Lichfield assistant manager Wayne Chapman shared his memories of the FA Cup, both as a fan with Coventry City and being involved in coaching ahead of Saturday’s first qualifying round tie against Nuneaton Borough writes Dan Hargraves.

“I think every person who loves football loves the FA Cup”, Chapman said. “When I was a kid you would wait for Match of the Day and then go out into the field and recreate the player who scored the goal in the FA Cup final. It was like a dream

“I was lucky enough to be at Wembley when the side that I follow, Coventry City, won the cup in ’87. For a fan, to be there, it’s just the best day of your life really.

“From a coaching point of view, I’ve been quite lucky in the FA Cup, we’ve had some really good runs. We lost in the fourth round, when I was at Atherstone, to Barrow. There was a bit of trouble at the game that day but it was a good run and we beat some good sides along the way. So the FA Cup has been quite kind to me really.”

With the build up to Saturday’s game attracting plenty of attention and excitement, the assistant manager stated that the day is more for the players than himself and manager Ivor Green.

Chapman said: “It’s been surreal. We turned up for training Wednesday night and BBC Midlands today turn up with cameras and it doesn’t happen to players at our level very often if ever.

“To have had the two games we’ve had, especially beating Evesham in the last round, people asked me who I fancied in the next round and Tamworth and Nuneaton were in there and being an Atherstone lad, that’s who I wanted really. Obviously, if we played Nuneaton ten times, then you’d probably expect them to beat us nine times because of the level that they are, but it’s about what happens on the day; you just don’t know do you?

“It’s for the players, not so much myself and Ivor. For these lads it’s a dream and for so many it’s like ‘is this really going on?’. They come and train and they’re great, a very close knit set of lads. You’ve got to think, they’ve got to be excited and I’m sure they are, but they’re so level headed they just took it in their stride.”

September 3, 2021

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