FOOTBALL legends Alan Smith and Dion Dublin have shared the recipe to Cup glory after Alvechurch discovered their FA Cup First Round Proper opponents.
The strike partnership delivered the draw at Lye Meadow last night with Church drawn away at League One side Cheltenham Town as the club prepare to play in the First Round for the first time in 49 years – the 1973/74 campaign.
Smith started his career with Church before going on to play for Arsenal and England and lifted the FA Cup with the Gunners in 1992/93.
Smith exclusively told the Standard: “It’s brilliant to be back, the old place hasn’t changed one bit, I went in the dressing rooms and it’s still the same toilets, showers and everything, it’s fantastic to be back.
“I spoke to some of the lads and the manager, they’re quite excited about it, it’s a tough match, they’re coming up against a good standard, hopefully they can get a draw or go through, I wish them luck.
“They’ve got to fight for every ball, the attitude has got to be spot on and you’ve got to have a bit of luck as well, you’ve got to take your chances.
“In a way it can be easier [to play as an underdog] nobody is expecting anything from you, often you’ll see them working harder than the favourite.
“From the Alvechurch players’ point of view, they’ve got to run harder, win their individual duels, win their tackles and hopefully they can come out on top.
“It’s a big game and if you’ve got anything about you you’ll bring out your best form, the adrenaline will be pumping and that normally helps you as a player.”
Dublin started his career with Cambridge United where he reached the quarter-finals in successive seasons with the club then playing in the old Fourth and Third Division.
His heroics for Cambridge earned him a move to Manchester United and he later turned out for Coventry City, Aston Villa and Leicester City.
Dublin exclusively told the Standard: “I’m glad we were here at a club like at Alvechurch giving them a bit of stage so people know they are here – I’m just hoping they can get through to the next round.
“You need a little bit of luck on the day and a little bit of magic from one of your special players, it comes down to hard work and blood, sweat and tears.
“The thing about the FA Cup is – you get one chance – you’ve really got to give it everything you’ve got.
“Head down, get on the training pitch, work hard and listen to your coaches, you need a bit of luck for one of your shots to go in or one of your defenders to make a good tackle.
“Use the nerves in the right way, don’t be frightened of the occasion, embrace the occasion, hope to get it through it positively and maybe get into the second round, you never know.”
Alvechurch’s trip to Cheltenham will take place between Friday, November 4 and Monday, November 7 at Whaddon Road.