The Rocks head into a new FA Cup adventure on Saturday with one aim: Let’s have a run for Jack.
Joint manager Darin Killpartrick says it’s high time the club relived the glory days when they regularly took on Football League teams in the first and second rounds. It’s 16 seasons since they last reached those heights but Killpartrick said it would be lovely to go on a decent run this year as a tribute to Jack Pearce’s long-running leadership of the club.
The Rocks host Combined Counties League side Camberley in the preliminary round and are hot favourites to go through – especially on the back of their league start which has seen them win four out of four.
But Killpartrick said: “We certainly can’t just turn up and expect to win. Camberley are an up-and-coming club and will be up for it. But it would be lovely to go on a run. We say it every year but haven’t had much luck in our past few attempts. It would be lovely to get through a few rounds this year – it would be marvellous for Jack, who was at the forefront of those famous days and nights in the 1980s and 90s.”
Fellow joint boss Jamie Howell is also warning against complacency after the Rocks’ 100 per cent start to their bid for promotion to the Ryman premier.
“It’s upsets that make the FA Cup the grand competition it is and at this stage our job is to make sure we’re not on the end of one. If we can get through a round or two, we’ll start to then be thinking about causing an upset ourselves.”
The bosses should have a full squad to pick from as early-season injuries clear up.
Jason Prior (hip) and Jon Marzetti (calf) were both hurt in last Saturday’s 3-2 win at Hythe Town but recovered fast enough to feature in the 1-0 win over Whitehawk which put the Rocks second in the table.
One issue to resolve is who will captain the side following Michael Birmingham’s retirement.