DEAN HOYLE hailed the 19,044 fans who provided the perfect take-off for Town’s centenary campaign and beamed: “This shows we’re a force to be reckoned with.”
The attendance for last night’s celebration match against Arsenal, who won 2-1, was the eighth-highest for a Town match at the stadium which has been home since 1994.
And it was the second best for a home friendly in the club’s 100 years, with only the 20,042 who saw a 3-2 win over top Argentinian side Independiente in January 1954 beating it.
A bumper 3,547 visiting fans saw late goals by Sanchez Watt (79th minute) and Nacer Barazite (88th) clinch the Herbert Chapman Trophy for Arsene Wenger’s Gunners after James Berrett had given Town a 75th-minute lead with his second goal of pre-season..
With Town having sold more than 16,100 season-tickets and Stockport expected to bring more than 2,000 fans, chairman-elect Hoyle is looking forward to another big turn-out for Saturday’s League I opener back at the Galpharm.
“Our fans were immense, and the night as a whole showed how far we’ve come in a short space of time,” said Hoyle.
“It’s not going to be easy, but we’ll be going all out to make this season a success.
“I think we’ve bought well and I think the fans think so as well. We still need a few more, and we may have to be patient, because incoming players have to be right for the club, but we’ll get there in the end.
“The fact that we put out completely different sides in each half last night shows that we are building a proper squad, and we have a great leader in Stan Ternent.
“Saturday is when it all starts for real, and there’s a major buzz about the place.
“We know it will be tough, and we know there will probably be setbacks along the way, but my message to the fans is stick with us, because things will come right at Huddersfield Town.”
Ternent says he is close to making a decision on trialist defender David Unsworth, who played the first 45 minutes of last night’s match.
Ternent left out star striker Andy Booth and new midfield signing Michael Flynn because of niggles but says both will be fit for Saturday.
With no problems reported last night Town’s only injured player is teenage frontman Danny Broadbent, who has a damaged ankle.
Stockport manager Jim Gannon hopes to bring in Wolves midfielder Stephen Gleeson for a third loan spell at the club in time for Saturday’s match.