I’ve seen talk of Bridon Ropes being big underdogs, which I find ridiculous really, says Canterbury City boss Ben Smith

Friday 05th August 2016

CANTERBURY CITY manager Ben Smith says he’s expecting a tough trip to Bridon Ropes in The FA Cup tomorrow.

Mark Murison’s side are looking forward to their FA Cup debut and play a league below Canterbury City and are plotting an Extra Preliminary Round upset at Meridian Sports & Social Club in Charlton.

Smith reflected on the club’s top eight finish in the Southern Counties East Football League last season.

He said: “Looking back it was a successful season. My job was to keep the club in the league and improve the team with limited resources, which we certainly did!

“We achieved our highest ever finish, points tally since the club’s reformation and then you can throw in our best ever cup runs there were plenty of positives.

“However, linking eighth-place as an achievement doesn’t really sit too well with me even in the financial context of our league.”

Bridon Ropes finished in the top five in the last ever Kent Invicta League campaign last term and are the underdogs going into the game.

“I now there are a lot of critics over the FA Cup game being the first game and it’s obviously not ideal but there’s nothing we can do about it and I guess from a players’ view it will certainly increase the excitement levels of the season starting,” said Smith, who is preparing for his second season in charge of the club.

“On paper, it looked as though we’d had a good draw but I said as soon as I saw it that it would be a lot tougher than people would expect and the top five sides in the league below would compete well in our league so we’re expecting to play a decent side and worry about getting our performance right.

“What we do in this competition is a bonus, let’s be honest.

“I’ve seen talk of them being big underdogs, which I find ridiculous really. Yes, if it was against the likes of Ashford, Sevenoaks, Whitstable, who will no doubt have stronger resources at their disposal, but we’ll be on a similar playing field.”

So what can Canterbury City fans expect from their side this season?

“In terms of the season ahead we’ve kept pretty much everyone from last season and hopefully with the extra quality that we have added we’ll be able to push on again and see where that may take us,” said Smith.

“The likes of Hollands & Blair and Corinthian proved that money isn’t essential to compete at the top end of the league and we are confident that we are getting the right players into our group.  Time will tell if we currently have enough.”

Visit Canterbury City’s website:  www.canterburycityfc.net

Bridon Ropes  v  Canterbury City
The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Saturday 6th August 2016
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Meridian Sports & Social Club, Charlton Park Lane, Charlton, London SE7 8QS