PLYMOUTH Parkway could hardly have been handed a longer trip for the next stage of their FA Trophy adventure but the club’s dedicated band of travelling supporters are relishing this weekend’s 778-mile round trip to Spennymoor.

Parkway have overcome four clubs from higher divisions to reach the fourth round in their first season in the competition, most recently dumping out National League South outfit Dulwich Hamlet on penalties at a rocking Bolitho Park.

The timing of the run has been perfect for the club’s head of media, Mike Parrish, who this season is producing a follow-up to the popular ‘Round Our Way’ documentary – which focused on the 2019/20 campaign and has been viewed over 30,000 times.

The trip to County Durham will no doubt provide plenty of material for the 40-year-old, who became involved with Parkway through his sports journalism degree with Plymouth Marjon University in 2017 and has revelled in seeing them go from strength to strength.

“It has been a tremendous journey so far,” he said. “It’s kind of hindered our league campaign but you’d never change those memories, it has been electric in those four home Trophy games.

“The Parkway project has come to fruition over those games. I joined at the right time and it was an eye-opener to see a club in the city do what they were trying to do.

“I loved the ambition within the club and everyone welcomed me with open arms. We’ve had to pinch ourselves a bit on this Trophy run but games like this are the ones we want to be playing in.”

General manager Gaz Turner’s association with the club stretches back to 2009, when he began helping with pitch maintenance having started a conversation with the Parkway groundsman while walking his dog.

Now part of the club’s board, Turner has racked up countless miles watching Parkway over the years and having been part of the hardy band who travelled to Hebburn for the 2019/20 FA Vase quarter-final, the trip to Spennymoor holds no fear.

“Hebburn’s even further north so we’re seeing this as a nice short trip!” he said.

“I’ve barely missed a game in the last eight years and you just become engrossed in it – my wife, who’s now club secretary, has too.

“We’re travelling the day before for Spennymoor and I’m so excited.

“The coach trip is six or seven hours but it will fly by. You’re there with likeminded fans and players, we’ll have music on, quizzes, we’ll be laughing and joking. It’ll be surprising how quickly it’ll go.

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“Those coach journeys, with the players and fans travelling together, form strong bonds in the group and our fanbase is growing all the time.

“When I first started, we had around 50 or 60 watching and now it’s not unusual for us to get three or four hundred.

“People have looked around and seen there’s something good going on down at Bolitho.”

Parkway are one of more than 200 clubs across the Trident League supported by Pitching In, a multi-million-pound grassroots sport investment programme established by Ladbrokes with the support of its owner Entain.

In addition to financial support, the initiative places a focus on volunteering and the community aspect of non-league football and Parrish is hoping the Parkway family have another day to remember this weekend against their National League North opponents.

“We’ll have a great time and the team will do their utmost,” he said.

“For the people who are still around from when we went to Hebburn, there is unfinished business as we didn’t really turn up that day.

“You have to embrace these trips and we’ll meet lots of great people at Spennymoor. Football is a religion up there and we have to treat it the same way to show what we’re about.”

Ladbrokes, with the support of its owner Entain, has launched a multi-million pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports. For more details see: