MANAGER Tom Killick stressed the importance of the FA Cup ahead of the Dolphins' first foray into the competition this year.

The Black Gold Stadium will play host to Poole and their Southern League Premier South rivals Swindon Supermarine in the first qualifying round.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Killick said: “I always say that a cup run doesn’t just create revenue via prize money, but it also swells your fanbase.

“You suddenly get people come and watch a decent cup match, if you get into the final qualifying round, or the first round proper – something that has alluded us.

“If you get that sort of fixture, where suddenly you get a 1,000, 1,500 people through the gate, a hell of a lot them don’t normally come.

“So, if you can get yourself in that situation where you get those sorts of numbers through the gate, often there is an ongoing kickback from then, in terms of retaining supporters that have come for the first time or don’t come very often."

Asked whether the tournament had a heightened importance after the financial strain the pandemic had placed on non-league sides, Killick responded: “I just think the FA Cup is always so desperately important for us.

“I think the FA Cup is so important for all sorts of reasons – it raises your profile, creates revenue, it can grow you fanbase – and the players love it, supporters love it.

“I’ve always just felt that it is a big, big deal, and this year is no different. I just think the FA Cup is always so desperately important for us.”

Any potential bumper tie requires Dolphins to get past Swindon Supermarine, a side Killick has a lot of respect for.

“They were one of the sides at the start of the season that would be quite powerful. That’s turned out to be the case.

“They played Wimborne last week and we got some information from that game. They’re just a powerful team. They’ve got (David) Pratt and (Conor) McDonagh up top, who are a pair I rate quite highly.

“They’re probably one of the best frontlines in the league. We’re just going to have to be at our best.

“It’s a tough draw. It’s at home, which is a good thing, but there so many better draws to have been had. But, there’s not point moaning about it, we just have to get on with it.”

Also in FA Cup action tomorrow are Wimborne Town, who head to Blackfield & Langley.

Hamworthy United face a trip to Merthyr Town, while Lymington Town are also on the road, taking on Barnstaple Town.

The winners of Saturday’s ties will earn £2,250, whilst the side knocked out will still receive £750.