Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver torn between wanting winnable tie and 'one of the big boys' in FA Cup third round

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver is torn between wanting a potentially winnable tie and "one of the big boys" in the third round of the FA Cup.

Monday, 6th December 2021, 11:42 am
Harrogate Town players celebrate their last-gasp winner at Portsmouth. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The League Two Sulphurites upset higher-division Portsmouth on Saturday to progress beyond the second-round stage of the competition for the first time in their 107-year history.

Sixty-four clubs - including Premier League and Championship sides - will compete for a place in the last 32, with the draw set to take place at approximately 7pm on Monday evening, live on ITV 4.

On paper, Town's best chance of progressing to round four would be courtesy of pulling out one of the three non-league sides who have made it this far, or one of the

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Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.

seven other League Two teams left in the competition.

But if the Wetherby Road outfit are not paired with any of those clubs, then Weaver is hoping to be handed a showdown with one of England's heavyweights.

"We want to stay in the competition. You'd like to go another round, you don't want to sound greedy, but you just want to keep on going," he explained following Harrogate's shock 2-1 success at Fratton Park.

"So, if we are going to pull out bigger opposition, let's hope that it is the best of the best.

"It would be great for the club now to pull out one of the big boys. It would be great for the town to embrace another big moment.

"If you pulled out a Liverpool or Man City, let's be honest, it would be absolutely wild scenes of emotion in Harrogate."

A home draw against one of the aforementioned giants of the game would undoubtedly attract a huge crowd to the EnviroVent Stadium and make for a special occasion, whereas a tie away from home at a venue boasting a large capacity would represent a potential money-spinner.

Between the third and sixth rounds of the FA Cup, each side receives 45 per cent of gate receipts from the match, meaning that a trip to a stadium such as Old Trafford could provide a significant six-figure boost to the coffers.

Asked which scenario he would prefer, Weaver replied :"I'll answer different from the chairman, I'll say 'home' - what an occasion.

"Away from home with a massive crowd, I'm sure the chairman would prefer that option."

Harrogate Town are ball number 64 in the draw for the third round of the 2021/22 FA Cup.