Marine hungry for more FA Cup history

Marine’s taste of the FA Cup big time three years ago has fuelled their hunger for more ahead of this weekend's First Round clash with Harrogate Town.

When the Mariners faced Tottenham Hotspur at the Third Round stage of the 2020/21 season, the 161 places between the two clubs was the largest gulf in the competition’s history.

The windfall from that televised tie has proved transformational and CEO James Leary hopes their latest cup crusade can propel the club to even greater heights.

“There's no there's no better feeling than a good FA Cup run,” said Leary.

“After our run last time we became a household name. So to be able to be in a position where you're talking to people all over the country who remember the game and know the club, it's great.

“Some people have said to us that we’ve already had our run, but the fact that you've had one doesn't make it any less exciting, or make you look forward to it any less.

“Actually it’s the opposite. You have such a good experience and you just want to do it all over again because you know how good it feels.

“That's the position we're in at the moment, we had an unbelievable run when we played Tottenham, it was incredible to be a part of and I will never ever forget that as it was one of the best times in my life.

“Since then, we’ve spent over half a million on the 4G pitch and a quarter of a million on other facilities around the ground.

“If we get a result against Harrogate this time, then we could do it all over again and there’s nothing I want to do more.”

Leary, an accountant based in Liverpool but working in Manchester, is one of countless volunteers who play integral roles at non-league clubs across the country, with opportunities to get involved now available through the Pitching In Volunteer Hub.

Now into his sixth year of service, he believes there is great value in fans helping their local club.

“When the times are good, I think there's no better place to be than at a football club,” he said.

“When you’re getting promoted or having big Cup runs and playing Spurs or Harrogate, it’s great.

“It can also be tough, but then there’s the community aspect and the opportunity to make a difference there.

“It is a challenge and there’s probably more tough times than good, but you keep going and keep working because you know that you're doing your bit.”

Find volunteering opportunities at your local club by visiting https://pitchinginvolunteers.co.uk/

Where next?

The NPL Show - November 3rd The EFL prepares for the NPL as Ben speaks with the final three
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