Geoff Butler has turned to former Wessex Stadium favourite Steve Tate for the low down on Weymouth’s FA Trophy opponents, Aveley.
The Terras travel to meet the Ryman Division One North side in the first round of the competition at Mill Field tomorrow (3pm).
The Essex outfit put out Tate’s Newport IOW in the previous round and so who better to call upon for advice?
Butler explained: “I didn’t know a thing about Aveley when the draw was made, but we all know how difficult some of these Ryman sides are away from home. I’ve had a few bad experiences at those sort of places in my time and so have Weymouth. Fortunately we’ve been able to get a bit of background from Steve Tate because Newport IOW played them in the qualifying stages. My assistant Ricky Haysom met up with him after their game at Eastleigh in the week and he was kind enough to give us a few pointers.”
The Terras last away day excursion to a Ryman League club in the FA Trophy came last season at Chesham United. That was Des Bulpin’s first outing as the club’s new director of football and it ended disastrously with Weymouth getting walloped 4-0.
“Status wise we’re obviously favourites,” said Butler, “but it will be a very dangerous game if start taking them for granted. What I’ll be looking for is more of the same from Hinckley last week where we worked really hard and were unlucky not to have come away with a least a share of the points. We’ve had a couple of very good training sessions this week where we’ve been working on closing people down and forcing the opposition to do things which they don’t want to do, which in turn leads to them making mistakes. We don’t have a right to play football all of the time, that’s something that has to be earned. You earn it by getting stuck in, showing determination and that’s the way I want us to play.”
He added: “The FA Trophy is a great distraction and it offers a chance for us to earn some stripes. But our attitude has to be spot on for this one because if it’s not, then we could easily come unstuck.”
Butler’s one major selection worry concerns Mark Robinson, who has been sidelined for the past fortnight with a thigh strain.
And while the manager is reluctant to risk the midfield play-maker, he’ll almost certainly call on the services of defender Mark Kenway who is due to have a cortisone injection in his troublesome left knee.
“We’ve got some really big league games coming up,” explained Butler, “and so I’m not keen to risk Robbo unless it’s absolutely necessary. He’s been running okay in training this week, but his kicking muscles are still a problem and, to be honest, I’ve my doubts.
“Kenners will have an injection and should be fine and both Michael Dean and Simon Browne are over their thigh troubles as well.
“We’re down to the bare minimum, but that’s the way it is at a club like Weymouth right now because we’re not in the position to go out and get cover and bring players in when we feel like it.”
* Weymouth’s Dr Martens Cup first round tie at Newport IOW has been rearranged for next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Terras scheduled trip to Moor Green on Saturday, November 16, has been postponed because the Midlands side will be in FA Cup action.