Macpherson hopes Blues win hearts and minds
Met Police assistant Gavin Macpherson is hoping the biggest game in their recent history can increase the club’s fan base.
The Blues take on League One Crawley Town in the FA Cup first round proper on Saturday looking for a capacity 3,200 crowd at Imber Court to swell the club’s coffers.
Boss Jimmy Cooper’s men, who drew 1-1 at Leiston in the FA Trophy on Saturday, have already pocketed £27,500 in prize money which will go a long way to bankrolling the club’s Ryman Premier League campaign.
But Macpherson, who once played in the first round for Barnet, is after more than money this weekend – he wants the chance to put the club on the map.
“We’ve not got the lowest average gate in the league, but we certainly struggle because we are not associated with a town,” he said.
“There is competition from clubs like AFC Wimbledon and Kingstonian in our catchment area. But we have had a fair amount of interest in this game.
“Crawley have been sent 1,000 tickets and I understand tickets are selling well this end.
“Hopefully we can appeal to new fans.”
The Blues may not be specifically linked to a particular community, and skipper Steve Sutherland insists they have long been used to being poorly supported.
But boss Cooper – a detective with the Met – admitted the club’s lack of income via gate receipts has caused a headache when it comes to player recruitment, although that has had somepositive side-effects.
“Because we don’t have a huge amount of money we have chosen to invest in our academy and that has many benefits,” he said.
“We get to attract young players and get to work with the community, but also it teaches youngsters that it is ok to speak to police.”
Met Police will be without star striker Jonte Smith – currently on loan from Saturday’s visitors – for the clash, while question marks remain over the fitness of Joe Dolan, Craig Brown and Ty Smith – despite them featuing in Tuesday night’s FA Trophy replay.
Macpherson admitted that, should any of them miss the clash, it will make the Blues’ task even harder, but he insisted his men will not just make up the numbers.
“It is the second time in our history that we have reached this stage and ironically we played Crawley last time,” he said ahead of Tuesday night’s Trophy replay.
“We say at the start of the season how great it would be to get to the FA Cup first round and I’m delighted for the boys and club we’re there.
“Jonte will be a big loss, but his time will come. We could be four or five missing to be honest.
“We’ve done our homework to try to win the game.
“It is not a case of the boys just enjoying themselves.”
* Tickets for the clash will be available on the gate.