Clitheroe boss Garner looks ahead to FA Cup tie

Simon Garner
Simon Garner

Blues boss Simon Garner says the FA Cup provides his players with the opportunity to feature in the same competition as their idols.

Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez, Pedro, Wayne Rooney, Eden Hazard and David Silva will be among those to partake when the competition reaches the third round after the New Year, but until then it’s down to the so-called “minnows” to battle it out.

Clitheroe tackle Northern Counties East League Premier Division outfit Pickering Town at Mill Lane on Sunday with kick off at 3 p.m.

Ahead of the preliminary round tie, Garner said: “The FA Cup is a bonus and an opportunity for the lads to play in the same competition as the teams they follow.

“For the club it can be a way of earning a little extra money. The league has to be our priority but winning games becomes a habit and it’s a good habit to have.

“We want to do as well as we can in all of the competitions that we enter. We’ve had our best start in three years and we want to keep doing the right things and see where that takes us.”

The Shawbridge boss has enjoyed his own love affair with the FA Cup in the past. The 33-year-old played for FC Halifax in the first round proper against Charlton Athletic in 2011.

Garner was replaced by Harry Winter in the 73rd minute at The Shay with his side trailing 1-0 through Matthew Taylor’s first half opener, but three goals inside the final 10 minutes from Johnnie Jackson, Danny Hollands and Bradley Pritchard secured a more convincing win for Chris Powell’s men - who went on to secure the League One title.

“We can play teams that we have never played before,” said Garner. “That adds intrigue and hopefully, if we’re fortunate enough to win, we can put our name in the draw for the next round and enjoy the bus ride home.”