Sam Belcher says he and his Atherstone Town teammates are raring to continue their FA Vase fairy-tale after a rollercoaster fortnight threatened to derail the Adders’ season.
Days after they knocked out Worcester City in the last round, Scott Rickards and Mike Fowler both walked away from the club, after a handful of Adders fans racially abused Stafford Town keeper Samuel Amedu.
But with this weekend’s huge sixth round tie with Consett Town on the horizon, Belcher can’t wait to get back to work with on-the-field matters.
“We’re just itching to play a game at the minute,” Belcher said. Everything seems to have settled down now and just want to get on with playing.
“As players we can’t really affect the off-field side of things but one thing we can do is affect what happens on the pitch.
“Our FA Vase run has been great. It’s been a longer run than any of us probably expected. But the team spirit is good and long may it continue as you need good spirit to be a successful team which, hopefully we will be come the end of the season.”
The Adders are the lowest ranked team left in the competition while Consett Town are one of the bookies’ favourites to win it.
And despite many thinking Rickards’ departure will have a detrimental effect on their chances – Belcher feels it could galvanise the squad.
“Ivor [Green] I believe that was in charge the first round, then Joe Obi for a round, then obviously Scott and MIke for the rest,” Belcher added. “But think we have said do it for ourselves and each other now.
“Hopefully what’s happened will bring us together. But only time will tell when we finally get on the pitch, or have our first setback, we will see how strong we are as a group of players.”
It’s not just the cup competitions either. Atherstone are going great guns in the league and have several games in hand on teams above them.
But Belcher has more than Wembley and silverware on his mind. His son, Hugo, was born prematurely and continues to fight in hospital after being born 16 weeks early.
“There’s no doubting it would be a great achievement to get promoted,” Belcher said. “That was our aim back in pre-season and to be honest if u said you would be three games away from Wembley at this point, we would’ve laughed at you.
“But with what’s being going on off the field in my life it would be dream come true to be able to walk out the hospital with my little one, let alone walk out at Wembley!”
MAIN IMAGE CREDIT – Atherstone Town Football Club