IF anyone had said a couple of years ago that Guiseley would be playing at a ground that has staged international football in the past within a couple of seasons, they would probably have received an incredulous look.
But that is the reality for the Lions, who make the trip this evening to the Racecourse Ground to face Wrexham, a proud club who can also boast some famous European nights at the fabled stadium.
Wrexham have produced many a cup upset at the Racecourse as the likes of Arsenal will testify and it will also represent a fair old shock if Guiseley – on the back of three straight losses and no goals – can defy the odds tonight.
But manager Mark Bower is urging his side to embrace tonight’s test and occasion as they aim to ensure that Welsh football’s rise is temporarily stopped for 90 minutes at least.
Bower said: “There should be a big crowd in for that one and Welsh football is on a high at the moment and, under Gary Mills, Wrexham play some really good football.
“They get the ball down and pass it and are an attractive team to watch.
“We will go there on the big stage and it is another good one for ours.
“It’s a big ground, but we have a lot of lads who have Football League experience and they will need to use that experience of playing in front of big stages and in front of big crowds.
“No-one expects us to go there and get anything, but we expect to go down there and give a good account of ourselves.”
Bower is savvy enough to know that there was always going to be a stage in Guiseley’s maiden National League campaign that the club would suffer a dip in results.
They are currently experiencing one at the minute, with tonight’s trip being the fourth and final assignment of an arduous quartet of fixtures which has also incorporated matches against Lincoln City, Macclesfield Town and leaders Forest Green.
Those sides have all picked up maximum points against Guiseley, who have failed to score in all three games, but Bower is not losing heart at this early stage.
The Lions chief cut an angry figure after the 3-0 weekend loss at Forest Green, but it was nothing to do with his side’s efforts, more the decision-making of the officials - not for the first time this term.
With his anger having abated a little, he is hoping for a bit more luck on that score today, while ordering his side to remain resolute.
He said: “We knew there would be a spell where results and things went against us and the fixture list hasn’t helped us in playing some of the bigger and better sides in the league.
“But we have got to stay strong - this is what we are here for - and dig it out. No-one will give us a chance, but we have got to go there and believe we can match them and get a result.”
Elsewhere, tonight Liversedge visit AFC Emley in the second round of the NCEL League Cup and Thackley go to Albion Sports in the Premier Division.
Bradford Park Avenue welcome Salford City in an FA Cup third qualifying round replay.