Director of Football Paul Maitland looks ahead to our Buildbase FA Trophy clash with Taunton Town
theterras.com: It’s Taunton away in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy. Your thoughts on this clash…
Paul Maitland: It’s ironic really that the cup competitions have thrown up two difficult sides in the first rounds both in the FA Cup, now in the Trophy. We go into this one with positive mindsets. The last game against Taunton both teams gave everything and it made for a good game, we scored late on as has been the trend in a fair few of our games so far this season. Saturday will be a close affair between two good teams. On Wednesday and over two games, they ran Billericay (top of national league south) close and Taunton have a good pedigree in cup competitions. They did well to push Billericay, especially with the money and spending power they have. We will be confident after our run, it is nice to have a break from league, however the Trophy is a very important competition that we take seriously and we are really looking forward and as I say, we go into the game full of confidence.
theterras.com: A lot of the man of the match votes on the website have been close of late. Does that go to show the strength in depth through the squad?
PM: I think we’ve got a really good squad of players. We have that with the departures, with Charlie Davis and Antonio Diaz leaving to gain more playing time. Both of them are good footballers, both are good Southern League players. With our squad, it makes every game interesting as every player is under pressure to perform. Thommo gets ever closer to coming back, and Callum Buckley is edging closer to full fitness. Keeping the players motivated is important, and we look to try and improve always. With around 16 players we sometimes have some very good players missing out on the starting eleven. Moles doesn’t call our five or six that miss out on the starting lineup subs, we call them finishers because as has been proved many times already, we go until the very end. We need all of our players. Harry Baker and Callum Buckley showed how important the squad is by coming on and making the difference against Walton last weekend.
theterras.com: The FA Trophy has financial rewards that clearly are a help to any non-league club…
PM: The financial rewards are a help and they benefit all clubs at this level, but I think more than that, you want to do well in cup competitions. It presents opportunities for players and for supporters to visit new grounds. We don’t fear playing anyone, we always look at games as opportunities. The club’s board will look at the financial rewards. Let’s face it, we haven’t had a lot of luck with the draws and a lot of it comes down to luck. We are due a little bit of luck so hopefully on Saturday if we do need it, we get it. We are confident we can get the result as we are against any team. We know our qualities and once again, we look forward to this one!