For Paulton Rovers, it just keeps on getting better and better as the non-league club look set to pocket a £70,000 TV windfall when the Canaries come to town in round one of the FA Cup.
After an FA inspection yesterday, it was announced that the village side would be allowed to stage the tie at their modest home – where the average gate is only 150.
With ITV screening the match on Saturday November 7, kick off 12.45, it promises to be a day to remember for the people of north Somerset.
And to get the green light to play on home turf – as well as having ITV knocking on your door – has left Paulton chairman David Bissex speechless.
“It was a dream come true to draw Norwich out of the hat, but to get the game broadcast live on television as well has left me lost for words,” he told the local media.
“It is going to be an unbelievable experience for everyone involved. We were always determined to get the game on at Winterfield Road.
“We have done fantastically well to get this far in the competition and of course it was tempting to get the game moved.
“We never could have dreamed of getting someone of Norwich’s standing down here, but if you enter the competition, you have to do whatever you can to make sure that you play the ties on your home pitch, whatever the circumstances.”
Paulton now have just 10 days to finalise the logistics of hosting the Norfolk club – who sit five tiers above them in the football pyramid.
It is thought that discussions over a temporary 1,500-seat stand to boost the capacity up to around the 4,000 mark are ongoing.
But it doesn’t stop there. Rovers will also have to bring in temporary toilets, additional refreshment stands and sort out segregation with 500 lucky City supporters due to make the trip west.
“There is a lot to do in the next week or so, but the management committee here is fantastic and we are well on top of what needs to be done,” Bissex added.
The Canaries have already issued their ticketing plans with a ballot deciding the 500 who will travel. But it won’t be so easy for the home side, with club officials set for a busy 10 days.
The match will be all-ticket and Rovers supporters should know more on their official website –www.paultonroversafc.co.uk – later this week.
A voucher system is being considered and early indications are that tickets will initially go on sale this Sunday.
But whatever the outcome of the first round tie a week on Saturday, the Rovers chairman is anticipating the day of their footballing lives.
As far as he is concerned, the visit of the former Premier League club for Paulton’s first round debut will be their FA Cup final.
“I don’t really care about the result,” Bissex added, clearly still living in dreamland after the draw was made on Sunday lunchtime.
“The ideal scenario would be to get a draw, but in all honesty this one game is like our cup final.
“The lads have done fantastically well to get us this far and they have been rewarded for their efforts with a chance to show what they can do in front of a national television audience.”
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