Adams high­lights the im­por­tance of FA Cup cash to a club ‘like Ply­mouth Argyle’

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Sport - BY CHRIS ERRINGTON

The fi­nan­cial re­wards of a suc­cess­ful FA Cup are ‘vi­tal’ to a club such as Ply­mouth Argyle, man­ager Derek Adams has ad­mit­ted.

The Pil­grims will take their first step in the com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son when they play Steve­nage, who are eighth in League Two, at Home Park this af­ter­noon.

Two years ago, Argyle made a sub­stan­tial sum of money af­ter play­ing Liver­pool twice in the FA Cup third round.

Both ties were tele­vised live and from the in­come that the Pil­grims they re­ceived they used part of it to sub­stan­tially up­grade their train­ing ground fa­cil­i­ties.

The prize money in the FA Cup this sea­son has been in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly so the re­wards are even greater now.

For ex­am­ple, the win­ners of the 40 first-round ties this week­end will re­ceive £36,000 in prize money as op­posed to £18,000 pre­vi­ously.

In the sec­ond round, it has risen from £27,000 to £54,000 and in round three it has gone from £67,500 to £135,500.

So there is ev­ery in­cen­tive for Argyle to make as much progress as pos­si­ble in the com­pe­ti­tion. Adams said: “It’s vi­tal. We are ob­vi­ously com­pet­ing against teams that are far wealth­ier than us and I think that any money we can gen­er­ate will help us move the foot­ball club along.

“We have got a grand­stand that needs to be re­fur­bished, and we have got a train­ing fa­cil­ity that we im­proved af­ter the Liver­pool games, which was hugely ben­e­fi­cial to the foot­ball club.

“We have added a num­ber of things with that money to try and ben­e­fit us.”

Adams ad­mit­ted that the train­ing-ground up­grade would prob­a­bly not have hap­pened had it not been for the two money-spin­ning FA Cup ties against Liver­pool.

He said: “When I first came to the foot­ball club the train­ing pitches were in a ter­ri­ble state.

“Now we have got a brand new fence, we have got drainage on the top and bot­tom pitches, a sprin­kler sys­tem on the top pitch, and we have got water to the bot­tom pitch.

“At this mo­ment in time, we are get­ting a bore hole in to re­duce the amount of water bills that we pay, so we are im­prov­ing it all the time.

“It’s im­por­tant for the foot- ball club that we keep on mak­ing small steps.”

Steve­nage have won their last two league games, 2-0 away to Chel­tenham Town and 3-2 at home to Old­ham Ath­letic. That leaves them only three points be­hind third-placed Colch­ester United.

Adams said: “They have done well in League Two this year, push­ing to­wards the playoffs.

“They have got a num­ber of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers, who we have come up against over the sea­sons.”

Steve­nage were beaten 4-0 away to AFC Wim­ble­don in a Check­a­trade Tro­phy group game on Tues­day – but man­ager Dino Maam­ria made a num­ber of changes to his team.

Adams said: “They rested a lot of play­ers the other night so they will be coming here try­ing to cause an up­set. We un­der­stand that.

“We have come off a num­ber of very good per­for­mances against very good teams, and we are at home.

“We will be tak­ing the game to them first and fore­most.”

Argyle have re­duced ad­mis­sion prices for the first-round tie, with un­der-18s be­ing ad­mit­ted for £1.

DAVE ROWNTREE/PPAUK

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