The team can’t travel to Nottingham until after work
Oxford City boss Mark Jones hopes barber Godfrey Poku and his fellow part-timers can prove themselves a cut above Notts County to pull off a shock FA Cup win at Meadow Lane.
The Vanarama National League South outfit are one of the lowest-ranked clubs left in the competition, and earned a place in the second round after winning away at Colchester.
Jones, though, will have to delay the departure ahead of Saturday’s televised tie to allow his squad enough time to finish their day jobs and get set for the biggest game of their football careers.
“We are travelling up to Nottingham on Friday, but we aren’t able to leave until later on because of lads finishing work,” Jones told Press Association Sport.
“Most of our players have full-time jobs. We have a few football coaches in there, but we have got a barber, an electrician and guys who fit security alarms.
“Godfrey Poku, our central midfielder, has done great for us over the past couple of seasons. He is a barber in south London – although judging by his own barnet I am not sure how many clients he gets.”
Jones, who was speaking on behalf of sponsor William Hill, added: “We try to be as professional as we can within the limitations we have.
“We had a really good performance in the last round, managing to knock a League Two club out, and are really looking forward to going up to Notts County.”
A goal from former Southampton trainee Matthew Paterson – signed in the summer after meeting Jones in a McDonalds restaurant – proved enough to get the better of Colchester with a 1-0 away win.
While captain Lee Henderson is a major doubt because of a calf problem, there are likely to be a couple of more familiar surnames at least on the Oxford City team-sheet.
Full-back Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain is on loan from Portsmouth until January, with Jones having called on Kenny Jackett, his former youth team manager at Watford, to secure the services of the Liverpool forward Alex’s younger brother.
Zac McEachran, meanwhile, will be looking to make his mark. The one-time Chelsea youth player is aiming to follow on from the achievements of brothers Josh, now at Brentford, and George, who helped England Under-17s to World Cup success earlier this year.
“We have some talented players, and I am sure we can cause Notts County one or two problems,” Jones said.
“Of course it is going to be a massive task for us, and nine times out of 10 the Football League club a few leagues above us would get the result.
“I should think, though, there will probably be one cup shock this weekend, and why can’t that be us if we apply ourselves?”
:: Oxford City are sponsored for the second round of the FA Cup by William Hill Plus – access online funds in shop and cash-in shop bets on mobile, more info at williamhillplus.com
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There are no comments for this article.