Essex Senior League: Tower Hamlets and joint-manager Ajay Ashanike ready for big FA Cup match with Takeley
PUBLISHED: 14:00 17 August 2017
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Mile End Stadium club have had plenty of time to prepare to face early season pace-setters and are quietly optimistic
Tower Hamlets joint-boss Ajay Ashanike is confident his team can cause an upset at home to Takeley in the FA Cup this weekend.
The two Essex Senior League rivals do battle at the Mile End Stadium in the preliminary round of the famous, old competition.
After winning their first five games this term, Takeley will be favourites on Saturday, but Hamlets are optimistic about their chances having scouted their FA Cup foes.
“I was impressed with what I saw of them last weekend at home to Redbridge, but I do feel like we are one step ahead now,” said Ashanike.
“We should know what to expect, so the players just need to go out there and stop Takeley and follow our game plan.”
Hamlets haven’t actually played since August 7 when they defeated Broxbourne Borough 1-0 at home in an FA Cup replay after a 1-1 draw with the same opposition two days earlier.
Ashanike and Ade Abayomi’s talented squad were set to face Waltham Forest in the league on Monday, but the fixture was postponed.
It has given the Mile End Stadium management team plenty of time to work on facing Takeley and everyone at Hamlets is excited.
“The FA Cup is where the dreams happen, so we are all looking forward to Saturday,” said Ashanike.
“Our changing room after the Broxbourne win was something different and everyone was so happy.
“After losing to Redbridge on the opening day of the season you could see all of the players were disappointed, so I was really glad they were able to celebrate last time.
“Hopefully we can create something special at the club and right now we will take it one game at a time.
“When we finished fourth (2013/14 season) we never got carried away and just focused on the next match and we are going to do the same again.”
If Hamlets can upset the odds and end Takeley’s unbeaten start to the new campaign, they will pocket £1,925 in prize money.
For an Essex Senior League side in particular, the cash up for grabs can make a real impact going forward.
Ashanike added: “The money on offer is massive. As managers and players we just want to win, but for the club the financial reward is huge.
“It would make a big difference going forward if we could get the prize money and it would help in terms of equipment and other bits like that.
“Every club in the Essex Senior League benefits from financial reward in the FA Cup and that is another reason why it is so important to everyone.”