NORTHWOOD manager Mark Burgess is relishing the chance to pit his wits against AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the FA Cup.
The former Football League side have reformed under fan ownership after being dissolved in 2011.
They are now plying their trade in the United Counties League Premier Division but are flying high following a superb start to the campaign.
Burgess’ side welcome the glamour side to Chestnut Avenue on Saturday and the Woods player-boss is excited about the preliminary round tie.
Speaking after his side’s narrow 1-0 victory away at North Greenford on Monday, Burgess said: “Playing Rushden & Diamonds will be no easy task; they’ve got a good backing and plenty of fans. We’ll work on pattern of play and hopefully look to create a few more chances than we did today [against North Greenford].”
Despite once reaching the first round proper as a player, Saturday will mark the first time that Burgess has taken the managerial hot seat for an FA Cup tie, and he is clearly relishing the opportunity.
He said: “For Northwood it’s important; we need good results as these matches are so vital for non-league sides. If we can get through a couple of rounds of the competition, it helps the team so much both on and off the pitch.
“At this level you probably won’t get a much bigger game than Rushden & Diamonds; I’m really looking forward to it.”
Northwood’s star striker Garry Senior, the man who sunk his former side [North Greenford United] with the only goal on Monday, has also voiced his excitement about the tie.
“They’re a big club who have had to come back and start again. They’re probably throwing a bit of money about and they should bring a lot of fans to the game, which will be good for the atmosphere.
“They’re a bit like AFC Wimbledon in that they’ve gone all the way down and will probably go all the way back up. It’s going to be tough, but as a footballer you always look forward to games like this.
And Senior, who once got to the fourth qualifying round with North Greenford, will now be hoping for a similar run with his current side, ideally starting with a win, and maybe even a goal, against Rushden on Saturday.