Whittlesey Athletic FC prepare for moment of history in FA Vase bow

Whittlesey Athletic player-manager Ricky Hailstone hopes his team can produce a solid performance in their FA Vase debut.

Whittlesey Athletic player-manager Ricky Hailstone hopes his team can produce a solid performance in their FA Vase debut. Here, Hailstone with children Ruby, Alfie and the Cliff Bullen Challenge Cup in 2019. Picture: DANIEL MASON - Credit: Archant

Whittlesey Athletic player-boss Ricky Hailstone hopes his team can produce a performance to be proud of in what will mark a moment of history this weekend.

The club play in the Buildbase FA Vase for the first time on Saturday, October 10, a second round qualifying tie against Debenham LC at Feldale Field, 3pm kick-off.

Whittlesey have started their United Counties League Division One season brightly, drawing four times and losing once from seven games, but Hailstone is not getting complacent about his side’s form.

“In those draws, three of them we should have won, so it could have been a hell of a lot better. But, only losing one from the first seven is a massive positive,” he said.

“I’ve been disappointed with the way we’ve been playing in the last few games, but I think that should change.

“If we don’t perform and we get beat and should have won the game, that’s going to be the biggest disappointment.

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“It has added some pressure to the lads, but at the same time, it’s good pressure knowing they all want to do well, so they’ll be gutted as me if we don’t perform and let ourselves down.”

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Hailstone admitted he knows little about his team’s Thurlow Nunn League, First Division North opponents, who beat previous table-toppers Lakenheath in their last game.

However, Whittlesey must first focus on a league trip to in-form Huntingdon Town on Wednesday, 7.45pm, which they hope can be a springboard for a successful day out.

“We’re at home; we’ll play our way and when teams come to us, it’s up to them to ask about us more than us asking about them,” Hailstone said.

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“It’s about having a little run for the club; not just one game, but two or three.

“I think a run would be huge for the team, for team spirit, for togetherness and things like that.

“We’re moving the football club in the right direction, so the more people that see that, the more people we hope will come back and see it again.

“We’ll get on with what we have to do, to try and win the game. A road trip and a cup run would be nice, but also another home tie would be nice as well.”