Petersfield Town chairman Graeme Moir has paid tribute to those who have travelled thousands of miles on the road to get the club through its first season in the Southern League.
His comments came as the Rams prepared for their final long-haul journey of the season – a 160-mile round trip to Potters Bar Town tomorrow in division one central (3pm).
Petersfield will finish their away games for the season with a 48-mile round trip to Godalming on Tuesday night but it is journeys like the one this weekend which have defined their season.
After only having to travel to the other side of Hampshire, or Dorset and Wiltshire for Wessex League games previously, trips to north of Luton and Northampton have been something of a culture shock compared to what the Rams have been used to.
But Moir believes the club has taken the longer travelling in its stride and the experience gained this season will stand everyone in good stead for the years ahead.
‘It has certainly been an experience hitting the road to all kinds of places around the M25 and north of London since we started in this league back in August,’ he said.
‘I won’t forget the opening day trip to Rushden and Diamonds in a hurry.
‘We had to have the heaters on the minibus turned up to full heat to stop the engine from overheating on what was one of the hottest days of last summer.
‘I also won’t forget witnessing one of the players having their hat set alight or the club dog at North Greenford who is on the committee there – we certainly have some weird and wonderful stories to tell from our travels.
‘I would just like to praise our manager Ian Saunders and his coaching staff, all of the players, committee members and our supporters for getting through this first year of longer travelling to games.
‘People have had to make a lot of sacrifices by leaving work early or having to give up family time to go to the matches.
‘The dedication and professionalism shown by everyone at the club has been superb.
‘We have learnt so much from how we travel this year and how it sets you up for your games – we will learn from the good things and the bad things we have done to ensure we get things spot on in the seasons ahead.
‘I hope we can go and finish the long trips off in style by getting three points at Potters Bar tomorrow.’