Back in the Vase and going for a knockout

Nick Pollard
Nick Pollard

Harborough Town return to FA Vase action this weekend with their eyes on some cup excitement.

The Bees travel to Nottingham-based side Radford who currently sit sixth in the East Midlands Counties League Premier Division with boss Nick Pollard insisting his men have every chance of going well in the competition.

However, he also accepts they cannot afford to underestimate their opponents who play at the level below.

“I know they finished second last year and are a very useful team,” Pollard said of their hosts.

“It should be a good game between two evenly-matched sides.

“There is not much between Level 5 and Level 6 so, if we go there underprepared, we’ll get turned over.

“We’ve had very similar starts to the season so we know it will be tough.

“The Vase is a great opportunity.

“It is cup runs that bond a side and if you get some success it also raises your profile a bit.

“We took a few with us to Brigg and it was a great afternoon.

“It would be nice to get a few on board to come and back us at Radford as well.

“We are at the highest level that you can play in the Vase so there is no one in this competition we can’t go to and give a good game.

“On paper we’re one of the stronger teams in it.

“It would be great if we can keep going.”

And Pollard knows exactly what it is like to go all the way to Wembley having reached the final when he was at Coalville.

However, the day holds bitter-sweet memories as he was cup-tied and unable to play.

“I started that season at Kirby Muxloe and we got knocked out of the Vase in the second round.

“I then joined Coalville and we won the league and got to the Vase final.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t play. I was gutted.

“I got to warm-up on the Wembley pitch but then had to sit and watch.

“It was a great day, though. If you get there and have the day out it is a great experience.

“There is a long way to go yet but it would be nice to go back and do it again as a manager.”