Hayden Bird, manager of Ryman League Division One South club Merstham, believes his side can turn a few heads in…..
….the FA Cup this season.
The Moatsiders begin their cup campaign at the Preliminary Round stage this week, with Southern Counties East League side Deal Town the visitors to Moatside.
It is a match Merstham will be expected to win as the team from the higher level, but Bird believes this can be just the start of a good run for his side, with Corinthian-Casuals or Erith Town waiting in the First Qualifying Round.
He said: “Last season was a disappointing one for us in the cups. But we know there are financial implications for the club involved with a cup run and we would like to go on one this year.
“A good run can generate a lot of money and that is something we want to do for the club.”
And Bird, who has managed at Conference South level before in his managerial career, feels that his side is capable of producing one or two shocks in the prestigious competition.
He said: “I know that there is not too much difference between some of the leagues.
“You look at Dulwich Hamlet, who won our league last year and have started well in the Ryman Premier.
“I think we can go on a good cup run this year and I think we can turn a few heads.”
An example of a team that has produced cup heroics in recent seasons is Merstham’s league rivals Hastings United, who last year as a Ryman Premier side, made it to the Third Round of the FA Cup before losing out to Middlesbrough.