BOSS John Deacey has stoked the fire ahead of tomorrow’s FA Trophy derby – reminding Bradford Park Avenue and Guiseley they are four steps away from Wembley.
Deacey’s Avenue will make the short trip to Nethermoor for tomorrow’s second-round encounter as the West Yorkshire rivals lock horns for the second time in six days.
And Deacey has been quick to move on from Monday night’s 3-0 reversal in Skrill North with all eyes now on tomorrow’s last 32 cup clash. Deacey knows Mark Bower’s in-form hosts will be seen as strong favourites – especially with Avenue missing suspended duo James Knowles and captain Nathan Hotte who both serve one-match bans.
But the Avenue boss says his men will be doing their damndest to pull of a mini upset with the visiting boss firmly in favour of what the FA Trophy has to offer. Deacey told the YEP: “The FA Cup is the big one for the club financially but the FA Trophy is the more realistic one where you have got more chance of getting further and you’ve got more chance of getting to Wembley.
“We’d never get to Wembley in the FA Cup but in the FA Trophy you have got an outside chance and after this round you are in the last 16.
“This is a good chance for Guiseley or Bradford Park Avenue to be there and it means there will be a Yorkshire name there in the last 16.
“It’s a great trophy and it’s good for the supporters as it’s one that you have got a realistic chance of doing well in.”
Guiseley are odds on with some bookmakers ahead of tomorrow’s encounter – five days on from Avenue’s 3-0 setback at the Horsfall which Deacey labelled “disgraceful and “unacceptable” in the game’s aftermath. But the Avenue boss says Monday night’s loss is in the past with the Bradford chief preparing to tell his men to savour tomorrow’s occasion.
Deacey reasoned: “I’ll obviously be looking for a better performance than on Monday night but I’ll just be telling them to go out there and enjoy themselves.
“Guiseley are a good side who are going well and Mark has done fantastic job there.
“He has brought in some shrewd signings and they are going in the right direction.”
“It will be very tough but you’ve just got to go there and there and perform.”
Deacey also admits his men have hardly been blessed with luck in this year’s cup draws with Avenue having been paired against Guiseley, Harrogate Town and Kidderminster Harriers – twice – in either the FA Cup or FA Trophy this term. But Deacey knows even drawing likes the of Kidderminster is not necessarily a barrier to success.
“We have had some horrendous draws but we seem to have done well against very good opposition,” said Deacey, whose men remain without Martin Drury with a cartilage problem.
“We’ve had some hard tasks but we knocked out maybe one of the best teams in non-league football in the last round in Kidderminster.
“It shows you what can happen.”
Avenue knocked out Harrogate Town last month meaning Simon Weaver’s are in Skrill North action tomorrow at home to Worcester City.
Town, who sit eighth, are seeking their third league win on the bounce against a Gloucester side who are fourth-bottom.
As a Christmas special, admission is free for under-18s and just £1 for adults.