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FA Cup clash at Mill Field is battle of the bosses
7:00am Friday 13th September 2013 in Sport
Aveley v Canvey Island
FA CUP: TWO young managers will go head to head in the FA Cup tomorrow when Danny Heale takes his Canvey side to Justin Gardner’s Aveley, writes James Colasanti.
Gardner, 33, and Heale, 32, are both making their way in the Ryman leagues, but this weekend their focus will be firmly on the famous old cup competition.
“I’ve got to know Justin quite well in recent years and he’s quite a character,” said Heale.
“He’s probably got into management in the more usual way by cutting his teeth at Bethnal Green then coming in at Aveley and doing well there, whereas I have come in at quite a high level.
“But come the weekend any friendships will be put to one side because we are both competitive and we’ll both want to win.”
Canvey come into the game following back-to-back wins in the league for the first time this season.
Heale went to the Millfield on Monday to see Aveley lose 3-2 to Maldon in Ryman One North, and he feels his Gulls side should be too strong for their hosts tomorrow.
He said: “It was not a great game, but I’m sure they’ll both be up there in that division at the end of the season.
“But we should be fitter and stronger than them and should get through if we approach the game in the right way.”
Gardner admits they will be underdogs but says home advantage might have a big say in the result.
He said: “My friend’s the manager over at Canvey and they’ve got a couple of my players, so I know a fair bit about how they play. “When teams play us in the Ryman One North, they treat it like their cup final. Everyone wants to beat us. “So for the first time I can say we’re underdogs. “They’re an established Ryman Premier league team who should be challenging for the play-offs in my opinion. So the pressure is off us.
“But I do believe that if I can get my best 11 out we’ll run them close. “The home advantage helps, that showed against Maldon when the young crowd behind the goal got behind the team it helped us out. I always fancy us at home.”
Aveley’s captain Billy Holland will face a late fitness test on a groin strain but should be available. Central defender Rob Bartley returns for Canvey after a three-match suspension, but Nick Humphrey is likely to miss out because of a hamstring problem.
Heale revealed he is on the lookout for another midfielder after Ty Smith left Canvey to return to Met Police because of his lengthy commute to Canvey.
Canvey’s squad includes former Aveley men Ellis Sands, Sheldon Sellears and Michael Alaile, while Canvey’s youth teamer Sammy Knott could play against the Gulls’ first team following his summer move to Aveley.
For the full story see the THURROCK GAZETTE