The enigma of the unknown always makes me uneasy, admits Sheppey United assistant manager Marcel Mimani

Friday 19th November 2021

SHEPPEY UNITED assistant manager Marcel Mimani says he doesn’t know much about Sheerwater going into tomorrow’s FA Vase Second Round tie.

Ernie Batten’s side are unbeaten in second-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table, having collected 40 points from their 14 league games.

They are a point behind leaders Glebe, although Harry Hudson’s side have played two more games, while Chatham Town are in third-place with 39 points from 15 games.

All three big hitters are in FA Vase action tomorrow, with Glebe welcoming Hanworth Villa to Foxbury Avenue, while Kevin Hake takes his side to Stanwell to play Southall.

Sheppey United, meanwhile, travel to Sheerwater, a side that are sitting in ninth-place in the Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Premier Division South table with 22 points from their 16 league outings.

“We have got a tricky FA Vase tie ahead of us,” said Nimani.

“Most in the club is excited and it is what cup competitions are all about, playing away into the unknown, but for me personally, the enigma of the unknown always makes me uneasy.

“There isn’t much about the opposition online other than their playing stats.  Whilst they are a midtable team in their league, they do have a good record of winning at home.  They are a side that comfortably score goals, they have a home advantage and when you put all of these into consideration, it does lead you to a prediction of a tough opponent and a very challenging afternoon.

“From our perspective, we have worked well this week. We do have a group of very adaptable players, which is one of the most pleasing aspect of our set-up.

“The players, particularly the newcomers, are adapting to our way of playing and in the recent performances it is starting to show.

“We have a group of players who have a vast range of experiences playing under different styles and managers and changing habits and mindsets to suit our way and to build our own identity has taken its time and to some extent it is still an ongoing process.

“These are all exciting challenges and mini milestones within this season’s timeline.

“Squad wise, we also have invested in a bigger squad this year and in recent times we are really noticing the benefits.  With recent injuries to (striker) Jack Midson and (centre-half) Jahmal Howlett-Mundle, whom are two key players for us, we have been able to cater for their absences, which is pleasing.

“We respect each competition and always prepare one game at a time.  Even though we rotate personnel to balance the minutes amongst our players, the preparation is always the same.

“However, The FA Vase competition as a strong Step Five team is a rather different and unique opportunity.

“Unique in a sense that it is not often (at our level) where we are part of a national competition and we go into a national competition with as good of a chance as any team.  This unique opportunity is less attainable at Step Four and above due to the nature of The FA Trophy and FA Cup where teams from higher leagues come into the same competition.”

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Sheerwater  v  Sheppey United
The Buildbase FA Vase Second Round
Saturday 20 November 2021
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Eastwood Leisure Centre, Albert Drive, Woking, Surrey GU21 5RF