Date:Thursday January 3 2008
Roberto Martinez will turn his attentions to the FA Cup that has earned the club in excess of £200,000 in prize money and broadcast funds. All that stand in Swansea City's way of a 4th round berth is Blue Square South side Havant & Waterlooville who caused a giant killing in the 2nd round.
Stuart Gales side downed Notts County after midfielder Tony Taggart came off the bench to score a 87th minute winner.But do Hawks fans think they can cause an upset ? Vital Swansea interviews Rich Self the moderator and web editor of the Hawks Official site. Havant & Waterlooville.net/
How Long have you been a Havant and Waterlooville fan?
Since September 1998, a few months into the first season after the clubs merged. My father encouraged me to go and see an FA Cup 4th Qualifying round game against Hayes, two leagues above us at the time, and I was hooked from then on. I started running the club`s website in summer 2000.
With the Giant Killing of Notts County do you feel this result will give the players the confidence to stun Swansea at home ?
Think they`ll know they can do it. York was an eye opener, but Notts was the first time we`ve ever beaten a league side, so that psychological barrier isn`t there any more.
Some of your players like Andy Gurney , Neil Sharp , Darren Annon and Mo Harkin have valuable league experience is this a crucial factor for Havant's successful cup run?
Think it`s more to do with the enthusiasm of the side. The win against County shows the gap between the conference and the lower end of league Two is not as big as people think it is, we ran Millwall close in the FA Cup last year too, so I think enthusiasm and self belief is what is crucial rather than league experience, although that obviously does help. A fair number of our team have played Arsenal in the FA Cup while at Farnborough too, that I`m sure will be in the back of their minds. Especially Rocky, who scored against them.
Who is the H&W player that will cause Swansea the most problems ?
Difficult to pick out one after the tempo of the County game. ex-Swan Neil Sharp is on fire at the moment in defence and will have something to prove against his old team, and our midfield seem to light up against a challenge. If I had to pick one though, you`ll have to do something pretty special to get a shot past keeper Kevin Scriven.
What was your and Havant fans reaction to the draw against Swansea?
To be honest, having reached the heady heights of the third round we were really hoping for a championship or preferably premiership club, and a home draw for once, but Swansea`s set-up is extremely impressive, more so than many clubs in the Championship, so most of us are coming round to the idea of a great day out. You`ll certainly hear us anyway.
What does the FA Cup run mean to fans and the club itself?
The prestige and the money I think. At our level any significant cash injection is helpful, and this run has certainly given us that. For the fans though I think what it means most is the chance to really show our players how much we love the club. It`s a chance to celebrate everything that`s great about being a Hawks fan, especially after the nasty turn we had a few months back when our previous manager walked out. Galey has been a superb replacement though, much more approachable, and it`s given his career in the hot seat a real high profile début. To see him doing match summarising on Sky the other night really brought home how interested the media are in us at the moment. Of course it`ll only be a fifteen minutes of fame thing, but we`re enjoying it while it lasts. Hopefully into the fourth round anyway.
How many fans will the club be bringing to the Liberty Stadium?
we had 261 in the away end at County, which was pretty good for the trek involved to get up there. Swansea will probably generate more interest because we`re always keen on visiting a new ground and as said, your new set-up looks pretty impressive. If I had a hazard a guess I`d say probably just over 300. That may seem slender, but our away support has shot up over the last two seasons. 300 would probably be the biggest away showing we`ve ever had, including our appearance at Tamworth in the FA Trophy semi-final a few years back.
Thank you to Rich for his opinions , have a safe journey to Swansea Hawks fans.
Date:Thursday January 3 2008
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