Coalville Town manager Adam Stevens is relishing their FA Cup tie at Charlton Athletic tomorrow as they look to cause a massive upset.
The Leicestershire side play in step three of non-league, plying their trade in the Southern Central League, but won 3-2 at National League leaders Notts County last month to set up a trip to SE7.
Stevens, who is a sports coach at a primary school, now faces the test of taking on a high-profile League One club.
“Nobody gave us a prayer against Notts County and we deservedly beat them,” he told the South London Press. “You just never know. Obviously we’re massive underdogs, as the league positions say, but what I don’t want to do is go there and just turn up – because that wouldn’t be doing us justice.
“I’ve got some very good players who deserve to play on a stage like Charlton. Before the draw I was hoping to play a Charlton, a Derby, an Ipswich or a Portsmouth – anyone like that.”
Coalville took 1,400 to Meadow Lane and had already sold 1,483 tickets for this weekend by Tuesday. Stevens watched Charlton’s 3-0 victory over Portsmouth after the FA Cup draw was made.
“We do look at opposition but we tend to focus on ourselves,” he said. “We’ll play our own game. Charlton have got a lot of decent players, hence why they are sat in the top half of League One. We’ve got a nice blend of youth and experience. We’ve got a good team spirit and they all get on – they’ll have a pint together. We’ve got no superstars, despite the fact a few have played a few pro games.”
Stevens played for Coalville in their FA Cup loss to Wycombe in 2004 with former Charlton defender Roger Johnson scoring the only goal.
“We were a couple of tiers lower then and Wycombe had a decent side,” said the Ravens boss. “As well as Johnson they had Gus Uhlenbeek, Nathan Tyson and Mike Williamson, who was at Newcastle.
“The Charlton game probably betters our Wembley achievement when we got there in the FA Vase final, because of the level of opposition we have beaten to get here.”
PICTURE: CHRIS SIMPSON
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