Tonight's Velocity Trophy Preview
Kingstonian manager Hayden Bird with his thoughts on tonight and then Sunday.
In the build-up to tonight's Velocity Trophy tie with Merstham, the official website caught up with K's manager Hayden Bird.
In speaking to the Boss, it was clear that he expects a far from easy contest this evening.
"My experience tells me tonight will be a far more difficult game than Saturday," emphasized Hayden. "Judging by the game at the weekend, Merstham are a team with decent players. Given time and space, these players can be dangerous. Added to that, Frank Wilson's side will be determined to bounce back from the weekend. We are expecting a tough game against a motivated, determined opponent."
Bearing that in mind, will the strongest team play tonight?
"We must be mindful of this being the first of three games in as little as six days. On Sunday, we entertain National League club Woking in the FA Trophy. Just two days later, we travel to local rivals Leatherhead in a vital League fixture. With this in mind, tonight's team will be rotated in the same way as when we played and beat March Town United, Blackfield & Langley and AFC Sudbury."
"At times, managers rotate teams to prioritise certain competitions. I want to make it absolutely clear that it is not the case tonight! As I've always said, in my first year at Kingstonian, I want to win trophies! The Velocity Trophy is very much on our radar. It's a trophy we can win and it's a trophy we want to win."
"Although some lads will be rested, they will be replaced with exceptional players. These players are very important to Kingstonian and are ready to play. As I have said many times before, I trust everybody in our squad. Kingstonian need every player in the dressing room in order to achieve our ambitions. Although some may say it is a risk to rotate and rest the squad, I completely trust the players to get the job done tonight!"
Sunday promises to be another great day in this memorable season?
"It certainly does and I'm looking forward to it. Dowse is a good friend, it will be great to see him. Within seconds of the draw being made, we were on the phone and the banter started! It will be a good game. I'm interested to see how our players react and how they have learned from the AFC Fylde experience. I've also had a chat to Geoff Chapple who will also be at the game. Dowse and Geoff both did an excellent job for this club and I'm looking forward to seeing them both."
"As for the team, we approach the game with plenty of confidence and will be fighting to win. In order to do that and beat a team that is 4th in the National League, we will need our supporters to be our 12th man! Therefore, I'm asking everyone to forget the Sunday roast and Super Sunday! We will need you in your numbers and in great voice!"
"That also goes for tonight. I'm not treating this game as a low-priority fixture. Far from it. The Velocity Trophy is a trophy we can win and I am here to bring silverware to Kingstonian Football Club. When you look at it like that, tonight's game is very important. If we want to restore this club to its former glory, we need to win trophies. We've made a great start in trying to achieve that and hope to still be fighting on four fronts on Sunday night!"
"I'm told that the club has decided to reduce the admission prices tonight. It's a great idea which I'm hoping our fans will take full advantage of. Since I've been here, the Kingstonian supporters have been second to none. I hope they will support the team in their numbers tonight."
Admission prices for tonight's game are £7 for adults, £4 for concessions, £2 for students and Under 18s will be permitted free entry.
Tickets for Sunday's FA Trophy tie with Woking will be on sale in clubhouse before and after tonight's game, and they can also be purchased from Banquet Records (click here to go straight to the page) or in person at 52 Eden Street in Kingston town centre.