Nantwich Town are among a number of non-league teams targeting an upset and a money-spinning FA Cup run this weekend ahead of their first round clash against Fylde.
Manager David Cooke is relishing this weekend’s big FA Cup test against Jim Bentley’s National League outfit.
The Dabbers reached the first-round for only the third time in their history when they defeated National League North side King’s Lynn in the last qualifying round.
The two teams clash in the first round at the Weaver Stadium and Cooke says he loves big challenges and tomorrow will certainly provide him with one.
Bentley left his post at Morecambe after more than 17 years to take on a Fylde side struggling at the bottom end of the National League table.
Nantwich are doing well two leagues below in the BetVictor Premier Division and Cooke believes his players are capable of causing what would be classed as an upset.
He said: “They are a full-time club playing two leagues above us. They have a manager with a lot of experience and who is keen to do well.
“We’re playing in the first round of the FA Cup, one of the oldest competitions in the world and who knows, if we manage to beat Fylde and then get a favourable draw in the second round, who knows. Manchester United away in the third round? Now that would be something to look forward to.
“It’s going to be a big test for all of us, not just the players, but for myself too. I’ve got to try to do better than their manager does, out-think him in terms of systems and how we set up, but that’s my job and I love it.
“We are on a decent little run at the moment, we’ve only lost the one game in the last seven so yes, I’m happy with our form.”
The players were put through their paces during a training session on Tuesday night and were in again last night. Cooke says the week has been going well for them.
“Every team, even those playing in the Premier League, has its weakness, we’ve just got to find that weak spot in Fylde and exploit it.”
Three of Nantwich’s current players, Sean Cooke, Caspar Hughes and Josh Langley have played for tomorrow’s opponents. Langley played more than 100 games for Fylde and captained them as they made their way through the leagues.
“They will be keen to do well against their former club,” said Cooke, “but they have a couple of former Nantwich players, in particular, Matty Kosylo, who had a successful time when he was here.”
“We won’t be doing anything differently, I’m not a big believer in changing pre-match preparations. We’ll keep the same routine before the game, just fine tune a few things and then hopefully get out there and do the club proud.”