STOREY’S UCK FOR THE CUP!
Minnows Oaks in dreamland and targeting Darts
AFC UCKFIELD are making club history in the FA Cup – and it’s helping give their Oak home a bit of tender love and care.
Anthony Storey’s squad have reached the second round qualifying for the first time and will welcome National League South big guns Dartford on Saturday.
It’s a tie that has captured the imagination in the Sussex town and they’re hoping for a bumper crowd. But there’s also been the added benefit of FA Cup prize money which has helped refurbish their clubhouse and even a warm-up area for the players – and the team are pitching themselves.
“The club’s been desperate for some improvements so, as time has gone on since the start of the season, we’ve managed to re-do the physio room, a little warm-up area for the players, the clubhouse,” player-manager Storey told The NLP.
“A lot of the players are helprilow out with the refurbs – everybody is coming together for the club. On and off the pitch, we’ve got to keep going and making strides in the right direction.
“They’re a great set of lads. We went on a really good run from Christmas last season, I’ve managed to keep most of those boys together and we’ve added one or two this season. They’re a great bunch.
“They fight and scrap for each other, they work for each other and that’s what it’s about at this level. We’ve got to stay together.
“If the facilities are better then the boys and the fans want to stay for an extra beer in the bar, or the boys want to do a bit extra in the gym. That means they’re spending more time together.”
Storey began his career in the Middlesbrough youth set-up alongside former England winger Stewart Downing.
He then had a spell with Dunfermline before moving south to play in Non-League with Lewes, Eastbourne Borough, Basingstoke Town and Tonbridge Angels.
“I had a great few years at Tonbridge under Tommy Waring – that was probably the most enjoyable time I had,” Storey, who also runs the All Stars Sussex academy, said. “He was exceptional and I took a lot from what he did.
“As the legs start packing up a bit you end up coming a little bit lower down. I ended up with the caretaker job at Horsham in the Ryman South and then the Uckfield job came up – this is our third season.”
The Southern Combination side were ten games unbeaten in all competitions ahead of the weekend and Storey wants them to take that confidence into the game with the Darts.
“It’s exciting for the club,” he said. “We just want to give a good account of ourselves. We know we’ve got plenty of legs about us so hopefully we can do just that.”