Winning promotion would be that extra bit special for Downham management team

Promotion this season would be that little bit extra special, according to the Downham Town management team heading into Saturday’s play-off final against Harwich and Parkeston.

A number of the current squad are local lads while joint bosses of Craig Dickson and Dale Stokes have live and breathed the club since a young age.

After a number of near misses, the SCL Memorial outfit are bidding to reach Step 5 football for the first time in its history.

Joint boss Dickson said: “Saturday is very important and it’s what Dale and myself couldn’t really envisage when we first took over.

“We’ve come so close over the last few seasons, so to get over that line and take that final step would mean a lot.

“We’ve both been involved with this club since we were five or six-years-old and it is a club that is very close to us.

“Even if we went to manage at another level, I can’t think of anything better than achieving it with your hometown club. I’ll be in floods of tears if we do get over the line.”

Stokes’ role at the club doesn’t just end in the dugout, with him cutting and marking the pitch as well as undertaking a number of other jobs behind the scenes.

“I feel I’m pretty sad really in terms of the things I do and the hours that I put into it.

“Once we’ve got one game out of the way we’re literally thinking and are in contact regularly about the next one, it never ends.

“It’s like for the game tonight I wanted to get the pitch nice so we could play football on it.

“The fact we’re at home and having a relatively nice pitch will help us at the weekend. When we to Harleston in the final last year it was a difficult pitch to play on.”

The club remain focused to put last season’s heartache firmly behind them – by going one step further and winning promotion this term.

And the 4-1 victory over Whittlesey has left them just 90 minutes from achieving their ultimate goal.

“The players knew before tonight that the bigger picture is Saturday, but we had to take that out of their minds to put in that kind of performance,” admitted Dickson.

“It was important that we got 90 minutes of hard work and concentration out of them and the same will apply on Saturday.

“It has got a big prize at the end of it. We’re buzzing for it and can’t wait for the game to come around.”