|FA Cup first spherical: Haringey Borough v AFC Wimbledon|
|Venue: Coles Park, Tottenham Date: Friday 9 November Kick-off: 19:55 GMT|
|Protection: Stay on BBC Two, the BBC Sport web site and app, reside textual content commentary on the BBC Sport web site|
They’re one among just a few golf equipment within the prime seven tiers of English soccer handy out free season tickets, they’ve a midfielder who has performed in opposition to Luka Modric, and 5 years in the past they attracted a crowd of simply 17 (seventeen) to a league match.
On Friday, Haringey Borough will host a membership document crowd of round 2,500 because the non-league crew look to spring an FA Cup first-round shock by knocking out AFC Wimbledon, who play 4 leagues above them, in a match to be proven reside on BBC Two.
Situated on White Hart Lane, simply over a mile from the place Tottenham’s booming 62,000-seater stadium is taking form, Borough’s Coles Park floor has a primary stand with 270 seats.
The one crew surviving from August’s preliminary spherical, Haringey have already created membership historical past by reaching this stage for the primary time.
Their run features a 97th-minute winner at Brentwood City within the first qualifying spherical and coming from behind in three of their 5 video games. In doing so, the Isthmian League Premier Division membership have earned £57,890 in prize cash – an enormous quantity for a part-time membership who can’t afford to pay a wage to all their gamers.
“We have got just a few contracted gamers – the remainder are on bills which covers issues like petrol cash and shopping for a pair of shoes,” stated Tom Loizou, in his 11th season as Haringey supervisor.
“Even the contracted gamers are on a naked minimal in the case of wages.”
‘One of many quickest rising fanbases within the nation’
On 26 February 2013, Haringey entertained Biggleswade United within the ninth-tier Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division. There have been extra gamers on the pitch than individuals who paid to look at.
Having spent round £1m on floor enhancements, together with a brand new 3G pitch, Borough took the daring choice to offer away free season tickets in the summertime of 2016 – regardless of requiring £140,000 a 12 months to maintain going.
“We might spent all this cash on a brand new stadium and had no person to look at us,” Aki Achillea, a legal defence solicitor and chairman of Haringey for the previous 14 years, stated. “I banked on the actual fact anybody with a free season ticket would possibly purchase food and drinks.”
The giveaway has been so successful that it stays in place at the moment. Borough’s common league attendance has jumped from 58 in 2015-16 to 262 this season, and supervisor Tom Loizou stated: “Now we have one of many quickest rising fanbases within the nation.”
With little in the way in which of gate receipts, nonetheless, Haringey have needed to be resourceful when it comes to elevating earnings.
The membership obtain a lease for internet hosting a automotive boot sale 3 times per week, whereas funds are additionally boosted by hiring out their £500,000 artificial pitch through the week.
“Just a few years in the past we could not even get a sponsor, individuals simply laughed at us,” 58-year-old Loizou, a former Leyton Orient caretaker supervisor, added.
“Now we have a van rent firm who’re in White Hart Lane. As a substitute of money, they’ve given us a mini bus to get the crew to away video games. We won’t afford a coach to each away match.”
The person who confronted Modric
4 years in the past Georgios Aresti was rubbing shoulders with the likes of Modric, Mario Mandzukic and Dejan Lovren.
The central midfielder, born in Limassol, made his one and solely begin for Cyprus in a 2-Zero pleasant defeat in Croatia in September 2014.
4 months earlier he had come up in opposition to then-Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa when he appeared as an alternative in opposition to Japan in entrance of 58,000 in Saitama.
Aged 24, Aresti is a veteran of virtually 100 top-flight Cypriot video games – together with 43 at Ethnikos Achnas the place he was on a £40,000-a-year contract – and joined Haringey in the direction of the top of final season earlier than re-signing in July after a trial at Barnet ended with out a suggestion.
Determined to earn a residing taking part in professionally in England, the previous AEK Athens participant hopes his performances for Haringey, the place he picks up round £100 a sport, will result in better issues.
In September, 18-year-old Haringey defender Themis Kefalas signed a one-year cope with Championship membership Queens Park Rangers, and Aresti hopes to observe an identical path.
