Min­nows Oaks in dream­land and tar­get­ing Darts

The Non-League Football Paper - - NEWS - By Matt Bad­cock

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.”

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