Tommy Wright believes Corby Town have caught the attention of people as they prepare to host the Steel Park Cup this weekend.
The European stars of tomorrow will be on show at Steel Park tomorrow (Saturday) and on Sunday as Liverpool’s under-21s, Porto B and a PSV Eindhoven XI compete alongside the Steelmen in the tournament.
The idea is the brainchild of manager Wright and, after weeks of organising and anticipation, the club are now ready for their big occasion.
Wright insists the weekend is one for the fans to enjoy and it comes just two weeks before the start of the Vanarama National League North campaign.
“This weekend is all about the fans and it should be a real treat for everyone,” the Corby boss said.
“It’s something that won’t be the norm by any means but it’s shaping up to be fantastic.
“I think it has caught the attention of a lot of people.
“I was speaking to a coach at Milton Keynes Dons and they can’t believe we have pulled this off.
“I am not sure anybody can believe we have done it but we have and I guess that comes down to me being one of those people who is very much of the opinion that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
“There is going to be a lot of excitement around the place this weekend and it is an experience that everyone should enjoy.”
Wright believes his players will find out how clever they are when they take step on to the pitch this weekend.
And he insists it is a challenge they are relishing.
“It probably isn’t realistic for our preparations but it is a massive challenge that we will relish,” Wright said.
“It’s like reaching the third round of the FA Cup. You know you will be playing against teams who are far superior so you have to make sure you are fully prepared.
“This will be a test of how tactically aware our players are. It will give us an idea of how disciplined they can be with their shape to keep teams out.
“We are going to have to defend well and, really, it is all about how clever the boys can be.
“They will be up against some very good, technically gifted footballers and it will be interesting to see what we can do against them.”
Corby go into the big weekend having suffered a shock 4-1 defeat at Harborough Town on Tuesday.
Wright rested six of the team that started the 3-3 draw against a Wolves XI at Steel Park last weekend.
And while there was an overwhelming sense of disappointment, he insists his players must only be judged when the season begins.
“I thought the game was more even than the scoreline suggested but there’s no doubt Harborough were the better team,” he added.
“I gave six lads the night off and I went with a squad that I thought would be able to handle it but they didn’t.
“But I am big on giving the young lads an opportunity and we were able to put six 16 year olds on there towards the end and that was when Harborough scored their last two goals.
“Ultimately, results don’t concern me at the moment. It’s on August 8 that we will be judged and that’s what we are working towards.”
Corby face Porto B (midday) tomorrow with Liverpool taking on PSV at 4pm.
On Sunday, the Steelmen play PSV (midday) with Liverpool up against Porto (4pm) in the final game of the tournament.
Tickets for each day are on sale, priced at £20 for adults, £15 for concessions and £10 for under 16s with an additional £5 charge for seats in the main stand.
Tickets are available from the club’s pop-up shop in Corby town centre or by visiting www.ticketsource.co.uk/corbytownfc