It may be a dead-rubber as far as league points go, but Bury St Edmunds’ final home game of 2017 tomorrow has a real sense of occasion about it with Gavin Hogg keen to say his farewells to The Haberden faithful with a stirring display.
The man who masterminded The Wolfpack’s rise to their highest ever level — from England’s sixth to fourth tier —in doing so overseeing the transition from an amateur to semi-professional club, will bow out in front of the home fans against mid-table side Cantebury this wekeend (3pm).
With Bury’s recent upturn in form seeing them rise to three places and 12 points above the bottom three, they no longer have the threat of relegation hanging over them, going into their last two matches.
Next Saturday’s trip down to the south west to face fellow mid-table side Clifton will officially be director of rugby Hogg’s last game in charge of Bury after six memorable seasons, before taking up the reins at National League One side Old Albanians.
But he admits he would love to give the Haberden crowd, the scene of such great memories he will forever cherish, one last rousing display tomorrow.
“Hopefully I am able to enjoy these last couple of games,” he said.
“For me personally I would love to get a win in my final game at The Haberden.
“We have said to the players we want to finish this season on a high, which is really important to give them some momentum to take in pre-season training and next season.”
Hogg has said he has ‘no doubt’ Bury’s ambition to go one more step up the league ladder to become a National One club will happen one day, which could see their paths cross again from the opposition dugout.
With that not guaranteed though, tomorrow’s game, which will be preceded by a special pre-match lunch to celebrate local businessman Adrian Lewis’ decade-long support with Frames Conservatories Direct’s sponsorship of the club, is set to be emotionally charged.
But Hogg, who famously watches his team alone from behind their defensive goalline end, up high by the plane crash memorial at the A14 junction side, will try and not get too involved with that side of things.
“I’m a pretty quiet and unassuming guy who likes to operate in the background,” he said.
“But I will have a real sense of pride and take a minute or two to reflect on how successful the last six seasons have been here.
“If the boys put in a performance on the pitch, that would make it all the more special for me.
“But it will not be all about me.
“I have seen some fantastic home crowds and it has been a special place to be.