By Matt Badcock
Thomas Baillie has urged his ambitious Stratford Town players to shine when they take on AFC Fylde in the FA Trophy.
The Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Central outfit beat South Shields 2-1 last weekend thanks to a stoppage-time winner from Mike Taylor.
It’s set-up a first round tie at high-flying National League side Fylde next month.
Town chief Baillie says attention is very much on their next league games before they take on Dave Challinor’s Coasters – but says it will be a great occasion for the team when it comes around.
“We want to make a very good account of ourselves,” Baillie said. “We’ve got quite a young team and I’m pretty sure some of the players in my side have aspirations of playing in the National League North or the National League.
“Well, this game is a game for them to go and prove themselves and whether it’s right for them.
“Our average age is maybe under 24 so it’s an opportunity for the players – who have got aspirations to move up the levels – for them to see what it’s all about and how they need to improve their game to make that level. It’s something we’re looking forward to.
“By the time it comes around we will have four or five games behind the rest of the league, which is a bit of a worry because we haven’t got the biggest squad.
“But we’ll have to do whatever we can and for the next few weeks that is our priority – to win games of football and climb up the league because our games in hand, at the moment, would take us into the play-offs.”