Thetford Town boss Danny White remembers a fine day with King's Lynn Town in the FA Cup
Copyright: Archant 2017
Thetford Town boss Danny White recalls his favourite FA Cup memory to Mark Armstrong ahead of the Brecklanders' extra preliminary round against Fakenham at Mundford Road this evening
Some things are more important than football.
When Danny White’s daughter went down with a bad chest infection a few days before King’s Lynn Town’s FA Cup third qualifying round tie against Stratford Town in 2011 he understandably decided to miss training.
When White reported for duty on the Saturday morning before the game then manager Gary Setchell wasn’t happy.
Neither was White when the boss informed him of his intention to fine him for his absence.
Little did White know that it was all part of a masterplan to fire up the striker to make a difference a few hours later.
“I get on really well with Setch but we had a disagreement at the time to say the least!” said White. “He said that he was going to fine me and we had a bit of a row about it. He then said that he’d got a feeling about me though and that if I scored then he would waive the fine.
“It was a really tough game and we were level at 2-2 going into the closing stage and then in the 88th-minute I popped up and scored the winner. I suppose in the end it was a good piece of management...and I didn’t have to pay a fine!”
White has since moved into management himself and is getting to know all about the mind games you sometimes have to play with your players as boss at Thetford Town. The Brecklanders have made a decent start to the season in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, losing narrowly to highly-fancied Stowmarket Town before hammering Great Yarmouth Town 5-2 on Tuesday night.
But all thoughts are on Town’s FA Cup extra preliminary round tie at home to Fakenham Town this evening when the winners pocket the princely sum of £2,250.
As much as people talk about the magic of the FA Cup, the reality is that many non league clubs see it as a chance for a potential windfall...and Thetford are no different.
“FA Cup games are always a bit special but any team at this level will see it as a chance to earn a bit of money,” said White. “We don’t have a great deal of cash at Thetford and I remember that run I was part of with King’s Lynn earned the club about £8,000 – that sort of money to a club like Thetford would be invaluable.
“If we do manage to get through then it will be another tough tie against Godmanchester or Newport Pagnell but it’s 11v11 and it would be great for the club and the town if we could go on a bit of a run.”
Premier Division Thetford will be the favourites to advance at Mundford Road this evening against the Ghosts, who showed they are adjusting well to life in the First Division with a 3-1 win over Norwich CBS on Tuesday night.
“Cup ties are always a bit of a lottery and we won’t be taking them lightly - that’s for sure,” added White. “Their win against Norwich CBS will have given them a lot of confidence.
“I’ve got to be honest I’ve been really surprised at the way we’ve started. Pre-season has been horrendous really - from the state of the pitches, player availability and the results.
“When we were handed a tough start at Stowmarket, who are regarded as one of the favourites this season, I was optimistic but I also thought about some of the results we’d had recently (in pre-season).
“For us to come so close to getting a result shows the character of the lads and I’m still a bit gutted about the result because I thought we deserved more.”
White is hoping to build last season’s 12th-placed finish in the Premier Division and believes with the players he’s been able to bring in they could be fighting it out towards the top end.
“I’m really pleased with the additions,” he added. “I felt at times last season that we were dominated physically by opposition but we’ve managed to address that and I think when we come up against sides like Godmanchester for example we won’t be found wanting.
“But the league can wait for the moment as all our attention will be looking to get past Fakenham and go on a bit of a cup run.”