Brackley Town will play their first ever match against a Football League side tomorrow, Saturday, when they go to Gillingham for the first round proper of the FA Cup.
Wins over Gresley FC, Boston United and Barrow AFC have seen Saints to this stage for only the second time in their 123-history – and manager Jon Brady believes his side can get a result at Gillingham if they perform to their absolute best.
He said: “I think if we believe, if we work hard and we play to the best of our ability, then we may have a chance.
“They train day in day out, they’re a professional outfit, Pete Taylor’s a top-class manager. Every man will have to be at full tilt to get anything out of the game, but we’ll go there full of belief and confidence and who knows, sometimes the magic of the FA Cup throws up some strange results.
“We’re going into the unknown. A lot of players aspire to play in the Football league and it’s an opportunity for us to pit our wits against professional players. The pressure’s all on them – they have to win.”
Gillingham have endured a tough start to life in League One after promotion last season, with former England U21 manager Peter Taylor in charge following the sacking of Martin Allen. The Gills are 17th in the table after 15 games.
In contrast, Brackley go into the game full of confidence having only lost once this season. Saints currently lie second in the Conference North.
Brady added: “We’re really looking forward to it. I don’t know too much about them but it’ll be great for us, as a football club, to play a league team in a competition because we’ve never done that before and it’s a great chance for our players to go and test themselves against a League One side.
“We’ve had three in a row at home in the FA Cup, so let’s go and enjoy the experience of playing in a league ground and taking our fans to a league ground. We want to go and do ourselves justice and not just go there to just enjoy the day.
“Let’s go there and make a difference on the day.”
Brackley are hoping to take around 500 fans down to Kent, with three coaches leaving St James Park at 10am.