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Andy Woodman wants excitement of Bromley being in FA Cup first round draw


Bromley boss Andy Woodman has vowed to put out his strongest available side in tomorrow’s FA Cup fourth qualifying round clash at home to Wealdstone.

The Ravens take on their National League counterparts, who are 10 places below them in the table, for a place in the first round proper, at which stage the 48 teams in League One and League Two enter the competition.

Bromley were knocked out by Hereford at this stage of the competition last season, losing 2-1 at Hayes Lane.

“We want to get through,” Woodman told the South London Press. “This isn’t a case of wanting to rest players or any of that malarkey – we want to get through to the next round.

“There is nothing greater than all sitting around the radio or the telly and listening to the draw. That’s really where we want to be. It’s the most exciting thing ever, waiting for the draw to come out.

“We’re going to be putting out our strongest team that is fit and available. We’re going to try and beat a very good Wealdstone team – it’s set up for a good cup tie.”

Chelsea loanee Teddy Sharman-Lowe has found himself on the bench in recent weeks with Grant Smith, 29, becoming the number one between the sticks under the former Crystal Palace and Newcastle United goalkeeper coach.

Ex-Lincoln stopper Smith has kept four clean sheets during his run in the team and conceded 14 goals in 14 games. Sharman-Lowe, 20, is on his third loan spell away from Stamford Bridge.

“Teddy Sharman-Lowe has been the absolute model professional,” added Woodman. “I’m not just saying that. Teddy started off the season with the shirt. He picked up an injury and Grant came in.

“He picked up a few man of the matches and has kept the shirt – Teddy has had to sit there and watch. I’m sure Grant is only playing as well as he is because he can’t afford to drop off his performances as there is a top keeper behind him.

“Teddy has been pushing all the time to get into the team. Of course he’s disappointed that he’s not playing, but he’s been a serious professional. When his moment comes, he will jump in it and take it.”

Mitchel Bergkamp – son of Arsenal legend Dennis – signed a new deal with Bromley over the summer after featuring nine times last season and scoring once.

But the Dutch midfielder, 25, has been missing from the matchday squad since the start of the season.

“Mitchel has had concussion,” explained Woodman. “He had three concussions and sadly Mitchel has not been training now for three months – he’s been to see a neurologist and having certain tests.

“There are extensive tests in relation to the concussion protocol.

“He’s not been too well. I can’t give you any more updates, but we’re in contact with him and we’re waiting for the green light so he can start training again.

“It’s not easy for the young man. One minute he feels fine and the next minute he feels unwell.

“We will leave it to the experts and then wait to see when he can come back on to the training pitch.

“It’s been a long and frustrating three months for Mitchel.”

Bromley are fifth in the National League and have only suffered one defeat – a 2-0 loss at league leaders Chesterfield – in their last 13 outings in the division.

Joshua Passley

They bounced back from the defeat at the SMH Group Stadium last week with a late 94th-minute equaliser from Joshua Passley in a 2-2 draw at York City on Saturday.

Michael Cheek also scored for Bromley, who trailed twice in the match at LNER Community Stadium.

“I say it all the time, we want to be as high as we can,” said Woodman. “To be in and around the play-off positions is a must. But we should take our other hat off as a club and realise what we’re achieving here is quite phenomenal. We have been in the play-offs for two years of the three and we have won the FA Trophy.

“We’re talking about, with respect, a small club in this league compared to the other big teams – we’re way above where we should be.

“That’s what we are and that’s the sort of mantra I have got here. We have got to keep battling against the odds.

“We have done it the last few years and we will continue to do it. We’re really putting this club on the map.”


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