Published: 06:07, 14 July 2021
| Updated: 06:09, 14 July 2021
Ramsgate are counting down the days to what manager Matt Longhurst describes as one of the biggest events in their history.
Rams mark the opening of their 3G pitch at Southwood with a friendly against Tottenham’s under-23 side on Saturday.
Tickets sold out in 24 hours with Rams preparing to welcome more than 2,000 fans to the newly renamed WW Martin Community Stadium.
Longhurst expects Spurs to include some of the best young talent in the country.
“This is one of the biggest events the club has ever put on,” said Longhurst. “With Covid regulations we were restricted to just over 2,000 tickets and they sold out in 24 hours.
“We’re putting in additional turnstiles to get people in.
“It’s going to be a big day. The club’s played some big games in front 1,500 or 1,600 but nothing at this level in terms of playing a major Premier League club.
“They’ve got players like Troy Parrott, Dane Scarlett and Alfie Devine - some of the best kids in the country and I’d expect them to play.
“There’ll be a saxophonist and a DJ there from 12.30pm, we’ve got pop-up bars and we’ve created a food court.
“There’s no parking on site but we’ve got a park and ride for 300 cars running from the Marlowe Academy to bus fans in.”
Longhurst approached Spurs under-23 manager Wayne Burnett - a good friend of his - to secure the fixture.
Tottenham were happy to help and Ramsgate are looking forward to the challenge.
“We dominated for large parts with the ball when we played Folkestone in our first friendly,” said Longhurst. “We still want to try and do that but I suspect Spurs might dominate possession.
“It means we need to work out how we get the ball back and how we press them, so we’ll be working on those things.
“The other good thing is we’ve got young players who have been at pro clubs who want to get back to that level, and this will open their eyes as to what’s needed.
“For us, it’s a great experience but at the same time, it’s part of our pre-season.”