GUTTEDBUTPROUD

Late Tackle Football Magazine - - CLUBS GO FOR GLORY -

WHEN the na­tion’s top teams en­ter the FA Cup in the new year, chances are they will take the op­por­tu­nity to rest some of their star play­ers. Un­like the old days, the FA Cup is way be­hind the Cham­pi­ons League and Pre­mier League in im­por­tance for the elite. But for hum­ble Non-League teams, it ap­pears just as pre­cious as ever. For the smaller clubs, the dream is to get to the first round and land a plum tie. For the big­ger ones, there’s the tan­ta­lis­ing thought of reach­ing round three and tak­ing on one of the coun­try’s fat-cats. Han­well would have been ec­static if they could have reached the first round proper for the first time in their his­tory. “The com­pe­ti­tion is pres­ti­gious and we all dream of do­ing well in it,” said co-boss Chris Moore. “As a Non-League player, and now as a Non-League man­ager, I al­ways dreamed of just get­ting to that First Round, be­ing in the draw and see­ing my team on Match of the Day. It wasn’t to be this year, maybe next year.” None­the­less, it was still a cup run to re­mem­ber for Han­well. They beat two sides from a higher level – Pot­ters Bar Town and Low­est­oft Town – and banked al­most £18,000 in prize money be­fore crash­ing out on penal­ties against Leather­head. Moore, who man­ages the side in part­ner­ship with Wayne Carter, said: “I’m not go­ing to stand here and pre­tend it’s not heart­break­ing. We’re gut­ted, ev­ery­one’s gut­ted – it’s the FA Cup – but the boys shouldn’t un­der­es­ti­mate how well they’ve done. “It’s what I said to them on the pitch at the end of the game af­ter the penal­ties - ‘Don’t be down, don’t be down­beat be­cause we’ve equalled the club’s record in this com­pe­ti­tion and we’ve beaten two sides in the league above us. Be proud of your­selves – my­self and Carts are proud of what you’ve done’.” Moore and Carter are in their first sea­son at the Han­well helm and the for­mer be­lieves there is no rea­son why his troops shouldn’t be look­ing up­wards. “It’s about the group and we’ve got the group right” said the 38-year-old. “They are all ca­pa­ble of play­ing higher. “Some­times you can beat a higher league team and it’s a one-off, but they’ve con­sis­tently beaten and out­played higher league teams.” As they re­turn to re­al­ity, the prize money and pro­file the Cup has given them is a much-needed boost. Moore added: “The £18,000 in prize money is fan­tas­tic for the club and the chair­man (Bob Fisher) hasn’t stopped smil­ing. “He said it’s the big­gest crowd (366) they’ve had for a com­pet­i­tive game since they’ve been here, so that in it­self and the prize money is fan­tas­tic.”

Spirit: Han­well af­ter their spot-kick agony

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