I have every confidence that my squad is good enough to beat East Preston, says John-Paul Collier

Friday 29th August 2014
HOLMESDALE player-manager John-Paul Collier says his side face a big test against East Preston in The FA Cup tomorrow.

The Bromley-based club travel to play last season’s runaway Sussex County League champions in the Preliminary Round.

Holmesdale stunned their Southern Counties East Football League rivals Tunbridge Wells by knocking them out in the last round with a 4-1 win at Oakley Road, while ten-man East Preston came away from Sevenoaks Town with a 2-1 win.

“We approach tomorrow’s FA Cup game on the back of a defeat against Phoenix Sports last week, a game that I took positives from,” said Collier.

“Sometimes you can learn a lot more about your team and individuals after a defeat and as a manager I have been able to look at the game and make changes for the game tomorrow.

“We have a great spirit in the squad at the moment and a desire to get things right and win games.

“Tomorrow is a big test for us and a chance to prove to ourselves that we have the ability to do well.  We owe it to ourselves to do that.”

Holmesdale are making it a big day out for tomorrow’s FA Cup tie and midfielder Collier wants to do the club proud with a shock win tomorrow.

Dominic Di Paola’s side finished seventeen points clear of promoted runners-up East Grinstead to run away with the Sussex County League top-flight title last season but were denied promotion to the Ryman League due to ground grading issues.

East Preston took the lead against Sevenoaks Town through midfielder Matt Axell’s fine finish and doubled their lead when Adam Hunt chipped in the second within four minutes of the second half.

Sevenoaks manager Micky Collins threw on Andy Walker and the target-man smashed home a stunning fierce drive to give Sevenoaks a life-line but East Preston held on despite having central midfielder Kevin Keehan sent off for two yellow cards with 23 minutes remaining.

“We have a young squad, I think the average age is around 23 and the boys should see it as a privilege to play in The FA Cup,” said Collier.

“Sometimes when you have to travel far it can be a long day, with the early meet and you can end up playing the occasion rather than the game itself, but we will ensure that when we step out on the pitch we will do ourselves proud.

“We can’t say we haven’t prepared well! The club have put on a coach for us and the chairman said to me it’s the luxury version - that probably means it has a toilet!

“We have trained well this week and there is a good buzz around the squad.  I have been working on a game plan with my management team and the boys are fully aware of what we want to do.

“Like all teams we play, we will show them respect but we want to ensure they have a bit to fear when playing us.

“I have every confidence that the squad I take tomorrow is good enough to win. We know it will be hard but there is no such thing as an easy game.

“It’s also a big day for the club too and I want us to do them proud.”

Holmesdale went down to a 4-2 home defeat to Phoenix Sports in their last game last Saturday, which was their second league defeat of the season. 

Collier’s young side are in eleventh-place in the league table with 6 points from 4 games.

Favourites East Preston, meanwhile, are in fifth-place, unbeaten in four league games with 10 points.

Visit Holmesdale’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/holmesdalefc

East Preston  v  Holmesdale
The FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 30th August 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Lashmar Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex BN16 1ES