career, mine included, to go to Wembley and reach the final of a national competition.
"It is so, so hard to do - it's easy to talk about it but there are only a few clubs that have done it.
"It's the first time we've ever done it and we're determined to enjoy it. But like I keep saying, we know we're going to Wembley to do a job.
"There are going to be a lot of people there - a lot of Lowestoft Town supporters - and we want to win it. It's as simple as that and we're going to do everything in our power to make that happen."
Kirkham & Wesham will certainly prove tough opposition, despite playing their league football one step down from Lowestoft in the non-league pyramid.
The Lancashire side beat Town's Ridgeons rivals Needham Market at home and away in their semi-final and have beaten sides at Lowestoft's level in each of the last eight FA Vase rounds.
However, tomorrow's final at Wembley will be a different proposition altogether and Chapman is confident it will simply come down to which team wants it more.
"We've had them watched and done our homework on them, but ultimately it is about us," he said. "We need to stay focused on what we're going to do. You can do all the homework you like, but it's going to be who is best on the day.
"We're totally focused and we know if we get ourselves right, we can go there and cause them problems."
Chapman is not one for hiding his emotions and even the man himself admitted the odds would be short on him having a tear in his eye at some point during tomorrow afternoon.
"I'm very emotional; I think people who know me know that," said Chapman. "It's going to be a very emotional occasion and I'm sure I'll be shedding a tear or two. Even talking about it now, I can feel a lump in my throat.
"I know it's going to be very emotional when we see all those Lowestoft fans in the crowd, and blue and white all around. Hopefully, by the end of the game, they'll be tears of joy. We're going to do everything in our power to make that happen."