“I wish to progress my profession and I believe I can do it,” stated Aresti, who scored within the 3-2 win at Brentwood City within the first qualifying spherical. “Haringey is a small membership in a small league however there are many scouts that come to our video games.”
Regardless of solely being at Haringey for a short while, Aresti has already established himself as a cult determine with followers.
“He makes objectives and sees issues different gamers at this stage cannot see,” added Achillea. “Our followers love him and sing ‘George Aresti is a present from the Gods’ at video games.”
Achillea, too, is in style with Borough followers. One banner reads “The Individuals’s Republic of Haringey Borough. Vote Aki Achillea Prime Minister!”
Injured attempting to empty a bin
Haringey’s crew additionally consists of Michael O’Donoghue, a 22-year-old defender who has performed in League One for Colchester United, midfielder Rakim Richards, who works for the Tottenham Hotspur Basis and Michael Ademiluyi, a former Southend United youth ahead who has just lately labored in safety at The Oval cricket floor.
In the meantime, Portuguese midfielder Jorge Sambu is hoping to make an impression in opposition to Wimbledon after recovering from a piece damage.
The 27-year-old refuse collector for Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council missed the beginning of the season after damaging his knee whereas attempting to empty a bin.
|How Haringey bought the FA Cup first spherical|
|Preliminary spherical: H v Stanway Rovers||1-0 – Chinedu McKenzie|
|First qualifying spherical: A v Brentwood City||3-2 – Georgios Aresti, Chinedu McKenzie, Karl Akinwande|
|Second qualifying spherical: H v Erith City||2-0 – Joel Nouble (pen), Chinedu McKenzie|
|Third qualifying spherical: H v AFC Sudbury||2-1 – Chinedu McKenzie (2)|
|Fourth qualifying spherical: H v Poole City||2-1 – Jorge Sambu, Joel Nouble|
“My knee simply gave manner and I solely began taking part in once more final month,” stated Lisbon-born Sambu, who’s in his fifth season at Haringey.
“I got here to London to reside with my mum on the age of 14. At first I used to beg her to return to Portugal however she stated it is a greater life for us right here. I like London now.
“I’ve had two promotions with Haringey and I’ve had a suggestion to signal for a crew in a greater division this 12 months.
“I selected to remain at Haringey as a result of I do not suppose I’ll discover one other crew like this. We’re a really close-knit group and we glance after each other.”
‘We’re the one crew in White Hart Lane’
Above the bar in Haringey’s six-year-old clubhouse is an indication that reads ‘White Hart Lane N17’.
It was paid for by Loizou, who says: “There’s just one senior membership on White Hart Lane – and it is not Spurs. Their official deal with is Excessive Street, Tottenham.”
Achillea has been a Tottenham season ticket holder for 30 years and travelled to the Netherlands in October to look at them in opposition to PSV Eindhoven within the Champions League.
One in every of his ambitions is to get Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino down to look at Haringey. One other is to see Tottenham Hotspur Girls, who at the moment play in Cheshunt, groundshare at Coles Park.
“Spurs Girls taking part in on White Hart Lane can be improbable,” he stated.
Borough have a girls’s crew of their very own. Lengthy-serving Haringey secretary John Bacon usually acts as an assistant referee at their residence matches within the Jap Area Girls’s Premier Division – on the age of 80.
Haringey’s Brit Award winners
Former Haringey gamers embody Ricky Otto, later a Birmingham Metropolis winger, and Leon Rolle – also called DJ Locksmith.
Rolle, who was Borough captain, Kesi Dryden and Piers Aggett have been all registered with Haringey earlier than serving to launch Rudimental, the drum and bass band who received British single of the 12 months on the 2014 Brits.
“Once I first took over they have been within the means of forming a band and taking part in soccer for us,” added Loizou.
“They weren’t well-known on the time and I did not take lots of discover of them. It is not my sort of music. If it had been Frank Sinatra taking part in centre-half it will have been very totally different!”
In the meantime, British singer-songwriter Emeli Sande turned up in 2015 to look at Haringey win promotion from the Essex Senior League and even wrote a message on Fb after her go to to Coles Park.
Eight years in the past, Ben Corbyn, son of Labour chief Jeremy, managed Haringey Borough’s under-18 crew.