12:00PM, Friday 06 August 2021
Derek Sweetman says Holyport FC will ‘give everything they’ve got’ to overcome 10 years of misfortune in the FA Cup when they face Ascot United this evening (Friday).
Despite boss Sweetman’s fruitful tenure at the Summerleaze – notably guiding Port to the Hellenic Division One East title, Floodlit Cup, and Bluefin Challenge Cup victories – his side have never progressed past the extra preliminary round in the FA Cup, having made their debut in the 2010-11 season.
Speaking to the Advertiser earlier this week, Sweetman was optimistic that this could be the year of change for his team and is excited to see Port play in the competition again after two years away due to the pandemic.
“When I first came to Holyport, 10 years ago, we played in the FA Cup for the first time,” he said.
“I remember we lost away, although I can’t recall against who, and ever since then we’ve fallen at the first hurdle.
“We haven’t played in the competition for the last two seasons because of COVID, so it is exciting to be back and I’m hoping our luck can turn.
“Some of our lads have never played in the FA Cup before so it will be a first time for them which is amazing.
“It’s always a privilege, and an honour, to play in that competition and there’s not many people in the country that can say they have done that.
“Also, it’s the only time in the football season where we can actually say we’re on the same level as Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham etc, because we’re playing in the FA Cup this weekend.”
Sweetman added: “We’re playing Ascot, and fortunately we know all about them.
“They’ve got some good young players, their management team are excellent, and they are a team with healthy finances.
“I’m expecting a very tough fixture, as I would with any side at this time of the year, but it’s a game we’re relishing.
“We will give everything we’ve got like we always do, and hopefully we can pick something up from it.
“Financially it will be a good evening for us too because we will receive half the gate money. Even if it’s 50 quid in total, it’s 20 quid we didn’t have yesterday.
“If we come up short and lose the match then we will re-address things in training. But if we win it, we will take a few days off to come down to Earth with the glory of winning in the FA Cup.”
Kick-off is 7:45pm at the Racecourse Ground.
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