Ahead of Taunton’s FA Cup 1st round game against National League side Barrow AFC on Sunday afternoon, which is being dubbed as the biggest game in their history, writer Liam Drury caught up with his friends, Taunton’s 15/16 Supporter Of The Year Greg Galpin and one of their more vocal supporters, Callum Clifton.
Greg Galpin (left) and Callum Clifton (middle top) celebrating with Taunton goalscorer Adam Kelly
How did you come about supporting Taunton?
Greg: Well my Dad has been going since 1997 and took me to my first game vs Supermarine way back in 2006 and the rest is history!
Callum: My game got called off so I went to watch Taunton and never looked back.
As a supporter, is this a dream come true for you to see Taunton in the 1st round proper?
Greg: Absolutely. I can’t believe it has actually happened. It has always been my dream. and what I always wanted Taunton to achieve. Now it’s reality.
Callum: I never thought it would happen. It’s more than a dream come true. It’s incredible.
How exciting has this cup run been to you?
Greg: It has just completely buzzed me! Very exciting beating some bigger boys of non-league football and drawing bigger crowds including the 1,2812 against Hemel Hempstead and drawing Barrow! It has just completely gripped me and I don’t want it to end.
Callum: It has been one thrill after another especially the replay at Tiverton right back in August when nobody thought we would win!
What are your hopes and expectations for the game?
Greg: My hope for the game is that the lads will give absolutely everything and I am sure they will! I expect a amazing atmosphere at Viridor Drive and I seriously can’t wait!
Callum: I hope the lads give it all they can. I wouldn’t care if we lost 3 or 4-0. It’s going to be a great day all around for the whole club and town. But I think we will knick it 1-o.
Would you class this as one of the biggest games in Taunton’s history?
Greg: Yes! Definately! I know we made the first round proper before back in 1981. There was also the FA Vase win at Villa Park in 2001 but now it’s different. We are at home with the town behind us and also with the final score cameras and the prize money. It is just absolutely huge for the club and the town!
Callum: I think so because even though we have reached round one before it wasn’t at home.
As you were there when you beat Hemel Hempstead in the last round, what were your emotions throughout that game?
Greg: The best but also nerve-wrecking night of my entire life! The joy I felt at the final whistle and running on the pitch will compare with nothing else. Definitely the best night of my life and the nerves as we were hanging on were just in pieces! But we held on and I’m so proud of the boys that night.
Callum: Nervous and excited throughout! I said to Greg that I think there’s going to be a twist at some stage but as it went on I thought it would be our night and it was.
How important will Jordan Rogers, Matt Wright, Brett Trowbridge and Lloyd Irish be on Sunday?
Greg: Absolutely huge! They will be so vital. Jordan has been immense in this cup run scoring some very important goals! Wright also very important with his flick ons and holding up the ball, also his ability to score headers! Brett will be vital as he is the team captain. he will need to lead the team and get the lads together and his tackling will be vital also! And Lloyd. Well, he has been amazing. Some of his saves have kept us in the cup and he is just a brilliant shot stopper and an all-round great goalkeeper.
Callum: I think the whole squad not just those select players will all be important! I think all the lads will give it their all and step up for the occasion.
As Taunton’s Supporter Of The year 2015/16, are you one of the main people behind all the chanting?
Greg: Absolutely. I’m always there behind the goal to cheer the lads on in rain, shine or snow! And wherever as well! I am at my happiest on the terraces singing my heart out. I absolutely love this club. Life wouldn’t be right without the Peacocks!
Greg being presented the Supporter Of The Year Trophy 15/16 by former Taunton Captain, Jamie Price
What has the atmosphere been like from the terraces during the cup run?
Greg: The atmosphere has just been unbelievable right up from Tiverton Town in the Preliminary Round up to Hemel in the 4th Qualifying Round! Especially Hemel away. I have never known an atmosphere like that at a Taunton game. Didn’t stop singing all night and a good few of us too! The atmosphere and the supporters have been crucial in this cup run!
Callum: The atmosphere has got better and better and it has been unbelievable throughout. It will be incredible on Sunday!
Is there any messages you want to send out to players, the fans or neutrals ahead of the game?
Greg: Players message first- lads, this might be a once in a lifetime game. Go and give it everything you got and want to win every header and tackle. Go and fight for that badge and believe in yourselves that we can cause an upset and play with the same confidence from the previous rounds and recent league games! Most importantly enjoy the occasion and savour it! We will be right behind you. Message for the supporters- come on. Let’s make this an amazing atmosphere and lets help the lads create history. Anything is possible. This is why I love the FA Cup. let’s do this!
Callum: It’s going to be a special day no matter what! Let’s get Wordsworth rocking come Sunday! Up The Peacocks!