It's a day we’ve all been looking forward to since the draw was made, says Bearsted boss Kevin Stevens
BEARSTED manager Kevin Stevens says his side are ready to make their FA Cup debut at Eastbourne Town this afternoon.
The Otham based side finished their Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division debut campaign in 12th place and travel down to the Sussex coast to contest an Extra Preliminary Round tie.
“There has been a lot of hard work that has gone on both on and off the field over the last couple of seasons which has contributed to us being involved in The FA Cup for the first time in our 122-year history,” said a proud Stevens.
“It’s a huge achievement for the first team, myself and the management team and a day we’ve all been looking forward to since the draw was made.
“Our opponents Eastbourne Town are a good side at this level. I’ve had a report back on them this week but you never know how strong a side team’s put out in pre-season.
“They finished fifth in the league last season, have home advantage and a decent crowd.
“I’m sure it’ll be a tough but enjoyable day. For our part we will prepare the best we possibly can, will be confident and against another Step Five club have every chance of progressing to the next round.
“The £1,500 prize money is something any club at this level would like and would be a nice bonus should we progress.”
When asked about his preparations for today’s game, Stevens replied: “Our pre-season has gone really well. I’ve stuck to a plan, results didn’t really matter. It was about being prepared for the start of the season with players fit and raring to go.
“I’ve improved the squad from last season with some good signings in key areas. There has been a lot of interest in certain players this pre-season from other club’s. I’m pleased to say that those players have shown myself and the club a lot of loyalty and will be key players in the season ahead.
“I’ve also added a new coach to my management team who brings with him a lot of fresh ideas and experience.”
Bearsted open their league campaign with Cray Valley visiting Honey Lane on Saturday 12 August.
“After finishing last season strongly with a twelve place finish I’m confident I have a squad that can finish a lot higher this time out,” said Stevens.
“We now have a season of Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division experience which is invaluable.
“It won’t be easy as a lot of club’s are signing players from the Bostik League but I’m extremely happy with the squad we have and can’t wait to kick-off our league campaign against Cray Valley.
“I thought they were the best side to have played at Honey Lane last season so it’s a tough start, but again one we look forward to.”
Visit Bearsted’s website: www.bearstedfc.co.uk
Eastbourne Town v Bearsted
The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Saturday 5th August 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Saffrons, Compton Place Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 1EA