Emley AFC boss Richard Tracey has tasted the big stage in the FA Cup as a player. He now wants to see his Emley side go as far as possible in the cup this season.
Back in 2002 Tracey played for Macclesfield Town. He represented the club 37 times scoring five goals. One of those performances came in the third round of the FA Cup, a round rarely seen by the Silkmen.
Macclesfield had drawn West Ham United that season at home. A Moss Rose crowd of 5,706 welcomed the Premier League stars to the third division club.
Tracey remembers the day well – and he could have been a hero if it hadn’t been for an offside flag.
He said: “I played on television in the third round of the cup for Macclesfield v West Ham. I scored after four minutes to put us 1-0 up but the goal was disallowed for offside. That decision still haunts me to this day.
“It was a very good Hammers side, Jermaine Defoe scored as well as Joe Cole and they had David James in goal. So it was a very talented West Ham team that beat us 3-0 in the end.”
Tracey has since gone into management and is now doing his best to push Emley forward as a club.
This weekend the Pewits are in the Preliminary Round of the cup. They will be facing City of Liverpool and will be hoping to make it through to the next round.
They will also be hoping to put the recent 5-1 defeat to Eccleshill United behind them and have a positive result on Saturday.
Tracey said: “It would be great to go through the rounds of the cup. It helps to bring money into the club so it’s important we go as far as we can in it. That money helps the club off the pitch as well as on it so we want to win Saturday.
“Let’s also be honest, it’s the FA Cup. Every young lad wants to play in this historic competition and luckily, because of how the football pyramid works, we still get that chance in non-league. We get to earn that chance to dream big of how far we can go.
“As a manager there would be nothing better than if I could take a non-league club into the first round proper of the cup.
“We know that if we want to get that chance of going through we need to beat a very good City of Liverpool side on Saturday. There is nowhere more difficult to go and play at this level in the north of England than Liverpool.
“Most teams over there have outstanding players. They are no nonsense, hard working sides with some special talents who can score goals.”
Emley’s 3-2 preliminary round victory over Congleton Town was the club’s first FA Cup win for five years.