News From The Meadow
November 7, 2015
Anticipation is building as Sunday’s FA Cup First Round tie at Bristol Rovers looms ever closer. With five supporters trust coaches filled and a sixth independently organised coach also going as well as the very many fans who are making their own way to the match, there will be great Chesham Utd support at The Mem. Why not join in with that and head down to Bristol. You’ll be in good company on a great occasion for The Generals and who knows, you may even see a little bit of history made.
There’s been a real buzz around the club this week, and messages from well-wishers have been coming in. John Kendall & Jeff Wood (current Gibraltar Manager), Chesham United Management 2000, said
“What a fantastic achievement it is for Chesham United to reach the First Round Proper of the FA Cup. We know from our time at the club that the supporters will be loving the opportunity to enjoy the big occasion and will fully get behind the team. No doubt the boost to the finances will be a big help to the club, as it will any club. We have fond memories of many of the people at Chesham, and will be watching closely on Sunday hoping for an FA Cup upset and progress for The Generals in this great competition.”
Manager Andy Leese commented “We are grateful to the SL and Bedworth for agreeing to postpone Tuesday evening’s league game. It gave us more time to prepare ahead of Sunday, avoids any injuries, and allowed us to work on how we want to play. The players are looking forward to it. New territory for most of them, but a challenge they will relish as they have shown in other one off games this season. We have done our homework as you would expect and spoken to other clubs who have played at Bristol this season. It will be the biggest game in years for the club and we intend to do the club proud.”
“We trained well again last night and finalized how we will set up on Sunday. The players are in fine form and looking forward to it as you would expect. We had some good news as Barry is fit to play having come through another session, and George Legg will also be fit to come back in to the reckoning. I think Barry has had a busier week with all the media interest than when he was playing full time, but he takes it in his stride and focuses on his fitness and helping get the players ready for the game.
“I know the line up we want to start with to ensure we have the best chance of competing in what promises to be a really challenging afternoon for us. It is great to see the level of support we are likely to get and I am sure the noise will lift us all day. It will be strange having a Saturday off but I doubt we will be resting with FA Trophy and forthcoming opposition to watch. We are looking forward to Sunday and the chance to make a mark a name for the club.”
We also caught up with Toby Little at training: “The excitement is building and the players are relishing the opportunity to showcase what we are all about. Personally it is one of the biggest games of my career having only once before played in this round. These games don’t come round very often and we are all determined to do our best.”
And skipper Bruce Wilson (pictured below) told the CUFC website “League positions don’t lie, and we know Bristol will be favourites as they are technically better and stronger than what we are used to.
We go there in confident mood having won our last 3 games. We will need to be at our very best, but if we stick to the game plan and we are hard to break down then we have a chance. It is the FA cup and anything can happen.”
Everyone knows that the gap between the Southern League and the professionals of League two is substantial, and that all the odds favour Bristol Rovers. As player/coach Barry Hayles puts it “to pull it off we’d have to be at the top of our game, and a few Rovers players would have to have an off day, but every team has a chance in every game they play in”.
And there’s the nub of it right there: every football fan knows that the one thing that is guaranteed is that there WILL be shocks and upsets in most rounds of the FA Cup. So, do you dare to dream, and might that just be Chesham’s fate this year? And what if that happened, and you hadn’t been there? So come on, make the trip, support the team, sing your heart out, and – win, lose or draw – enjoy a great occasion in the club’s history.
See you at The Mem!