By Sam Elliott
Part of the reason Phil Parkinson and his management team came to Altrincham was to again make the club’s name in the FA Cup – but his first job is to stop that happening for the wrong reasons!
The Robins are a Non-League heavyweight in the famous competition and after holding Everton and Tottenham to draws in the 70s, they famously went one better and beat Birmingham City in 1986.
But FA Cup joy – and league cheer for that matter – have been in short supply in recent years.
Parkinson hopes this could be their season but first they must ensure they are not the story of the first qualifying round this weekend.
The Evo-Stik NPL Premier club travel to Abbey Hey and after they beat Maine Road 2-1 on Monday, there’s hope ahead of North West Counties League side’s biggest game in years.
Parkinson doesn’t want to be reading about a massive upset when he picks up his paper on Sunday morning.
He said: “There were a few reasons that we came to Altrincham in the summer and one of them was the challenge of doing something special in the FA Cup.
“The 70s and the 80s were great years for the club and people still talk about how incredible those Cup runs were.
“I would like to create our own little bit of history, if it’s this season or next. That would be fantastic.”
Parkinson, who agreed to take over after leaving Nantwich Town in May, will give Abbey Hey and the competition every ounce of respect on Saturday.
He said: “There is absolutely no way we’ll be resting players. It’s too big a thing for us to even consider giving anyone an afternoon off.
“We’ll only be making enforced changes. The last thing we want is to be on the wrong end of a cup upset – there’s just too much riding on it to take any chances.”
There is only one place to read about the FA Cup this weekend – for unrivalled coverage make sure you pick up your copy of the Non-League Paper.