Record set to fall at Fratton on Saturday

Simon Ferry, who made his Pompey debut in the friendly defeat against Rayo Vallenco on Sunday, already knew what to expect from the Fratton Faithful Picture: Joe Pepler

Simon Ferry, who made his Pompey debut in the friendly defeat against Rayo Vallenco on Sunday, already knew what to expect from the Fratton Faithful Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey forward Jamal Lowe Picture: Joe Pepler

Lowe happy to catch Pompey fans on the run

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A new era at Fratton Park.

And it will be a record-breaking way to usher in the dawn of the first full season of Pompey as the biggest community-owned football club in the United Kingdom.

The Blues have filled every available seat for the start of the 2013-14 campaign against Oxford on Saturday.

That means a crowd the size of which has never been seen before in League Two.

Safety issues after an inspection from Portsmouth City Council has seen a reduction in the capacity of the grand, old lady that is Pompey’s home to 18,200.

The fact it is the club’s first season in England’s basement division since 1980 hasn’t stopped every ticket being taken.

The end result is certain to be a crackling atmosphere for the big kick-off – and record numbers for a game in this league.

In the nine years since the division became known as League Two, the likes of Bradford and Swindon have been the sides to regularly draw the biggest gates.

It’s MK Dons who hold the record, however, after attracting 17,250 to stadiummk for their meeting with Morecambe at the end of 2007-08 season.

That will now fall as Guy Whittingham’s side take on the U’s.

The anticipation is being cranked up, with the clash just two days away.

Pompey fans can’t wait to get their first look at their new-look team in competitive action.

And those players can’t wait to step out in the bearpit atmosphere the Fratton faithful are certain to create.

Simon Ferry knew he was joining a club with an impressive backing when he signed his two-year deal last week.

The reality is the numbers could have been greater if it wasn’t for the stadium restrictions.

But emerging from the tunnel to see that crowd has got the Scot pumped up for the occasion.

Ferry said: ‘In League Two, to get 18,000 people on the opening day, well, it’s unheard of.

‘I’ve seen the passion that the supporters have first hand.

‘It was a great atmosphere when I played here with Swindon last season.

‘I don’t think there were that many there that night, though.

‘So to know there is going to be all those people here for the Oxford game means it is going to be some atmosphere.

‘When I was speaking to Matty Ritchie, he was telling us we’re expecting 16-17,000 for the first home game.

‘Never mind the league, I’d rather be playing in front of that every other week. That will give you a real buzz.

‘When was the last time League Two saw gates like that? Never.

‘I can’t wait to get out there and be a part of that now.’

It’s not just the opening day attendance which has got Ferry purring about the Pompey support.

With season ticket sales approaching a whopping 10,500, it’s evident there is a lot of potential for Saturday’s attendance not to be a one off.

‘When my agent told me how many season tickets were sold I couldn’t believe it,’ said Ferry.

‘You don’t get that in League One let along League Two!

‘To get it in League Two is some going and was an attraction for me.’

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