A win against Dover Athletic on Saturday would see Burgess Hill Town into the FA Cup first round proper for the first time in their history.
This is the fourth time the Hillians have been in the final qualifying round but they’ve yet to make it further.
Chairman Kevin Newell believes it will not be easy, but it is winnable.
He said: “I am rather hoping this will be fourth time lucky. We know Dover, they were in Ryman South with us nine years ago and we had some good games against them.
“But given their recent form, we see this as a potentially-winnable game.
“From the club’s point of view, if we won it would be an historic result and would take us further than we have been in the competition before, which would be a terrific milestone.
The prize-money is not insignificant, which would be go a long way towards meeting our budget commitments for the current season.Kevin Newell
“It’s a winnable game, but obviously not an easy game. They are clearly a very capable side. We have the home advantage, our pitch is on the narrow side and it makes games very tight. We can play to that, other clubs do find it difficult.”
And it’s not just the prestige which interests Newell – he would more than welcome the £12,500 prize money on offer for progressing.
He said: “The prize-money is not insignificant, which would be go a long way towards meeting our budget commitments for the current season. Like most non-league clubs, we struggle to generate sufficient funds throughout the season. So prize money in the FA Cup and FA Trophy is a significant bonus. It saves the directors’ pockets quite a lot!”
And after a tricky last season, Newell has every confidence in the squad manager Ian Chapman has built.
“I am delighted with the strength and depth we have got. We have genuine options throughout the team with players who can play at this standard.
“We are not filling in with people we hope can play above their normal standard. Everyone who is in the team and on the bench on Saturday is capable of playing at this level.
“The squad is significantly stronger than it was last season, which was a bit of a learning curve for us.
“I think Ian Chapman’s done a great job but I wouldn’t say he has completed the job and I don’t think he would either but we’re very close to being a genuinely-competitive side at this level.”
Burgess Hill attracted a 428 crowd on Saturday against Leatherhead, but Newell wants more for the FA Cup clash.
He said: “With the cup and the interest that has been generated over the past few weeks – an 11-game unbeaten run is not be sniffed at at any level - I would certainly be hoping for a crowd of 600 or 700.”
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