Blyth Town boss Michael Connor issues rallying call to local community - and Spartans supporters
Blyth Town manager Michael Connor has issued a passionate rallying call for the local community to get behind his squad as they prepare for their first game back in the Northern League.
After suffering narrow defeats in their opening two fixtures at Bedlington Terriers and Redcar Town, Connor’s side open up their home campaign on Saturday when Horden CW visit Gateway Park.
The game sees Northern League football return to South Newsham for the first time in three years after Connor oversaw a complete rebuild consisting of three promotions to take Town back into step six of the non-league system.
The sense of occasion in this weekend’s meeting with Horden is not lost on Connor, who knows only too well what football means to the people in Blyth.
The Town boss believes his players can provide the town with another side to make them proud and expressed his hope that both Blyth Spartans and his own club can go on to produce some memorable moments over the coming season.
“I am a Blyth lad, a local lad, a local businessman, I know being a local lad what this town means to me,” he told the club website.
“To give people in this town a chance an opportunity to come, even Blyth Spartans supporters, they are such a well supported club, come down when Spartans are away or it’s a midweek game and it’s too far to travel.
“Come down and see the hospitality we have got and come and see these local lads because you are going to see lads from Bedlington and Ashington and half the squad is from Blyth.
“They want to see people coming and supporting them and some many that support Blyth Spartans will know somebody within this team.
He continued: “I go to the Mason Arms, and I talk to people quite a bit and they shake my hands and say it’s going to be able to come down again and see the second team in Blyth.
“Because we are the second team, we haven’t got expectations to be better than Blyth Spartans, we want Blyth Spartans to be brilliant in their own right.
“We want to a team that people in Blyth can be proud of, and people want to come down and say these have got a young team and let’s get behind them, let’s give them a bit of moral support because you’ll be surprised what you see.
“I defy you if you don’t fall in love with this club because it’s what grassroots football is all about – giving lads opportunities that have never played Northern League football, barring John Iveson the captain, nobody has been here.
“They’re all coming in, fresh-faced, ready to give it there all, and who knows what can happen.”
Connor will take a check on the fitness of a number of players ahead of the game – but will definitely be without centre-back Iveson after he was shown a red card in last Saturday’s defeat at Terriers.