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Jet set Beavers chairman wishes he was at FA Cup clash
Hampton & Richmond Borough might be preparing for their biggest game of the season this weekend, but chairman Steve McPherson will not be cheering them on – in person.
The Beavers host Arlesey Town in the FA Cup third qualifying round tomorrow, knowing a shot at a place in the first round proper and £7,500 awaits the winner.
And while the Beveree will be playing host to a hotly anticipated encounter, McPherson will be waiting by his mobile phone for updates while he is enjoying the Portugal sunshine.
“It is a mixture of business and pleasure that I could not get out of,” he said speaknig from the airport on Thursday morning.
“I thought about flying back to be at the game and then returning to Portugal, but it just would not work.
“I’ll be checking my phone regularly though because it is such an important game.
“It is not so much about the money, but it is more about the kudos of getting to the first round and drawing a Football League side for me.”
McPherson, who has been at the Beveree helm for six years, remembers the last time the Beavers reached the first round round proper, but has seen Hampton slip from the Skrill South to Ryman Premier League since then.
But, despite his side struggling for form in the league this term, he believes the club is better prepared for promotion than it has ever been.
“We should be a Conference South club. We have Conference South facilities, a Conference South pitch and Conference South infrastructure,” he said.
“But we’ve got to start winning games to get up there.
“We’ve been a little inconsistent, but it is a difficult league. There are some very good teams in it.”
Joint boss Paul Barry, whose side was held 0-0 at Leiston last week, has urged his players to seize their opportunity.
Arlesey are the third team to visit the Beveree in the FA Cup this season, but with the Southern League side in the play-off hunt, Barry says his side will be the underdogs.
And with Conference big guns Luton Town, Cambridge United and Wrexham awaiting in the draw for the next round, there can be no regrets come Sunday.
Barry said: “We’re a game away from possibly getting a huge non-League club. The message to the players is not to look back on this and wish things were different.
“We’ve got to grab this chance.”