BOSS Tom Killick insists thoughts of reaching the first round of the FA Cup are still "too far away" as his Poole side prepare for the next hurdle in the competition on Saturday.

Dolphins, who sit top of Southern League South, head to fellow in-form side Tooting and Mitcham (3pm) in a bid to seal a spot in the final qualifying round of the competition.

Despite competing at a level below Poole in the pyramid, Tooting are sure to prove formidable opponents, currently unbeaten in 12 games in all competitions this campaign. They sit second in the Isthmian South Central table and defeat National League South outfit Dorking Wanderers in the last round of the FA Cup.

Since taking over at Tatnam in 2004, Killick’s Dolphins have never progressed past the final qualifying round of the FA Cup, but did defeat higher level opposition in Hungerford Town to set up a trip to Tooting.

Despite being a league above, Killick realises his side have not been handed a simple draw and says that presuming his side are already in the next round could prove fatal.

“We are fully aware of how tough a test Tooting will prove to be," Killick told the Daily Echo.

"Cup competitions always throw up tests that the league doesn’t. Going away to a form team a league below is a different prospect to playing a title rival, for example.

“It’s a different proposition, and one we will have to treat with respect. The players know that they can’t rest on their laurels in regards to their own form, but there is a confidence growing in our own performances.”

It’s not just a step closer to the first round proper on the line, as the winners of the tie will pocket £11,250 in prize money. With margins tight at every club, the FA Cup can prove to be a money spinner even before a prize draw to a league side.

“Financially the FA Cup becomes a priority for a lot of teams at our level,” Killick added.

“We’re no different - that’s a season-changing sum. In all my years here I’ve treated the cup with importance because it can really help off-field matters.

“It makes for boring reading, but my mindset is the same every year – we’ll take each game and round at a time. After the Hungerford match, we weren’t thinking to ourselves ‘we’re close to the first round’ because it’s still too far away.

“Right now we can only focus on the opponents we have. Would it be nice to have a cup run? Certainly. Am I going to get carried away with the idea? No. It would be wasted energy."

Killick has very few injury concerns ahead of the trip to Imperial Fields, barring long-term absences, and with the Dolphins able to name a bigger bench of seven, a full-strength side is expected.