THERE’LL BE NO CURFEW FOR US!
DAVE ANDERSON says Chertsey Town fans can borrow Northern Ireland’s ‘Dare to Dream’ slogan – but he won’t let his players think of Wembley just yet.
The former AFC Wimbledon and Harrow Borough boss’ side are in the FA Vase’s last 16 following a 5-0 win over St Austell.
Now the Curfews have been paired with North West Counties League side Irlam with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.
Anderson knows it’s at this stage that the arch starts to loom on the horizon – but he says they have to be realistic with 15 other sides all desperate to do the same.
“We’re a million miles from Wembley,” Anderson, a regular pundit on The Non-League Show, said. “Listen, as you go up the mountain, the higher you go, the thinner the air gets.
“The one thing I’m comfortable with is I’ve got a squad who are experienced and have all played in big, big games. So they all understand what’s coming and that’s a benefit to us. But we won’t be taking anything lightly that’s for sure.
“The Vase is a great experience for anyone. I’ve been doing it 100 years and I’ve never gone to Irlam. I think it’s brilliant.
“As I always say, supporters dream but we should stay in the real world. It’s good for the supporters – they’re all signing about going to Wembley and that’s brilliant. The Northern Ireland hashtag is Dare to Dream! I might take that! That’s what you want to give the supporters but we also need to be realistic with it, without being boring. We’ve got a couple of big league games before then and we’re still a million miles from Wembley.”
Anderson says his players deserve plenty of praise for how they’ve attacked each challenge this season with his side top of the Combined Counties League Premier division.
“We won 5-0 last week and it was probably a little bit of an injustice to St Austell,” he said. “For half an hour it could have gone either way – they had a good penalty shout turned down and a goal given offside, which was tight, but to be fair to the officials I thought they were excellent on the day.
“At 0-0 it was a really open game. We scored two goals quickly before half-time and what we’ve done as games have gone on is look fitter. We’ve got pace at the top end of the field and we do score in the last half-hour of games.
“But they’ve got a great appetite. We’re on a very good run in the league, we just beat Sutton in the county cup and we’re still in the league cup – we’re in everything but the Christmas raffle!”
Anderson looked set to retire from the dugout but was lured back for one more challenge at the back end of last season before agreeing to stay on.
It seems to be a good decision with just two defeats in 30 games since to put a smile on his face – sort of !
“People talk about budgets and I think there’s a lot of untruths being bandied about,” Anderson said. “I never mind it because I feel that if that’s how they’re reacting then we’re getting into their heads. Our budget is good for the level, but not excessive.
“I’ve been doing it a long time and this dressing room is as together as any I’ve ever had. I’ll tell you how good it is – I’ve nearly enjoyed it!”
EYES ON THE PRIZE: Dave Anderson is fully focused on taking Chertsey all the way to Wembley