MANAGER Paul Smith says his Bromsgrove Sporting players are all geared up for the start of the new season as FA Cup fever comes to town this weekend.
The season begins in earnest tomorrow (Saturday) when the Rouslers entertain Staffordshire side Rocester at the Victoria Ground in the extra preliminary round.
With £1,500 on offer for the winner, as well as a home tie against Coleshill Town or West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division side Wellington in the next round, the Sporting boss says the incentive to progress is huge.
“Pre-season has been a long process but we are all geared up and excited for our FA Cup tie this weekend,” said Smith.
“To earn £1,500 for progressing is a huge opportunity financially for us and it is a brilliant competition to be involved in.
“We will be doing everything we can to go as far as possible in a cup competition steeped with tradition.
“Hopefully all of the success we enjoyed last season will bring out all the fans and even more for the new season.”
After drafting the players into pre-season training two weeks earlier than normal, Smith has been impressed with how hard the squad has been working.
But the Sporting boss has been left disappointed with lack of player availability in recent weeks.
“When we started training in June everything was fine but in the last few weeks things have been very disruptive,” he added.
“We had ten missing for the Leamington game last Saturday and had a different nine away for the 2-1 defeat at Stratford Town in midweek which was not ideal.
“However, I am happy with squad I have put together and we can’t wait to get going.”
Meanwhile, Sporting have agreed a deal to bring highly-rated 17-year-old defender Marshall Willock to the Victoria Ground on loan from National League outfit Solihull Moors.
The former Walsall youngster played against Sporting for Leamington on Saturday and was involved with the Rouslers on Tuesday night in their defeat at Stratford.
With defenders Duane Courtney, Aaron Roberts and Jordan Jones all missing for the FA Cup encounter, Smith told the Standard there was no harm in bringing in another centre-half.
“I think Marshall was not going to be taken on by Leamington because of the experience they already have so I spoke to Solihull boss Liam McDonald about having him on loan,” he said.
“He looks a quality defender and has a old head on very young shoulders.
“He loved playing in front of the crowd on Saturday and I’m looking forward to working with him.”