Phil 'blown away' by support as army of Alty fans prepare to march south!

Words John Edwards | Picture Jonathan Moore

PHIL Parkinson admits he's been "blown away" by the level of support Altrincham can count on this weekend as an army of Robins fans prepare to head south for the club's first-ever Vanarama National League play-off tie.

A bye due to Gateshead being disqualified took Alty straight through the eliminators and into the semi-finals against Bromley on Sunday afternoon, and within a couple of days of tickets being made available, the entire away allocation was sold out.

It means over 700 Alty fans, not far off the average home gate when Phil and Neil Sorvel walked through the door at The J.Davidson Stadium seven years ago, will be heading to Hayes Lane for Sunday's 4pm kick-off, many of them travelling in a fleet of no fewer than five coaches.

A mass exodus on such a scale is exceptional for a long arduous journey to south-east London and underlines how the Robins' stunning rise to fourth place in the National League has captured the imagination among the wider Altrincham public.

"I'm really blown away by the amount of people who have purchased tickets and made it a sell-out in the away end," said the gaffer, whose in-form Robins side will meet either Barnet or Solihull Moors in the Wembley final, should they beat Bromley.

"I remember how difficult it was to get 700 inside the ground for a Northern Premier League game when we first arrived, so to have that many following us for a National League play-off semi-final is full tribute to the giant strides the board, the team and everyone connected with the club have made.

"I feel nothing but pride at what we have achieved, but we are well aware there is a huge challenge facing us against a Bromley side we haven't managed to take maximum points from this season.

"They are notoriously difficult to beat, with vast experience in their ranks, not only in terms of age but the number of times they have figured at this stage and beyond in the FA Trophy and league - they are perennial play-off contenders.

"They have got some really dangerous players and it is going to be the tallest of orders for us, but that is only to be expected in the latter stages of the National League play-offs.

"Fourth place in this league is a phenomenal achievement for Altrincham, but we don't want it to stop now. We want the journey to continue, and hopefully the presence of those 700-plus Alty fans cheering us on can make all the difference and help us get over the line.

"Either way, we will celebrate the day and come together at the end, as we always do. Hopefully, it will be for a positive reason, but, whatever happens, we have come a long way and we will go again - no-one need worry about that."

There are still one or two places available on the two coaches that have been added in the last couple of days, and they can be snapped up online here.

*The club have submitted this article to Altrincham Today for inclusion in their online coverage of the region's news and sport.

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