Following the FA Cup Round 1 draw, I had a conversation with Daventry Town chairman Iain Humphrey on his thoughts of their away tie at Chesterfield. The side from Northamptonshire are the lowest ranked team guaranteed to be in the first round, and they currently play in the eighth tier of English football. Here is what he has made of Daventry Town’s fantastic run in the FA Cup.
Firstly, congratulations on making it to the 1st round of the FA Cup!
Were you hoping for a tough team like Chesterfield or would you rather had faced a weaker side at this stage in the competition? Or did you have a certain team in mind that you would have loved to have played against?
We were having a nerve racking time watching the draw. I was so split between an easier chance of winning or getting the big club. Sheffield United would have been the best draw, my company is a main sponsor and I have a box there. Now that I have had time to digest the draw, playing Chesterfield in their new stadium will be a great occasion to remember.
At the start of the season did you ever think that you could of made it to the 1st round considering the qualifying games that you had to succeed in before hand?
When I sat with the manager at the start of the season it was all about winning our league this year, it will mean a big difference in attendances for the club and keep Daventry Town on track for our long term ambitions, however after the first couple of qualifiers, it’s hard to not spend time thinking about that first round draw and being in the hat for it.
How did you feel after winning 6-1 away from home at Hartley Wintney and knowing that you had made it into the 1st round?
The feeling was amazing, I had butterflies for most of the week before, and couldn’t believe that they scored so early with a great strike. But as the boys responded so quickly with three goals before half time, it gave me plenty of time to relax and enjoy the feeling of reaching the first round draw. After the final whistle I just wanted to spend the time with the manager and the boys enjoying the moment.
How many of your fans do you think will travel to Chesterfield for the game?
1,000 would be fantastic. I really hope the people of Daventry come and enjoy the moment, and I think the club can help bring the community closer.
Do you think that your side can make it through to the second round?
There are 91 positions between chesterfield and ourselves, however the FA Cup has a tendency to produce the ultimate performances from players and throw up huge surprises… maybe we can get a draw and bring them back to Daventry, our fortress.
Daventry Town are also sitting well in the league table, why do you think that your club have done so well this season?
Most of the team is the same as last year, the manager knew if he could keep them together at the end of last season, we would be ready for a great year. I also changed the pay structure to a win bonus structure and I have been told it has been a big driver for the players. The confidence and spirit was so high in pre-season, I felt it could be our year in this division, and of course a very good management.
Good luck for your game against Chesterfield and for the remainder of the season!