Friday, 6 January 2012

To dare is to do

Audere est facere is the motto of Tottenham Hotspur, who will line up on one half of White Hart Lane in approximately 17 hours time on one of the biggest days in the history of Cheltenham Town.
Translated, it means to dare is to do - and that could adequately sum up the attitude needed by our ruby-clad boys tomorrow.
Can we win? Of course. Will we win? Probably not, but there is nothing wrong with dreaming.
If we don't carry that belief with us, there is no point in boarding the 56 coaches, trains and cars which will carry us to North London, is there?
I have that belief. My excitement has been growing all week, watching Twitter and Facebook buzzing with people getting tickets, transport, balloons, scarves and everything else sorted.
In my book, this game is right up there, Wembley 1998, Rushden and Yeovil 1999, West Brom and Cardiff 2002 Newcastle and Cardiff 06 - this one joins the list.
On paper, Spurs will be much stronger than us, we all know that.
Even their likely so-called second string side of Gomes, Fredericks, Bassong, Dawson, Rose, Krancjar, Livermore, Carroll, Pienaar, Giovani and Pavlyuchenko includes seven full internationals.
The other four are young English players with a point to prove - but somewhere, there will be an upset tomorrow, and why can't it be us?
But let's face it, the result is the least important thing about tomorrow's game.
In the grand scheme of things for Cheltenham Town this season, it is the least important game we will play.
Call me unambitious if you want, but if we lose 5-0, so what. Everyone will say we were expected to - the bookies certainly think so - and whatever happens the 5,000-strong Ruby Army will still applaud the team off the field.
It is a showcase. A chance for players, club and fans to show what our club is about, and then count the money afterwards.
The week has been fantastic. Everywhere you look, people have been talking about Cheltenham Town.
The national papers have been writing about us, the national TV channels and radio stations have been talking about us - driving to work this morning, I turned on Five Live and Mark Yates' voice came back at me.
This is our shop window, and it's also a chance for 2-3,000 people who do not usually watch us to join our happy band and - hopefully - catch the bug and keep coming back for more.
I hope no one is going to London tomorrow expecting us to win. I'm not. I am hoping this is the one in 100 chance that we could win.
Spurs need to have an off day, and our lads need to have the game of their lives, then we can win.
They have nothing to lose, they can go out there, play without fear and just do us proud.
They need to ignore the reputations of those in white, conquer the inevitable nerves and reproduce some of their football from Southend, Crawley or Oxford. Then it might happen.
All week I have been asked what the score will be, and my answer has always been the same - if we win, wonderful, if we draw, brilliant, if we lose, never mind.
A goal would be nice, but overall it's about our club having it's day in the spotlight.
Enjoy it, savour it.
Days like this don't happen very often.