Town set for historic Trophy showdown with Billericay
Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver has described Saturday's historic FA Trophy third round clash with Billericay Town as 'the kind of game you play football to be involved in'.
Victories over Darlington, Wrexham and St Albans City have seen the club progress to the last 16 of the competition for the first time ever.
And the Town chief says the showdown with the Isthmian League Premier Division outfit is one his team are excited about.
“It’s a juicy tie, it should be a great spectacle,” Weaver said.
“I think that we are allowed to be excited about our progress in the Trophy and this is the kind of game that you play football to be involved in.
“You want to take part in big games as a player, and as a manager, and because of what Glenn [Tamplin] has done at Billericay this is a high-profile match and one that should attract a lot of interest.
“We’re very much looking forward to Saturday and to trying to continue our journey in this competition.”
Town first entered the trophy in 1974 and have reached the last 32 on three occasions, in 1993/94, 2001/02 – playing Doncaster Rovers at Belle Vue – and this season when they beat St. Albans after a replay.
Saturday’s opponents play their football one tier below Town, but currently lead the way in the Isthmian Premier.
They are unbeaten in 19 games, a run of form that has seen them win 17 times since their FA Cup exit at the hands of Leatherhead in November. including nine in a row away from home.
The Blues boast a number of high-profile players within their squad including ex-Premier League stars Jermaine Pennant and Jamie O’Hara, while former England international left back Paul Konchesky began the season at New Lodge but departed before Christmas.
‘Ricay are bankrolled by millionaire owner/manager Glenn Tamplin, whose purchase of the Essex club in 2016 has undoubtedly raised its profile.
“They’re a good side, they’re doing well in their league and have some big names,” Weaver added.
“A lot has been made of what Glenn has done at Billericay, but it’s his own money and he’s entitled to do what he wants with it.
“It’s going to be a difficult game for us, but we’re just pleased to have been drawn at home.”
Kick-off at the CNG Stadium on Saturday is at 3pm and supporters will be able to pay on the gate.