Blyth Spartans manager Harry Dunn and his team will make the round trip to League Two side Bournemouth tomorrow, and will be hoping they can progress to the 3rd round of the FA Cup, where they will be in the pot with the big boys.
Oh, and the game is being broadcast live on TV around the world.
Blyth Spartan’s Felton and manager Harry Dunn
Blyth reached the FA Cup fifth round in the 1977/78 season after beating Chesterfield and Stoke City before Wrexham knocked the minnows out in a replay at St James’ Park.
Dunn wants to repeat those feats again this season as he told BBC Radio Newcastle today:
“It is a little bit of extra pressure but I’ve been through into the first and second rounds of the FA Cup before so I’m a bit more streetwise at this level,”
“It’s great for the club, and the players who did it in 1978 were great players and great men, and that’s what you try to get through to your players.”
“On Saturday our players are going to have to be men, we’re going to be playing in front of 5,000 of their supporters who’ll get behind their team and the pressure will be on.”
Graham Fenton, 34, is the former Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City striker and returned to the north east recently and thinks it’s the best thing he has done.
“This is probably the highlight of my FA Cup career,” “Pretty much since I’ve been here it’s rejuvenated my love of the game, I had a bad time for six or seven years but the last three or four years have been enjoyable.”
“If I can pass a bit of knowledge onto one or two players then it’s all worthwhile and the longer this cup run can go on then the more successful we’ll be looking.”
Many of Blyth’s players have part-time jobs to supplement their income of course, but they are all ready for tomorrow’s game which is being broadcast live here in the US and around the world, and follows Newcastle’s game at Middlesbrough, which is also being broadcast live.
Obviously some Geordie over here has been tinkering with the fixtures.
Manager Dunn continued:
“We’re going to make sure they get well looked after on the way down, we’ve got a top-class bus, we’re stopping in a top-class hotel and they’ll be in bed early on Friday night,”
“There certainly be no alcohol before Saturday’s game, most amateur footballers have a beer after the game but we’ve asked them to cut the drinks out and then give themselves a chance this week.”
“They’ve never been in a situation like this before and it’s a difficult situation for them to be in because the press are here and people want interviews with them, I just hope they take everything in their stride and enjoy it.”
“There’s a lot of people when they get in the limelight and try to be clever with it or shun it completely but the lads have got to go with it and enjoy it because it might never happen again.”
We wish the Blyth Spartans side the very best of luck tomorrow.
And trust they will be in the pot for the FA Cup 3rd round draw, where they could get Man United, or even a more difficult draw – Newcastle United – in the next round.
We’ll have our own report of the Blyth game tomorrow.
Go for it lads!