IT WOULDN’T be a Wembley week without accusations of so-called ‘plastic fans’ jumping on the Newport County AFC bandwagon.

County are heading to the home of English football for the fourth time in seven years on Saturday and they’ve already sold more than 9,000 tickets for the League Two play-off final against Tranmere Rovers.

But, just like before the 2012 FA Trophy final, the 2013 Conference play-off final and last year’s FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur, there has been some discontent about those who are not ‘real’ fans making the journey.

Those moaning are thankfully in the minority but it always strikes me as a peculiar attitude to have if you actively take against new supporters.

Clubs like County need all the backing they can get and this Saturday is a fantastic opportunity to grow the fan-base.

Michael Flynn and his team have captured the imagination of the Newport public and their success will hopefully inspire a new generation to support their local team.

Walking around the city 10 years ago it was very rare to see anyone in County colours, but now you can spot Exiles shirts alongside the Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United replicas.

There has been real progress in capturing the hearts and minds of the younger generation.

And the remarkable strides taken in the league over the past few years, as well as the eye-catching FA Cup runs, has also no doubt brought a lot of older supporters back into the fold.

There will be those who remember the glory days of the late 1970s and early 1980s who are catching the bug again.

And those who grew up during the late 1980s and early 1990s when only the real diehards were following the reformed club to Moreton-in-Marsh who were seduced by the higher profile fare on offer in Cardiff and Swansea, or further afield.

All should be welcomed with open arms if they now choose to pay their money to cheer on the Exiles.

South Wales Argus:

And what a time it is to start supporting the club!

Flynn’s heroes are just one win away from securing a place in League One – two years after they were within two minutes of a return to non-league football and possibly going out of business.

County haven’t played in the third tier of English football since the 1986-1987 season when the likes of Roger Gibbins, Gordon Staniforth and Steve Mardenborough were the star attractions.

But if you haven’t heard of them, or even John Aldridge and Tommy Tynan, that shouldn’t preclude you from cheering on Padraig Amond and Jamille Matt this weekend.

Anyone watching County for the first time at Wembley should be encouraged, not sneered at, and hopefully many of them will be regulars at Rodney Parade next season

Let’s not make this a People’s Front of Judea/Judean People’s Front situation.

The amber army should be united, not divided, as they aim to drown out the travelling Tranmere support under the famous arch.

And, while we’re at it, a Wembley final is probably the one occasion when the purchase of a half-and-half scarf is acceptable.

Although you might want to check the spelling on the cheap knock-off ones as some vendors had difficulty with AFC Fylde for Sunday’s FA Trophy triumph over Justin Edinburgh’s Leyton Orient.

It’s time that the inverted snobbery over plastic fans is consigned to the dustbin of history.

There’s plenty of room on the bandwagon – the more the merrier.

See you on Wembley Way!