FA CUP DRAW: ST ALBANS CITY AWAY
St Albans City v Mansfield Town
St Albans are mid table in the Southern League Premier division. They are one league above Slough Town, who we played in the first round last season.
Stags boss Cox warns his side to respect FA Cup minnows
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox has warned his players must respect the opposition for their potentially tricky FA Cup trip to Southern League Premier club St Albans Town or become giantkilling victims
The game will be played at Clarence Park over the weekend of the 9th/10th November.
The Saints ply their trade three levels below Mansfield, but Stags boss Paul Cox warned: “No matter who you play you have to respect the fixture.
“This is one of the sort of games you’d expect at this stage of the competition. All the games will be tight and you have to go out there and earn the right.
“I know people are getting cheesed off with me talking about mindset but this one will be all about mindset.
“I have been a giantkiller in the past at my previous club and we beat some massive clubs. If you are not clued into what it’s all about, that’s what happens.
“It has been good here so far, respecting opposition and going places and grinding out results. We may need to do that again at St Albans.”
He added: “Just look how we pushed Liverpool, one of the biggest clubs in the world, last season in this competition.
“The St Albans of this world are champing at the bit to take someone’s scalp. It’s all about going there, being strong and expecting everything that is going to come our way, the bobbly pitch, a dressing room that is less than brilliant with a wet floor and all the kidology that can affect mindset. We have to plough through that.
“Whether we play well or badly, all that matters is that we are in the hat for the next round.”
Before that Stags have the small matter of a trip to Southend United in League Two on Friday.
By ADRIAN DURHAM
29 October 2013
On Monday night I took my son to watch a game in the Calor League Southern Premier. £12 to get in at St Albans City FC seemed a bit steep until I realised my son got in for free.
And then I found out the club is funded by the money of local businessmen Lawrence Levy and John McGowan, and without their input St Albans City might head the same way as fellow Southern Premier side Hinckley United, wound up in the courts this season with debts of over £200,000.
355 people turned up to watch St Albans beat Hitchin 2-1, the income from that barely covers a fraction of the costs.
This is grassroots football - severely underfunded.
The people running St Albans City have chosen to spend money on a highly qualified coach in Harry Wheeler, who helps the joint management team of James Gray and Graham Golds. If they can turn a local boy into a professional ready to go on to top level football, then that will be a measure of success, and help convince locals the club has a place in the community.
Professional football’s obsession with foreign players in the Premier League is making the work of academies at that level more and more redundant. So what route is left for a young player with talent, but nowhere to show it?
St Albans ended the game with two teenagers on the field who had postponed the start of a university degree so that they could give football a chance. So James Kaloczi and Matt Taylor, who have just left schools not too far from the ground, will have to try to catch the eye in St Albans’ FA Cup 1st round tie against League Two Mansfield a week on Saturday.
Both looked comfortable on the ball amid the thud and blunder of the non-league game. If they play well and a scout is convinced, who knows what could happen. Just look at Chris Smalling.
And that FA Cup run will keep the wolves at bay for the time being at St Albans City.
Recent weeks have seen me at Wembley watching England, attending Premier League games at Anfield and Stamford Bridge, watching Crewe, Sheffield United, Peterborough and Port Vale in League One.
Monday night at St Albans v Hitchin was a refresher course in some of football’s wonderful basics.
Top scorer John Frendo is back driving a black cab after winning and converting the penalty that ultimately decided Monday’s game against his old club.
That’s what it’s all about. So hats off to the philanthropists keeping grassroots football alive, the game in this country owes you so much
Latest | October 2013