Toolstation NCEL Division One
Darren Holmes is hoping Glasshoughton Welfare get a good home tie when the early FA Cup draws are released today.
The ties for the prestigious competition are expected to be revealed at 1pm. Glasshoughton have not competed in the competition since 2015 when Mick Norbury was their manager and Holmes says there is a lot of excitement.
“I suppose with losing the play-offs, the cup competitions are a bit more special,” Holmes told Non League Yorkshire.
“The FA Cup and FA Vase are special competitions no matter what anyway and we’re looking forward to the draw.
“Glasshoughton haven’t been in the Cup for two or three years. I’ll be looking at my phone constantly to find out who we have got.
“It would be a brilliant to get a good first preliminary round draw as the prize money soon ramps up. You hope for a good draw as you don’t want to get one of the top sides.
“It is a fantastic competition and it is great for the players.”
The FA Cup is small compensation for Welfare, who are disappointed at the loss of the Division One play-offs – an innocent bystander in major pyramid restructuring.
Holmes believes the lack of play-offs has ripped a hole in the heart of the league, but insists his side will stay focussed and still try to aim high.
“Because the play-offs have gone, you are going to have teams going for it hell for leather until Christmas, maybe paying out a bit of money to see whether they can win it,” he said.
“But then if they see they’re not going to reach the top two, teams could pull budgets. We’re just to play every week as it comes and see where it takes us.
“We’re gutted that there are no play-offs. We have a limited budget and the play-offs were a realistic chance for us to get promoted. I can imagine that most of the league feel a bit deflated.
“We were planning for the top six (until the middle of June) and that’s still the plan. We want to stay in the top six for the whole of the season so we could have the chance to strike for the top one or two once we get past Christmas.
“For many teams though, the season will be over by October/November which is very disappointing.”
Most of the team which surprised many to reach the top six last season have committed, with Conor Glavin being the only departure.
Holmes is really pleased, but did confirm that there will be a few new faces in their squad going forward.
“99% of last year’s squad has re-signed which is really pleasing,” he said.
“Over the last few years it is clear to see that the teams who have gone onto be promoted are the the teams who have been together for two or three years.
“We are trying to keep as many lads as we can so we can move forward together. Yeah, players are going to leave. We have lost some good players over the last two or three years. That’s disappointing, but it is always going to happen in football.
“Although we have introduced some new faces to the squad, we didn’t want to add too many.
“If you think back to last season, we were eight points off finishing third so we’re not far off. We do need to strengthen, we know that. We know we need a few more goals in the side and we’ll be looking at that.”