Poole Town FC manager Tommy Killick believes that his side are confident ahead their FA Cup qualifying tie at Hayes and Yeading tomorrow. The side travel to West London knowing that a win would see the club in the FA Cup first round proper, 35 years since they last did in 1984.
The Dolphins sit third in the Southern League South Premier, and Killick believes this has given them a boost ahead of the match. He said: “Confidence always plays a big part in football. I feel individually and collectively we have it at the moment. This should stand us in good stead for Saturday.”
Hayes and Yeading won the Isthmian South Central Division last year with a huge talley of 93 points and just a staggering three defeats. Although their promotion to step seven of the English footballing pyramid has been rather mediocre as of yet, as they sit 15th in the same division as the Dolphins.
Killick is good friends with the Hayes and Yeading boss Paul Hughes, and commented on them helping each other so far this campaign. He said: “up until this point we have been giving each other information about other teams and swapping videos. I have seen a reasonable amount of them but they have changed their team quite a lot as the season has progressed. I think they are a much better side than the table reflects.”
Poole reached the final round of qualification last season but lost at Haringey Borough. The side will be determined to go one better this time, and Killick believes his men are better prepared. He said: “We were frustrated with how things went last year. We went into the game with a very decimated squad but we are in much better shape in terms of availability and injuries this year. The players need to take advantage of that.”
So far in the cup the Poole have beaten Dicot Town, National South side club Hungerford Town, and most recently a 2-0 victory at Tooting and Mitcham of the Isthmian South Central Division. Hayes and Yeading have beaten Haywards Heath and Badshot Lea en route, before winning a nine goal thriller 5-4 at home to league rivals Hendon.
With teams coming into the qualifying draw from the National League, both sides will feel fortunate to have drawn a club from their own division. Killick said: “Both will think it is a good draw. They will think they have a reasonable chance of beating us and we think we have a good chance of beating them. So it is a good opportunity.”
Qualification for the FA Cup first round proper may mean the club get to host a club from League One or League Two in the first round. But Killick understands it is important not to get carried away. He said: “It would be a brilliant achievement and would have financial benefits. But to what degree it is an achievement would depend on the draw we get. We could get through but then be knocked out by a National League South side and then other than the financial benefits it wouldn’t be an as huge occasion. It is a two-stage process. We have to win on Saturday and we have to have a bit of luck in the draw.”
The game kicks off tomorrow at 3pm at the SKYEx Community Stadium in Hayes.