Peterborough Sports boss Jimmy Dean will attempt to fulfil a burning ambition tomorrow (October 19).
Dean leads the city side into battle in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup when they travel to National League big-guns AFC Fylde.
And the talismanic boss has urged his Sports men – who are in terrific form after going unbeaten in their last 10 games in all competitions – not to freeze on the big stage.
“It’s a monumental task, but one we can’t wait to get our teeth into,” said Dean.
“I’ve never been involved in the first round proper of the FA Cup and it’s a lifetime ambition of mine to get there.
“We now have the chance to do that, but obviously the draw could have been much more kind to us.
“The difference between the clubs is far greater than just two steps. AFC Fylde are a full-time club who won the FA Trophy and reached the play-off final for a place in the Football League last season.
“They also have an £18 million stadium which is by far and away the best facility I’ve ever seen in non-league football. I went up there last week to have a look at them for myself and the place is incredible.
“It’s a dream to now be able to take my team there, but we’re not just going for a day out. We can’t allow ourselves to be rabbits in the headlights. We have to show everyone what we’re about at Peterborough Sports.
“There are certain to be shocks in the FA Cup on Saturday and we must believe we can cause one of them.”
Opponents AFC Fylde currently sit in the National League relegation zone and are without a manager following the surprise sacking of Dave Challinor last weekend.
Challinor masterminded their rise from Step Four with three promotions in the space of six years – a climb almost as spectacular as that of Sports who have gone up three times in four seasons.
“Fylde are in a bit of trouble at the moment after losing a few games and sacking their manager,” added Dean.
“That man did an amazing job to take them up three divisions, win a major trophy and get to within one game of being promoted to the Football League. I’ve done a lot at Peterborough Sports and I would be extremely unhappy to be treated in the way Dave has been by Fylde.”
Sports will travel to the North-West tomorrow evening (Friday) and stay overnight in a hotel to prepare for the game.
While reaching the first round proper would be a new experience for Dean, a number of his players have been there before.
In fact star man Dion Sembie-Ferris and full-back Johnny Herd have both featured in the third round for Colchester and Southend respectively – the latter playing home and away against Chelsea.
Saturday, October 19
Fourth qualifying round: AFC Fylde v Peterborough Sports.
NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE
South East Division: Spalding United v Stocksbridge, Wisbech Town v Glossop North End.
Division One Central: Kidlington v Yaxley.
UNITED countieS LEAGUE
Premier Division Central: Peterborough Northern Star v Loughborough University, Quorn v Holbeach United, Rothwell v Pinchbeck United, Wellingborough Town v Deeping Rangers.
Division One: Aylestone v Whittlesey Athletic , Birstall v Bourne Town.
EASTErn countieS LEAGUE
Premier Division Central: Fakenham v March Town.