Ahead of their historic FA Cup Preliminary Round Longlevens AFC captain Craig Martin has admitted that his side go into the game without the pressure they were under in the previous round.
A 4-2 Extra Preliminary Round home win against Bedfont and Feltham set up a tie at Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central Farnborough for the NonLeagueDaily.com TeamSnap ‘Search for a Giantkillers’ club.
Preparations for the big game have gone well.
The Levens built on their maiden FA Cup win with an impressive 5-0 away win at Brackley Town Saints in the Hellenic League last Saturday.
Tuesday night brought a “productive” session according to Martin with the tie between the two clubs just hours away Martin believes that after the pressure of hosting the club’s first ever FA Cup tie against Bedfont and Feltham, an away tie at a club ranked higher up the league pyramid will work in his side’s favour.
He said “Preparations have been great and everybody in the squad and around the club seems relaxed about Saturday.
Obviously the game in the last round was the club’s first in the FA Cup and we were at home, so there was a lot of pressure on everybody.
There isn’t that pressure on us going into the game, we are underdogs and that makes us a bit more relaxed.
The manager has watched them and they are a big club.
But we have a good footballing side and we are confident”
At thirty two Martin brings experience to the Levens lineup, something that will be crucial in the tie against Farnborough.
The Hellenic League club will certainly be tested with former Football League strikers Jamie Cureton (pictured) and Dennis Oli leading the line for the Boro.
But as Martin looked forward to their trip to Hampshire, he described the game as “on another level” to anything he has played before during his career.
“It is definitely one of the biggest, if not the biggest I have played in during my career” he admitted.
“I played against an Aston Villa all-stars when I was sixteen and that was a nice experience but this is totally different.
“It’s on another level.
“For the club it is amazing and for myself, as captain, it’s so special.
“I am thirty two now so I am getting on a bit and I have worked hard over the summer to get even fitter.
“I just want to enjoy the game against Farnborough and see what happens”
Levens boss James French made a trip to Farnborough in midweek to see their impressive 4-0 win over Egham Town.
However, his captain revealed that French will keep any information gathered on their FA Cup opponents to himself, preferring to ask his players to “focus on ourselves” ahead of the game.
“The manager has watched them but he kept things to himself.
“He will tell us a little bit about what he saw from their game ahead of kick off but he won’t want to over-complicate things.
“He will encourage us to go out, focus on ourselves, play our own game and enjoy the occasion”
“The coaching staff are all ex-players, we are all singing from the same hymn sheet and hopefully that will show on Saturday”
Interview: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Images: Longlevens AFC / www.actionimages.com