Wilkins eyes ‘mega’ Bury cup chance

BURY Town are just one step away from a potential meeting with Leeds United.

BURY Town are just one step away from a potential meeting with Leeds United.

The Blues entertain Basingstoke in an FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie at Ram Meadow this Saturday (3pm), and the prize is a place in the draw for the first round proper.

That's when clubs from League One and League Two enter the fray, including the likes of Leeds and Leicester City.

But manager Richard Wilkins is not getting carried away. He knows that Bury, despite home advantage, will still start as underdogs against a Basingstoke side who play two levels higher up the Football League ladder in Blue Square South.

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“It's a mega-special match for us, and it would be fantastic for a club of our size to make the first round of the FA Cup,” admitted Wilkins.

“The draw has been favourable to us this season. This will be our fourth home tie, and the highlight was certainly beating Chelmsford (2-1). They are riding high, while Basingstoke are near the bottom of the same division, so people will be thinking that we have a great chance of winning again.

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“However, we mustn't get too carried away. Basingstoke have a much bigger budget than us and seem to be signing a lot of players on loan from professional clubs. There's a big gulf in money.

“It will therefore be a big ask for us, but we have home advantage. To reach the first round proper and play someone like Leeds would be a dream, but to just win on the day would mean £12,500 prize money, which would be a massive amount for Bury Town.

“Beat Basingstoke and obviously we would be hoping for one of the big boys, probably away from home to get a big crowd.

“But I also know what it can be like for a big club to have to come to a non-league ground, on perhaps a bad surface,” added Wilkins, who was a midfielder and defender with the likes of Cambridge United, Hereford and Colchester United.

Read the first report of Saturday's tie at www. greenun.co.uk. Follow the build-up this week in the East Anglian Daily Times and see the EADT on Monday for all the colour and pictures.

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