Manager Darren Fogg reckons the Peterborough & District League representative side face the toughest test possible in the first round of the FA Inter-League Cup tomorrow (October 7).
Fogg’s 16-man squad travel to take on the Isle of Man League, Their opponents were winners of the 2013-14 competition after losing in the final in the 2011-12 edition.
The locals have never progressed past the first round and Fogg admits they will be big underdogs again when stepping into the grand surrounds of The Bowl - a 3,000 capacity venue in Douglas - for a 6pm kick-off.
“It’s a case of going into the unknown,” said Fogg. “But we’re told the standard of Step 7 football in the Isle of Man is probably similar to what you’d find at Step 5 and Step 6 around here.
“It’s a mammoth task - probably the hardest draw going - but it’s also a one-off game of football and we’d love to make it past the first round for the first time.
“It’s essential we start well and don’t find ourselves behind early on. Hopefully we can then grow into the game and be in a position to get a result.
“The build-up has gone well with a very pleasing friendly win against a strong Cambs League side and I’m sure the lads will all enjoy the experience.
“The game is at the main sporting facility on the Isle of Man.
“It’s not every day that lads at our level get the chance to play in a proper stadium and hopefully they rise to the occasion.”
The squad face a 5.30am departure from Peterborough for a coach journey to Gatwick Airport ahead of a 10.25am flight over to the Isle of Man.
They are then staying overnight before travelling back on Sunday.
Andrew Bradley, who guided Peterborough Sports Reserves to the Premier Division title last season, is Fogg’s assistant. Pete Foskett is physiotherapist.
Goalkeeper Lee Brooks had to withdraw after it was discovered he had been on a contract with Wisbech Town earlier in his career. Ryan Venters, of AFC Stanground Sports, has been called up in his place.
THE PETERBOROUGH & DISTRICT LEAGUE SQUAD: Lea Jordan (Whittlesey Ath), Ryan Venters (AFC Stanground Sports), Mark Oxenham (Pboro Sports Res), Chris Hansford (Netherton), Gareth Knowles (AFC Stanground Sports), Kev Holt (Pboro Sports Res), Callum Madigan (Netherton), Kev Brader (Pboro Sports Res), Tom Flatters (Pboro Sports Res), Mark Baines (Netherton), Aaron Dunmore (AFC Stanground Sports), Joe Reed (Leverington), Dan Woods (Moulton Harrox), Scott Spearink (ICA Sports), Luke Ball (Stamford Lions), Jamie Darlow (Ramsey).
Because of the inter-league match there are only three Peterborough Premier Division fixtures tomorrow
Sawtry v Sutton Bridge United, Thorney v Holbeach United Res, Warboys Town v Langtoft Utd.