Manager Darren Fogg has urged his Peterborough & District League representative team to use scathing social media criticism as fuel to create a piece of history.
Fogg’s select side take on the Suffolk & Ipswich League in the first round of the FA Inter-League Cup this Saturday in a fixture being played at Hadleigh United FC.
The PDFL side have never advanced beyond this stage of the national competition and managing that for the first time is their goal despite a host of selection problems in the build-up to the game.
Fogg said: “It’s going to be a difficult task against a strong league, but we’re ready to give our all for the Peterborough & District League.
“Opportunities like this do no come around often and I know the players selected will perform at their best while doing themselves and the league justice.
“I’m extremely disappointed at the many uneducated views of people on social media about the squad, but that is the world we now live in.
“The team talk on Saturday will be very easy for me as everyone has already written us off, but we’re determined to prove them wrong. We’ve never gone beyond the first round and we want to create a piece of history.”
Fogg revealed a number of players declined the opportunity to be part of the squad when approached, while five members of his final 16-man party have also dropped out in recent days.
Netherton United midfielder Mark Baines became ineligible when playing for March Town in the Thurlow Nunn League last week and striker Nick Davey, of Parson Drove, is also not able to play in this competition due to FA rules after being on a contract as a youngster at Norwich City.
Another Parson Drove man Billy Smith (work commitments) and Moulton Harrox ace Joe Townsend (childcare issues) have also cried off this week while a broken foot has ruled out Long Sutton goalkeeper Adam Groves.
Fogg added: “Although the FA rules have meant a couple of players can’t now be involved, I’m disappointed with others who have not committed after initially saying ‘yes’ to being in the squad
“I’ve spoken to more than 30 players in total who were not available for one reason or another, but I’m happy with the squad I have and we’re all looking forward to Saturday.”
Fogg will be assisted by Andrew Bradley with Pete Foskett serving as physio.
PETERBOROUGH & DISTRICT LEAGUE SQUAD
Goalkeeper: Dave Beeny (PNESFC).
Defenders: Chris Down (Netherton), Jonny Clay (Moulton Harrox), Tyler Wright (Parson Drove), Jack Mockford (Parson Drove), Kev Holt (Stilton).
Midfielders: Billy King (Moulton Harrox), Ash Jackson (Netherton), Ben Moore (ICA Sports), Declan Earth (Moulton Harrox), Kieran Hamilton (Parson Drove), Tom Flatters (Stilton).
Attackers: Lewis McManus (Stilton), Dean Giglio (Oundle Tn),