We’ll certainly be giving it our best shot, says AFC Uckfield Town boss Anthony Storey
AFC UCKFIELD TOWN player-manager Anthony Storey says his side will give it their best shot as they look to produce a FA Cup giant killing act on Saturday.
The East Sussex club play their biggest ever FA Cup tie when they welcome Vanarama National League South side Dartford to The Oaks in the Second Qualifying Round.
Storey, 35, who is now in his third season in charge of the club, is relishing taking charge of the club at this stage of the competition for the first time.
“Everybody at the club is delighted. It’s a huge draw for the club. Hopefully we can get as many people through the turnstile as possible to make it financially beneficial to the club.”
Uckfield lost their opening Southern Combination Premier Division game 4-3 at home to Horsham YMCA but have since extended their unbeaten run to 12 games, with striker Callum Smith netting an impressive tally of 14 goals – which is six more than the Darts have scored in their five league games.
“We’ve been on a hell of a run since Christmas last year,” said Storey.
“We finished off the season really well so we had a real strong second part of the season and the run has continued this year – we’re in great form at the moment.”
Dartford management pair Jamie Coyle and Adam Flanagan have watched Uckfield on three occasions and Storey has sent former Dartford player Shaun Loft to Billericay Town to watch a 1-1 draw in the league last weekend.
Storey said: “We’ve had them watched a couple of times. Assistant manager Shaun Loft used to play for Dartford, so we sent him to Billericay last weekend, so we’ve done our homework, so we know their strengths and weaknesses.
“That’s what you’ve got to do, the size of our club compared to the size of Dartford, we have to do as much homework as possible to be honest.”
Storey will be looking to take advantage of home comforts to knock out a club three levels higher.
“I don’t know about home comforts, the pitch is lively,” he warned.
“We’re a real handful going forward. We’ll certainly be giving it our best shot. We won’t be looking to sit back and hopefully we’ll get something out of it.”
AFC Uckfield Town have defeated Glebe (1-0), Broadfields United (4-1) and AFC Croydon Athletic (1-0) to reach this stage of the competition, while Dartford start at this hurdle.
The club have banked £11,140 in prize money and there’s another £9,000 up got grabs for the winners this weekend too.
AFC Uckfield Town also defeated Hollands & Blair (2-0) and Southwick (5-0) in The FA Vase and travel to Tunbridge Wells in the First Round on Saturday 13 October.
“The prize money is amazing,” said Storey.
“The place has needed refurbing, the clubhouse has now been refurbed, we’ve done the physio room, there’s a little area around the back where the players can warm up. As we keep winning the prize money, we keep spending it to improve the facilities in the ground.
“It’s huge money for the club and we’ve had a couple of wins in The FA Vase as well (banking £1,275) so it’s good at the moment, it’s going well.”
Saturday’s game is simply what The FA Cup is all about – a lower league club taking on the big boys.
“We’ve just got to do what we’ve been doing really well on the (unbeaten) run, so we won’t be changing. We’re very dangerous going forward. There’s a massive difference in class between the two sides but we’ll give it our best shot,” added Storey.
Looking further ahead to their trip to Tunbridge Wells in The FA Vase next month, Storey, who played for Tonbridge Angels when Tommy Warrilow was in charge, said: “It’s another exciting tie, it’s an opportunity to raise some money for the club and get some more prize money.”
Visit AFC Uckfield Town’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/afcuckfieldfc
AFC Uckfield Town v Dartford
The Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round
Saturday 22 September 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Oaks, Eastbourne Road, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 5QL