Chorley boss Matt Jansen says tonight’s FA Cup clash against Fleetwood Town at Victory Park is a bigger game for the club than the play-off final at Halifax.
The Magpies lost the National League North play-off final in extra time at The Shay last season but are vying for promotion to the National League once again.
Jansen has kept the core of that squad together and they are seventh in the table with just two defeats in their last 15 games.
They came so close to ending a 26-year absence from the top tier of non-league last term but Jansen says perhaps that was a blessing in disguise as Chorley build both on and off the field.
And he says this evening’s FA Cup first-round clash – their first in 27 years – is financially significant for the club who are on course for a six-figure cash boost from the televised tie.
He said: Last season we narrowly missed out. We were unfortunate to do so. Was it a blessing in disguise? Were we ready to make that leap into the next division? Maybe not.
“This cup game is huge. Is it as big as the Halifax game? For the club it is bigger because it gives us a financial clout that can hopefully keep us building and stepping forward.
“It is a sell-out and with it being on TV you would hope that it inspires families and kids and hopefully it will put a bit more on the gate receipts.
“The fans have always been our 12th man and with a packed house behind us, hopefully they can help us make more history.”
Royal Caribbean International will sponsor Chorley’s shirts for the game against the Cod Army, with the players also having their names printed on the famous black and white strip for the clash.
The Magpies are without key duo Nick Haughton and Matty Urwin. The on-loan Fleetwood duo are ineligible to play against their parent club.
Chorley have brought in Cardiff keeper Oliver Byrne, 19, on an emergency youth loan, and Jansen says his squad is strong enough to cope without the duo and injured Dale Whitham.
He said: “It is not about one player, two players or even 11 players – it is about a squad of 22.
“Each player will be called upon when needed and hopefully do a job. I know what I will get from my boys.
“We have got a great dressing room and it will be exciting.”