AFTER CREATING history in the FA Cup last season, Guiseley are dreaming of going one better in 2018-19 – and being quids in too.
The Lions’ adventure in 2017-18 may have comprehensively ended at Mansfield Town’s Field Mill home by virtue of a 3-0 defeat last December in a second-round exit, but the Nethermoor men were afforded plenty of kudos after reaching the round two for the first time ever.
Now, the aim is to make that one huge leap further and face one of the big boys in the third round in early January.
Admittedly, that remains some way off with Guiseley’s cup odyssey starting in tomorrow’s second qualifying round date at Northern Counties East League outfit Staveley MW.
But the financial sweetener for the Lions arrives in the form of a handy £9,000 bonus in prize money, if they progress.
Joint-manager Marcus Bignot, whose own memorable cup moments are mainly restricted to the League Cup, said: “Every year it is an opportunity for some clubs to tell a story and players to make a name for themselves.
“Hopefully, we can get to the third round and get that dream tie away from home at a Premier League club; everything we wish for and dream of.
“But even at this stage, the prize money is good and has been doubled now.
“The winners on Saturday will receive £9,000. The round after that is £15,000 and the one after is £25,000. By the time you reach the first round, you have made £50,000 in prize money, never mind gate receipts.
“It is an important competition for everyone involved at non-league level. The club had a good run last year and one round further will be nicely.”
On his own cup memories, he added: “My main one is of the League Cup when we (Bristol Rovers) knocked Everton out over two legs and Paul Gascoigne played and I scored in the home leg.
“In management, we took Yeovil to an FA Cup replay with Solihull and I remember I left Grimsby prior to a replay and the boys won on penalties.”
Given the cup incentives on offer, it should come as no surprise that Bignot has stressed that Guiseley will not be treating tomorrow’s tie lightly.
The Lions, within striking distance of the National League North play-offs following a morale-boosting eight-match unbeaten streak, will forego the urge to rest players against their Derbyshire-based hosts.
Bignot added: “It is important that we continue the momentum – even if we had a (big) squad to choose from.
“After not having six players available for the FC United game, we have lost another two in that game.
“But even if those eight players were available to us, it is important we carry that on because of the form and momentum we have.
“It will be a full-strength team, dictated by the injury list.”
Potentially adding to the Lions’ casualty count are Cliff Moyo and Lewis Walters, who came off last weekend.
“I don’t expect any of the (previously) injured players to be back, but fingers crossed we will see about the two from last weekend.” Bignot observed.
“We picked up a few more on Saturday and we will give them as much time as possible to get fit. Rather than adding to the squad, it is a case of ‘can we keep the squad from last week?’.
“Staveley will be confident and are in good form like ourselves. We are under no illusions and they will be expecting to win the game.”
Farsley Celtic also have cup giant-killing business on their minds when they entertain National League North outfit Southport.