This Wednesday (May 2) night is THE night – it’s being billed as one of the biggest moments in the club’s history as Hemel Town host a playoff tie which could put them on the road to playing in the National League Premier Division next season.
The Tudors will be hosting Essex side Braintree Town this Wednesday (May 2, kick-off 7.45pm ) at Vauxhall Road in the elimination round of the playoffs, with the winner then travelling to face Dartford in the semi-finals this Sunday.
If Hemel were to go on to triumph in the playoff final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, May 13, to earn a spot in the National League Premier, it would be the highest level of football the club have reached in their 133-year history
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
There’s the small matter of Wednesday night’s huge clash against Braintree, with the club and wider Town hoping as many people as possible are able to get to Vauxhall Road to cheer on the side.
Tudors’ skipper Jordan Parkes said on Twitter: “Into the playoffs we go!
“Get down to Hemel Town FC on Wednesday night for the biggest game of the season.
“We will need all the support we can get and will thrive off a lively atmosphere!”
The always-ebullient Tudor Army fans will be gathering at 7.30pm on Wednesday in the seated stand behind the goal for a pre-match sing-song to help build the atmosphere.
The Tudors should be in a positive mood. They have lost just once in their past nine outings and won the season series with Braintree, beating them 2-1 on the road in January while triumphing 4-3 at Vauxhall Road in September last year.
Tickets for tonight’s crunch clash cost £15 for adults, £10 for concessions, £5 for the under-18s or free for the under-12s.
Tickets are available from either the club, from Greenacres Tavern off Leys Road, Bennetts End, Hemel Hempstead, or from Underwoods Solicitors in 79 Marlowes, in town.
Just days before this momentous night for the club, Hemel’s match-day reporter Allan Mitchell sat down for an interview with Tudors’ chairman Dave Boggins.
Asked how proud he felt of the club’s achievement so far this season, Boggins said: “I cannot praise the team enough.
“A home playoff tie is what we wanted and that is what we have got so a massive thank you and well done must go to the manager Dean Brennan, his assistant Stuart Maynard, director of football Gary King and goalkeeping coach Dmitri Kharine, along with the likes of academy manager Steve Boone and fitness coach Miles Mitchell-Coop who have all contributed to this historical season.
“Whatever happens in the playoffs – and obviously we hope to progress further – we will look back with pride at our achievements, not just this season but over the last five years or so.”
Boggins added: “This means everything to me. I’ve been here for more than 20 years now and getting into the National League Premier Division would be a fantastic achievement for a club like us.”
He added: “I’d like to say that, ‘yes, of course we can do it [get promoted]’ and we are ready for the challenge.
“I must also say that the club wouldn’t be where it is now without our fantastic sponsors so can I just say a massive thank you to Avco Motors, Underwoods Solicitors, O’Rourke Personnel, CRK Windows and Focus Rigging, who have also helped push us into this fantastic position.
“Without their financial input, we just could not have achieved what we have done up to now.”
Boggins, who took over as the club’s chairman in 1997, added: “There are countless other sponsors and small contributors that I’d also like to thank, every penny helps and it all goes towards pushing us towards our ultimate goal of League football.”
Asked about the great support the club also receives from countless volunteers behind-the-scenes, Boggins said: “I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the volunteers, committee volunteers and the supporters for everything they do.
“I truly appreciate all the help that I get, especially people who put themselves out, helping us in their own time at their own expense and I’m sorry if I don’t always get time to thank you for your help, but please be assured I do appreciate your efforts.
“Enjoy the game on Wednesday, win or lose, and if we don’t achieve our aim of promotion this time around you can rest assure we will be going all out for it again next season.
“Keep the faith and COYT [Come On Your Tudors]!”