MANAGER Ian Colmer believes Branksome Railway have “already exceeded expectations” in the FA Sunday Cup – but admits his players are hungry for more.
The Bournemouth FA big guns face Telford Sunday League powerhouses The Plough Wellington in the quarter-final at Wimborne’s Cuthbury on Sunday (2pm).
Both teams have enjoyed a fruitful run in their first year in the competition having won through four rounds to reach the last eight.
And to earn a dream trip to Liverpool’s Anfield in the final, either Railway or The Plough would need to see off holders and three-time finalists Oyster Martyrs in the semis.
The Plough booked a date with Railway after recording a 4-2 win over Aylesbury-based AYFCS, while Colmer’s men needed extra-time to get past London outfit New Salamis.
Colmer told the Daily Echo: “Our aim when we first decided to enter was to try to get through a couple of rounds, enjoy ourselves and get a taste for the competition.
“We wanted to come back next season with a good idea of what we would be up against and what we would have to do to have a really good run. But the boys have surpassed everything.
“They have already exceeded expectations and can be proud of themselves.
“We know all about the teams we play locally and that has shown this season because we are unbeaten. We haven’t lost at home for two seasons so we are doing very well on the domestic front. The FA Sunday Cup has been a different challenge and has given everyone a real buzz.
“There has been great camaraderie among the squad and this has been reflected in our performances. The hardest part for me is going to be telling five lads they are on the bench and telling two or three others they haven’t made the squad.
“First and foremost, we are all the best friends and, secondly, we are a football team. We go out with a smile on our faces and, if that doesn’t happen, I am doing something wrong.”
Colmer added: “I haven’t been able to get to see the opposition because their last round was postponed three times and they eventually played when we had a game.
“I know they are unbeaten in all competitions since November 2011 and have won the treble in their league for the past two seasons.
“Playing the holders is a huge incentive for both teams. I know my lads would love to play them and I am sure The Plough boys will feel the same. It will be an incredible achievement for whoever goes through to reach the semi-final in their first season.”
Railway, who are sponsored by Patrick’s Bar in Ashley Cross, have set entry prices at £2 for adults and free for under-16s. They estimate the game will cost around £500 to stage.