It’s a massive game for us. It’s our first time in The FA Cup in our 123-year history and the boys are really looking forward to it, says Stansfeld joint-manager Billy Hamlin
STANSFELD joint-manager Billy Hamlin says his side are relishing making their FA Cup debut on Wednesday night.
The amateur side, originally from Bermondsey, welcome higher-league opponents in the shape of Gravesend based Punjab United in the Extra Preliminary Round at Foxbury Avenue in Chislehurst.
Punjab United made their FA Cup debut last August when the BBC Sport cameras attended their 1-0 home defeat to Broadbridge Heath at the same stage.
“It’s a massive game for us. It’s our first time in The FA Cup in our 123-year history and the boys are really looking forward to it, said Hamlin.
“Training has been really good and we are ready to go and can’t wait to get out there.
“We have enjoyed some really decent games with Punjab over the years. We know they are going to be a hard team to beat but we are ready. It’s The FA Cup, no matter who you get it is always going to be a tough game.”
Half of the qualifying rounds in this season’s FA Cup fall on midweek dates and all ties will be settled by a penalty shoot-out, with no extra-time if scores are level after 90 minutes.
“After waiting so long to get in The FA Cup we are not really bothered what night it is to be honest with you,” added Hamlin.
“It would have been nice to have played on a Saturday but what with the current situation it’s understandable, plus a three o’clock game on a Saturday could get messy afterwards.
“Yes, we have practiced penalties but we have done it after a few pre-season friendlies and in training.”
Hamlin revealed wide-attacker Rob Hughes has been forced to sit out Stansfled’s big night through injury.
“Young Rob Hughes is going to miss out due to a little injury and I’m absolutely gutted for him as he’s only 18 and has done really well in pre-season but I’m sure there will be many opportunities for him to play in The FA Cup.”
Stansfeld were in seventh-place in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division at the time of the coronavirus health pandemic, while Chipie Sian’s side were fourth from bottom in the Premier Division at the time.
Stansfled kick-off their new League campaign with a trip to Lydd Town on Saturday 5 September (15:00).
Hamlin said: “We went on a fantastic run last season, we lost twice in 21 games and we are hoping to get away to a good start this season because in the last two or three seasons we haven’t got off to a start because we have four or five of the boys away on holiday or attending weddings etc.
“But we have got everyone ready to go this year. We have got lots of great kids in the club, which makes our second and third teams strong, which can only benefit the first team.
“We are really looking forward to the game and are really lucky to have the players we have considering we don’t pay nothing and getting in The FA Cup is a reward to those boys because they could go and nick £40 or £50 elsewhere but they don’t because they’re all mates and all good club boys and they are really looking forward to it.”
Stansfeld v Punjab United
The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Wednesday 2 September 2020
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Foxbury Avenue, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6SD