FA Cup: Bring on the big boys says Handsworth boss Russ Eagle

Handsworth FC boss Russ Eagle wants his team to embrace their underdog tag in the next round of the FA Cup.

By Steve Jones
Sunday, 5th September 2021, 1:24 pm

The club’s players, staff and volunteers partied long into the night on Saturday after the Ambers saw off Coventry United 2-0 to book their place in the second qualifying round alongside several former Football League clubs.

The regionalised draw for the next stage of the world’s oldest cup competition, featuring level 6 clubs, will be made at 1pm on Monday.

Eagle said: “I would want a York, a Chester or an Alfreton – something tasty to give my lads one hell of an experience.

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"Something like that to pit against would be fantastic. Home or away, it’d be a great day out.

"It’s just that one-off and if you prepare properly and your lads turn up and play, who knows?

"Wherever we go, or if we are at home, we are going to have a pop at it. We have absolutely nothing to lose.”

Eagle admitted he was feeling the effects of Saturday’s celebrations on Sunday morning, but that hadn’t taken the shine off a “fantastic” result in front of 368 fans – the club’s biggest home attendance of the season so far.

Handsworth players celebrate their second goal.

Goals from Jack Harrison and James Oliver gave Handsworth the win.

“I’m still absolutely buzzing now,” Eagle said.

"I feel really proud of everything the lads did yesterday and the way they went about their job against a decent side.

"There were five or six lads for Coventry that were playing at Evo Stik level (7 and 8) and above in the last couple of years. I know they are at our step but I feel their team is a level up.

"I though again young Nana (Nyarko) was outstanding, I thought James Oliver was outstanding, but I really did think the middle three – Jack Harrison, Ben Teasdale and Sam Fewkes – did exactly what was expected of them.

"They probably won me the game.”

A place in the second qualifying round equals ninth-tier Handsworth’s best-ever showing in the FA Cup.

After three wins in the competition, the club has also banked £4,819 in prize money alone, with a minimum of £1,125 guaranteed in the next round, which will be played on Saturday 18 September.