FC Halifax Town hope FA Trophy Wembley showpiece catches eye of players and fans alike

WITH over 7,000 fans cheering them on in a televised Wembley showpiece, FC Halifax Town are hoping their second FA Trophy final can be a good advert to occasional fans and potential players alike.

The Shaymen take on Gateshead in part two of Non-League Finals Day, which kicks off with Ascot United versus Newport Pagnell Town in the FA Vase.

The profile of non-league football has arguably never been greater than in 2022-23, thanks to Hollywood-owned Wrexham and huge gates swelling coffers at clubs at the top of the Conference.

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As a phoenix club formed when its predecessor went bust in 2007-08, Halifax have to think a bit differently.

"Every opportunity to swell the coffers is something we've got try and secure so from that point of view it'll certainly be beneficial to us winning the Trophy," said manager Chris Millington. "It'll also be beneficial in just raising the profile of what we're doing.

"We work incredibly hard to try to bring in good young talent and nurture and develop them and turn them into real assets for the football club in a football sense first of all to help us try and progress and challenge for promotion.

"We hope that is recognised on Sunday and good young pro footballers looking for an opportunity in the game and hungry to prove they can make a career in it see us as a really viable option for them.

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"We're not going to be able to make anyone a millionaire but we can provide a platform that may well kick them on to achieve success in the game and a really impressive income later in their careers.

NON-LEAGUE SHOWPIECE: The FA Trophy final match will be shown live on BT SportNON-LEAGUE SHOWPIECE: The FA Trophy final match will be shown live on BT Sport
NON-LEAGUE SHOWPIECE: The FA Trophy final match will be shown live on BT Sport

"But really our main objective is to win it for the town, the club and the fans. The other stuff is a positive bi-product of success on Sunday.

The 2016 winners will have at least three-and-a-half times their average league gate at Wembley, and Millington is hoping to retain a few next season.

"If we can put on a show and represent the town in a really positive way it'll be fantastic for us and hopefully we start to pull a few of those in more regularly down at The Shay next season," he added.

Last six games: Halifax Town DWDDWW; Gateshead WWLDLW

Referee: D England (Doncaster)

Last time: Gateshead 0 Halifax Town 0, March 7, 2023, Conference