Duffy thrilled with progress

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Aldershot chief executive Peter Duffy has hailed the strides made by the club over the past 18 months but insists there is still a way to go.

Duffy was speaking after the Shots landed a plum Carling Cup draw at home to Manchester United, the first time the club have made the fourth round of the competition in their history. The tie comes with life at the Recreation Ground now looking upwards both on and off the pitch.

"I think there's been a transformation," Duffy told the club's official website. "18 months ago the club was on the brink - we had three directors, we had over £1million of debt, we were struggling football-wise, the fan base was probably at its lowest in terms of core fans."

He added: "And yet there was still a belief in the club, still a lot of people here believing in the club and so actually that situation galvanised everybody and we've just moved on. And we've done it really very steadily, but we've addressed everything.

"We've addressed the football side, the financial side, we've set up our own centre of excellence which is now in its second year, we've got youth development - five of our youth players signed on professional terms - we've got great sponsors. Everything about the club is improving.

"We're 18 months into what I said would be a three to five-year journey. We're still not where we want to be financially, this (the cup tie against Manchester United) will help, a home draw isn't as lucrative as an away draw and there's a phenomenal amount of work for us to do in every department. So we've got to earn the money we will earn from the game, but we're up for it, it's great learning for us."

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