Count Down to the Cup Final

While Wick Academy's footballers prepare for their big match in the North Cup Final against Forres Mechanics at Brora, an army of supporters is also preparing to make the comparatively short journey over the Ord to cheer on their favourites. Wick taxi boss Johnny Robertson has arranged four buses which are pretty well filled though anyone hoping to travel in this way might just lucky enough to pick up a cancellation (605041). Hundreds more fans will be joining the exodus by car, train and service bus. It is anticipated that a number of ex-pat Academy fans will arrive at Dudgeon Park from the opposite direction. About 300 Forres fans are also expected to attend the game. North of Scotland FA President Rob Murray confirmed, "We are hoping for a total crowd of more than a thousand".

The sale of tickets has been going well with close 200 sold by midday on Wednesday. Tickets remain on sale at J Gunn & Co in Bridge Street and The Flower Patch, River Street during normal shop hours until 11 am on Saturday.

Saturday is a big day for Wick Academy and if all goes well could be the biggest in our club's long history. We would like to thank all the fans whose support has helped the team make it to this Final and we respectfully remind them that they, like the players and committee, are ambassadors for the club the town and the county. We ask that you arrive in good time for the three o'clock kick off, being aware that the North of Scotland FA anticipates a crowd of at least a thousand. The hosts Brora Rangers FC will provide the stewards and our fans must obey their instructions and those of any police officers who may be on duty, for example in regard to which part of the ground to occupy to allow for segregation from the 300 or so Forres fans. Please stay behind the barriers at all times. Our message is: Have a good day, support your team and enjoy the occasion.

The Cup Final is also a first for the host club, Brora Rangers. Although the club has hosted several Highland Amateur Cup Finals and a semi pro international this will the first time a North Cup Final has been staged at Dudgeon Park. A Brora spokesman yesterday stressed that it is in fans' own interest to buy tickets beforehand to ensure speedy entry to the ground. "It's no use turning up without a ticket at five to three expecting to walk straight in.

It is understood that the law for all big football matches will be strictly applied for the Final. Alcohol is not allowed on buses nor inside the ground. The Brora spokesman continued, "Stewards and police will be on duty, bags will be searched and anyone with cans or bottles or under the influence of alcohol will be refused entry. The two sets of supporters will be segregated with Wick fans occupying the town end and the enclosure opposite the main stand. We will do our best to ensure that everyone enjoys their visit to Dudgeon Park and have arranged extra catering for inside the ground. Have a fantastic day but ARRIVE EARLY!"

Message from The Chairman:

Tomorrow's Cup Final is the biggest day for Wick Academy since joing the Highland League and I am sure our team will put on a performance on the park for us all to be proud of. I have just been informed by a North of Scotland FA Official that there will be a big police presence at Dudgeon Park along with their mobile police unit. They will be stopping and searching people approaching the ground and if found to have alcohol with them they will deal with that. They will also not allow cans or bottle including soft drinks to be carried in the vicinity of the ground. Anyone under the influence of drink will not be allowed admission to the ground. They have also advised that they may stop and search bus coming to the match for alcohol. The stewarding is being done by an outside professional company and they will adhere to the law. We must thank Brora Ranger FC for kindly offering to host this final and let us make it a day to remember for all the right reasons.

Colin Stewart