Hawks boss, Paul Doswell, believes the FA Trophy is the ideal opportunity for fringe players to stake a claim to the Starting XI as squad rotation will be used for tomorrow’s trip to Bracknell Town.
The hosts have already won through three rounds to make it to this stage of the competition and are unbeaten in the league, a stern test for Dos’ side.
But tomorrow night will be the chance for someone to shine, and begin a run which could have Wembley knocking at the end of it.
“It will give players who are desperate for game time opportunities and I’m really looking forward to seeing how they perform against a good Bracknell side.
“I’m looking for people to twist my arm and up to now they’ve done it in training and get them into some match environments, with no Hampshire Senior Cup this year, the Trophy becomes an important competition for them.
“There’s four or five players that have played virtually every minute of this season, so it was always planned in advance what we were going to do with this particular game and hopefully similar if we get through to Saturday.”
The carrot dangled in the Trophy is a trip to Wembley, something which has been a reality for sixth tier clubs over the years with Brackley winning the competition in 2018, and Concord Rangers awaiting to play in this year’s rearranged final.
“You don’t see the FA Trophy as a financial gold pot, but the golden nugget at the end of it is to get to Wembley and we saw Concord do it fantastically well from our league last year, and Halesowen getting to the semi-finals so it does show you, if you can get through these early rounds there is that chance and that’s always been the main thing for the Trophy.
“It’s huge for the players in their career if you can turn to your grandkids and say ‘you’ve played at Wembley’ it’s an iconic stadium and because of it I think the FA Trophy is a very good competition for Non-League teams.”
The opponents tomorrow night are eighth tier Bracknell Town who ply their trade in the Isthmian Division 1 South Central, who are currently unbeaten this season. But Doswell is more than up for the challenge that the Robins will provide.
“It’s been an excellent start to the season from them, they look a really well run football club, a great 3G pitch and a really nice ground.
“I’ve known their manager Bobby Wilkinson for a long long time, he’s an excellent manager, and should be managing at a higher level than what he is. I’ve also been listening to their chairman the other day who’s been making lots of sense as well.
“It looks like they’ve got lots of good people up there and they’re a very good Non-League club at the moment.”