Hopefully it will be a great day for Greenwich Borough, says Paul Blade

Friday 24th October 2014
GREENWICH BOROUGH assistant manager Paul Blade has challenged his players to make it a great day in the club’s history on Sunday afternoon.

The sole surviving Southern Counties East Football League side travel to Kidderminster to play Worcester City in The FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round.

Worcester City are three leagues higher than Ian Jenkins’ side and sit in ninth-place in the Vanarama Conference North and are unbeaten at Aggborough Stadium this season.

There are 72 clubs separating the two clubs but Blade says the club is ready for their biggest ever game.

“We’ve all sorted out the plan that we’ve got, in hopefully getting the result so we’re all looking forward to it.  There’s a good buzz around the club,” said Blade.

“Biggest ever game? Yes, definitely, it seems to be that way.  I don’t think it’s phasing us and the players.

“I think our players have been in big games before and that will help us. As for the club, hopefully it will be a great day for the club as well as a good outing.”

Greenwich Borough have beaten five teams to reach the final qualifying round of The FA Cup, banking £18,425 in prize money, with £12,500 up for grabs for the winners this weekend and a place in the First Round Draw.

Lancing, St Francis Rangers, Chessington & Hook United were defeated before Boro’ stunned Beaconsfield SYCOB (Southern League Division One Central) and Redhill (Ryman League Division One South).

“Five games, which is no mean feat in itself,” said a proud Blade.

“We’ve played sides above our league as well, turned them over.  We’re not over confident but really looking forward to it.  We’ve got a game plan and hopefully that will work.

“They’re probably a typical Conference North side.  They groundshare at Kidderminster and that’s a lovely ground and that nice surface will help us in the way that we want to play.

“They’ll have their game plan as well to beat us but it’s on the day. It’s who turns up, a little bit of luck because you need a little bit as well.

“As long as the boys will be focused and know what their jobs are, so hopefully we’ll give a good account of ourselves.”

Greenwich Borough go into the game full of beans having won a club record eleven games on the bounce.

They may be sitting in 12th place in the Southern Counties East Football League table, but they’ve only played seven league games and have to play catch up with their rivals as the League takes a back seat.  They also have a number of players that have played at a much higher level of football and their experience of games such as this will be vital.

Worcester City are unbeaten at home this season but Blade said: “If their unbeaten run goes at the same time as our record keeps intact then so be it.

“We’re under no estimations. It’s going to be a tough tame. They are the favourites and we’ve got nothing to lose. There’s nothing on us. We’ll just go there, try to impose ourselves and play the way we want to play and stop their threats and everything else.

“As a club, players and the management side, we’re just looking forward to the day.”

Reflecting on their record run, Blade added: “Confidence is a massive thing at this level of football or whatever level of football you play.

“At the moment we are confident and we’re playing well, which makes a hell of a difference.

“The players’ have got a little bit of a buzz about them. Training was good last night and you could see the players are dying to get the game going. They’re looking forward to it.

“Hopefully we can get the right result and be in the hat for the Draw at St George’s on Monday.”

The FA Cup is all about the underdog upsetting the bigger club and Worcester City are just one win away from reaching the First Round for the fifteenth time in their history.

Can it be Greenwich Borough’s day on Sunday?

Blade said: “Of course, I don’t see why not! That’s what’s The FA Cup is all about, shocks and the underdogs and everything else.  That’s the excitement about it all. That’s why you’re involved in non-league football or any type of football – for days like this.

“We’ll be travelling up Saturday morning, staying overnight so we’ll be prepared so we’ll be doing everything in the right way to make sure we give ourselves a chance.

“We’re staying in a hotel nearby and make sure we’ll give ourselves the biggest chance on Sunday.”

When asked how the game will be won, Blade replied: “Cor, hard one to tell! If I knew that I could earn myself a few quid! I don’t know really. You’d like to think they might feel we’re the lowest ranked side, they’re going to be confident. They may take us lightly, which a couple of clubs have done.  Listen, I haven’t got a clue really.

“It’s a hard one to call. It’s too hard to call. They might freeze. We might go there and play.  It’s so hard.  We’ve got good players, creative players, skilful players and we’re solid at the back.  We’ve got a great goalkeeper so we’ve got areas in all of our pitch that can hopefully do their jobs. If they do their jobs then we have given ourselves more of a chance than if we don’t turn up on the day.”

The last Kent League club to reach The FA Cup First Round were Scott Porter’s Hythe Town, who went down to a 5-1 defeat away to then League Two club Hereford United in 2010.

Blade admitted he wants to reach that stage of the competition to reward the club’s new owners.

“It’s great that Hythe did that for the Kent League. At the end of the day, it’s what we do.  It’s about the club, it’s about us. If the Kent League get recognition from that, it’s great, it’s all good.  Any publicity is not bad publicity. 

“I think it’s literally for the hard work that the people have put in, since taking over the club. In a short space of time, we’ve moved the club forward, really quickly.

“They’ve backed us.  We’ve got a completely different squad from when we took over and a lot of things have happened in the last eight or nine months within the club and it’s nice when you put that hard work in and you get a little reward and this will be a massive reward for the people that have put in within the club.”

Visit Greenwich Borough’s website: www.greenwichboroughfc.co.uk

Worcester City  v  Greenwich Borough
The FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round
Sunday 26th October 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Aggborough Stadium, Hoo Road, Kidderminster, Worcestershire DY10 1NB