Wilkins goes for Alfreton riches

BURY Town manager Richard Wilkins has promise his young squad that some of the riches gained from this season's FA Cup run will be going directly back into their pockets.

Stuart Watson

BURY Town manager Richard Wilkins has promise his young squad that some of the riches gained from this season's FA Cup run will be going directly back into their pockets.

The Suffolk club have already scooped £29,000 in prize money from the five victories that have propelled them to the first round - and win over Alfreton Town today would add a further cool £20,000 to that pot.

Add to that the potential share of a lucrative away day gate in the next round and sizeable broadcast fees and it becomes clear that Bury Town are staring down the barrel of massive sums in non-league terms.

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But while many managers would be salivating at the thought of finally getting their hands on a transfer war chest and a rapid rise up the pyramid, Wilkins has a more realistic approach.

“The money will be used to look after players that have got us here,” admitted the former Colchester United captain. “There are lads here that have done well that we would like to offer improved contracts to.

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“The rest of the money will go towards cementing the future of the club. It would be no good piling all of the money on two or three new players.”

Around 300 fans are expected to make the 130 mile trip to Derbyshire today to try and cheer Bury Town into the FA Cup second round for the first time in the club's 136-year history.

Wilkins said: “Lot's of people have been talking about the game - it's really lifted the town. I've been told there will be a sizeable amount of Bury fans travelling up to support us which will be fantastic. They will obviously help us up there.

“From what I gather people have been coming to watch us for the first time in a while this season and they have been really enjoying what they are seeing. Hopefully now a few of these returning supporters will turn out on a regular basis.”

Wilkins added: “We certainly couldn't be going into this game with any more confidence.

“We came out of the last two games with two wins, a few goals to boot and no new injuries, but I admit I did have to have a few choice words with the players at half-time on Tuesday night because I felt that they were simply going through the motions a bit ahead of the FA Cup game.

“To be fair they put on a really good performance for me in the second half (Bury beat Leighton Town 4-0 having been held at 0-0 at half-time) and that was really pleasing.”

Bury will be without four players for today's big game. Defender Roscoe Hipperson (hamstring) and keeper Dean Greygoose (knee), will be joined on the sidelines by new signings Ben Coker and Andrew Wood who are both cup-tied.

Meanwhile, Alfreton Town welcome back defender Paul Ellender, who completed his first 90 minutes in mid-week having previously been out for two months with a knee injury, while Tom Curtis and Kris Bowler are now available following suspension.

The Reds major threat will come from journeyman striker Leo Fortune-West. The 37-year-old has played for more than ten Football League clubs during his career having started out as a teenager at Tiptree United.

The then chairman of the Essex club Peter Fidge is credited with having spotted a raw Fortune-West in a local Sunday football league and then set about converting him from a defender into striker.

Alfreton also have former Manchester United trainee Ben Muirhead in their squad.


Alfreton Town: T. Evans, Wilson, Curtis, Brown, Butler, McIntosh, Hall, Muirhead, Mayman, Clayton, Hearn, Fortune-West, Cusworth, Law, Davidson, Sutcliffe, Bowler, Ellender, Marples.

Bury Town: Garnham, Walker, Sloots, Nunn, Bullard, Smith, Chaplin, Steward, Johnson, L. Reed, Patterson, S. Reed, Bugg, Barrett, Thomspon, Foster, Bennett, O'Neil.

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