WOOTTON Bassett Town boss Paul Braithwaite is looking forward to entering unchartered territory when he leads a team into the preliminary round of the FA Cup this weekend.
The former Fairford Town manager, who took over at the Corinium Stadium in the summer, never guided the Cinder Lane outfit past the Extra Preliminary Round but saw Bassett through this season with a 3-0 win at Brockenhurst earlier this month.
Braithwaite’s men are facing up to a Wiltshire derby on Saturday as they make the trip to Bradford Town, who won the Toolstation League First Division last season, led by star striker Sam Jordan’s whopping 77-goal haul.
“I have heard some people saying the FA Cup is all about money but you’ve got to respect the competition for what it is, even in the early rounds,” said the Bassett chief.
“Any prize money that we win is great and goes straight into helping out the club. But we also want to try and get as far as we can.
“It’s a new thing for me because I’ve never taken a side through to this stage before.
“From what I know, Bradford have been successful recently. They won their league and I don’t think they’ve had much player-movement, so they’ll all know how to play with each other.
“It’s a Wiltshire derby, which is a nice thing for us too.”
Braithwaite hopes to welcome back Sean Terry, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury, for tomorrow’s cup clash.
He added: “It’s been an up and down start for us so far.
“Things were never going to click overnight, so we’ve just got to concentrate on doing what the committee have asked of us and hopefully we can be successful in years to come.”
Meanwhile, John Fisher’s Highworth Town are also in preliminary round action as they travel to Hampshire to take on Sydenhams League Blackfield & Langley.
The Worthians beat Toolstation League Bridport 3-2 in the previous round and Saturday’s opponents are unbeaten in their opening eight games of the season so far.
In Division One West, Purton go looking to bounce back from their defeat at Shortwood United reserves last weekend as they host Hook Norton on Saturday.
Gareth Davies’ Fairford Town are without a fixture but New College, who had last weekend off, return to action with a trip to Tuffley Rovers.