Burgess Hill Town boss Ian Chapman is urging his FA Cup battlers to make history when they host Dover Athletic on Saturday.

Victory for the Hillians at Leylands Park would see them reach the first round proper of BHTthe Cup for the first time in their 134-year existence.




Chapman said: “It’s a huge game for us. The players have got a massive opportunity here. For some, it’ll be like getting to the FA Cup final itself if we win.”

With Dover currently ninth in the National League, two divisions above Burgess Hill, Chapman knows his team have their work cut out.

The former Brighton defender said “The nice thing next week is we’re the underdogs. The expectation is Dover will beat us, they’re under pressure on that side of things”.

“We can out, enjoy ourselves and play football, but at the same time we want to give a good account of ourselves. We don’t want to get absolutely smashed, we want to give Dover a good game”.

Despite his Ryman Premier outfit currently being on an 11-match unbeaten run, Chapman admitted “We know we’ve got be exceptional and they’ve got to be out of form for us to proceed, but it’s happened so many times in football, it can happen”.

As well as the glory of reaching the first round, the mid-Sussex club also have their eyes on the financial rewards that a good FA Cup run can bring.

“The money side is massive. Already we’ve earnt a nice sum from the cup (winning three games) it hasn’t quite covered the budget but it’s gone roughly a fifth towards it” said the former Brighton defender.

“Financially the rewards are huge for clubs like us, our little clubs in the non-league. Speak to any chairman and it’s massive to their season. Win a couple of FA cup games and it’s extra to help run the football club”.

Chapman went on to add “Our bread and butter is the league, but the two (Cup and League) do go hand in hand”.

“Last season we had a poor season and a poor cup run. The season before that we had our best ever run in the FA cup and went onto win the league. I believe by having a good cup run it all helps”.

Interview: Shan Gambling (@shangambling)


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