Ahead of Nantwich Town’s first ever home tie in the Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper, striker Joe Malkin has made it clear that the Dabbers aren’t done just yet in their FA Cup campaign.
Malkin believes that the Dabbers aren’t in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup just to make up the numbers, with it being his first time this far in the competition.
“It’s a great achievement from everybody, and the opportunity for the team to play opposition from higher up the footballing pyramid is incredible.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever been this far in this prestigious competition and if I’m honest, neither I nor the rest of the team feel we’re done just yet.”
Despite the First Round Proper draw giving Nantwich the chance to play former winners in Sunderland, Coventry, Ipswich and Portsmouth, Malkin’s side avoided some of the bigger outfits in the competition, drawing at home against FA Trophy holders AFC Fylde. The striker is excited at the prospect of a home draw this weekend.
“I was excited with the home draw as getting drawn at your home ground always gives you a chance.
“It was also good for us to avoid teams in the Football League, and we’ve now got a solid chance at keeping our name in the hat, though we obviously see it will be a difficult game.”
With ten goals this season, the striker is in superb form, and credits manager Dave Cooke and his coaching staff for the help in excelling in his second season with the club.
“Dave and the coaching staff have helped me to become a better player from the start of my time here.
“It’s been brilliant, especially with the quality of the lads around me, as I’ve been fortunate enough to score goals.”
The striker also believes that despite his situation changing from this time last season, his attitude has remained the same.
“This time last season my goal was to just get into the team, so a year later to be leading the line is completely different.
“You have more responsibility and pressure to perform. However, my attitude is still the same, to work hard for the team.”
Malkin also believes that having such an experienced frontline last season helped him to improve, despite the departure of Danny Glover, Callum Saunders and Ricardo Fuller over the summer.
“I listened to what the other lads taught me last year, they were great lads to have in the team for a young striker like myself.
“They put me in good stead and it definitely improved my game.”
In terms of targets for the next few weeks, Malkin reveals he has just one goal.
“My only target for the next few weeks is to keep the Dabbers in the hat for the Second Round – how good would that be?”
And finally, the striker has issued a message to the wonderful support who have travelled all over the north of England to follow the Dabbers this season.
“The support this season, especially against King’s Lynn, was amazing.
“They were in superb voice and you can see how much it meant to them when we won the game.”
You can see Joe Malkin and the Dabbers in action this weekend as they host Vanarama National League outfit AFC Fylde in the First Round Proper of the Emirates FA Cup. It will be the first time the Dabbers host a First Round Proper clash – and admission is priced at £11 for adults, £8 for concessions and £3 for U16s, who are free when accompanied by a full-paying adult.
Supporters are reminded that the game is neither segregated nor all-ticket, so to guarantee a seat in the Optimum Pay Group Main Stand, you are urged to arrive to the ground as early as possible as the club are expecting a large gate.