Hanley Town are gearing up for one of the biggest games in their history, as they prepare to host Stoke City in the Staffordshire Senior Cup this coming Tuesday, December 20th.
It’s the first tie that Town have ever played in the competition, having been given a bye in the First Round, and they landed a plum draw when they were paired with their local Premier League neighbours.
Secretary Ian Evans says there has been a great deal of interest locally in the tie since the draw was made.
“As soon as a date was agreed for the tie, we advertised some sponsorship packages to local companies and all 100 tickets were snapped up within 24 hours”, said Ian.
“We have mascots lined up for the evening from the club’s junior football teams, and we are hoping that we will have a good turn out on the night.
“We understand that in the past Stoke City have fielded their Under 23 side in the competition, and they have confirmed that will be the case again. This should mean there will be players playing for them on the night who have featured in the Premier League with the First team .
“We will be producing a special match programme for the night, and we are hoping there will be interest in that from supporters from both sides and also the “neutrals”.
“As far as we know, it’s the first time that we have ever hosted Stoke City at our ground, so it’s a big night for us, and a fabulous opportunity for us to show local supporters who maybe haven’t been to the ground before what our facilities are like at Abbey Lane.
“Since our new Chairman John Powell took over earlier this season, he has been the driving force behind developments at the ground, and through his leadership there have been a lot of improvements carried out recently.
“We now have a new perimeter fence and spectator access is available on all 4 sides of the pitch. The resurfacing of the car park is complete, and we have a new café /catering facility and also a new Corporate suite which also houses a designated physiotherapy room . So we are geared up and ready to welcome a good crowd.
“It’s a great tie to have for our first ever game in the competition, and everyone at the club is really looking forward to it”.