DAVID CON­NOLLY

Our guest colum­nist on the at­ti­tude needed in the FA Cup first round

The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

AWORD of ad­vice for Foot­ball League play­ers as they pre­pare for FA Cup ties against Non-League op­po­si­tion next week­end – put your egos to one side.

If your at­ti­tude isn’t right, then you could well get turned over. You have to know what to ex­pect – in the dress­ing rooms you might not have room to swing a cat, the show­ers might be cold, the pitch might not be what you are used to, the fans will be right on top of you and you will be able to hear ev­ery­thing they say, you might get booted and kicked from pil­lar to post, it might be a more phys­i­cal, aerial game.

You need to be ready for ev­ery even­tu­al­ity. Get your mind­set right and you will have a good chance of earn­ing a place in the sec­ond round.

Break

There are some great ties to look for­ward to next week­end, start­ing with my old club AFC Wim­ble­don go­ing to sev­enth tier Haringey Bor­ough on Fri­day night in front of the BBC cam­eras.

The game is at White Hart Lane but Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur aren’t in­volved. Coles Park is the home of Haringey Bor­ough and they will be fired up to turn over the Dons.

This game will be a wel­come break from league ac­tion for both sides and I’d like to think the Dons will be well pre­pared to cope with fac­ing NonLeague op­po­si­tion.

Haringey isn’t go­ing to be too dis­sim­i­lar to Kingsmeadow and it wasn’t that long ago that AFC Wim­ble­don were play­ing at that level. They know what to ex­pect.

Fel­low sev­enth tier side Met Po­lice host Newport County from League Two in an­other in­trigu­ing tie, whilst Na­tional League Maiden­head United host high-fly­ing Portsmouth, an­other of my old clubs, from League One.

Pre-week­end, Maiden­head had con­ceded 13 goals in two games and had lost five league matches in a row, so an up­set seems un­likely. How­ever, for­mer Ham­mers leg­end and Maiden­head man­ager Alan Devon­shire will be hop­ing he can burst the Pom­pey bub­bles.

An­other League One high-flyer, Peter­bor­ough United, face Brom­ley on their 3G Hayes Lane pitch and play­ing on a syn­thetic sur­face can be a lev­eller.

Na­tional League South side Hamp­ton & Rich­mond Bor­ough wel­come Old­ham Ath­letic to the Bev­eree to­mor­row week. As a lo­cal, I think the place will be rock­ing and an­other crack­ing Cup tie looks on the cards.

When you’re a boy, you dream of play­ing in the fi­nal, but it wasn’t meant to be for me in my play­ing ca­reer.

For some Non-League teams next week­end, knock­ing out a league club could be their cup fi­nal. I don’t think there will be many shocks, but you just never know…

PIC­TURE: PA Im­ages

GI­ANTS: Portsmouth will need to be on their game against Maiden­head and, in­set, Haringey’s Coles Park home

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