On Sunday afternoon over 250 spectators saw City battle past Newport Pagnell Town to reach the 5th round of the Buildbase FA Vase. As we now know our reward a home tie against Coventry United on the 2nd February.
That achievement for a homeless Canterbury City needs putting in some perspective.
The national competition started last August with 638 clubs. That has now been whittled down to just 16 and hand on heart who at the Club would have dreamed that possible just a few months ago. It’s a real credit to the hard work and commitment of the player’s and management team as we go on to try and pass another historic milestone on the 2nd February and reach the Quarter Finals!
2019 is however also a special year for all the wrong reasons. It is now exactly 20 years since the Club left its Kingsmead Stadium in 1999 to begin its nomadic existence. There is a reminder of that time which still exists today. Look at the road signs on the roundabouts near Sainsburys in Canterbury and you’ll clearly still be directed to “Stadium”.
The symbolism this year does not just stop there. As we all know without its own ground the Club collapsed and folded in 2001 whilst ground sharing and where was that? Yes, here at Faversham Town FC! So 20 years on we find ourselves back where it sadly finished for City but in 2019 hopefully in a much better place both on the verge of a Quarter Final place in the FA Vase and finally after all this time with the City Council’s make or break decision on our new stadium planning application imminent.
For me Sunday’s Vase win was all about our long suffering supporters. A rare moment to not only be able to say “I was there” when football history was made but the belief returned that we really will get back home to Canterbury and once again become a football force to reflect our City status. There were people there on Sunday who had not been to see Canterbury City play since the Kingsmead days. They will return along with a new generation of support. We just need the opportunity to draw a line under the last 20 years and move forward. It has been a cracking start to the year and 2019 could and should be City’s year!!