Wroxham defender targets FA Vase glory
Wroxham defender Shaun Howes is ready to grab his last chance of success ahead of the club's FA Vase two legged semi final showdown against Whitehawk.Howes admits edging past the south coast outfit would be the perfect way to cap a decade of service at Trafford Park on the eve of Sunday's first leg away tie.
Wroxham defender Shaun Howes is ready to grab his last chance of success ahead of the club's FA Vase two legged semi final showdown against Whitehawk.
Howes admits edging past the south coast outfit would be the perfect way to cap a decade of service at Trafford Park on the eve of Sunday's first leg away tie.
The Sussex County Division One league leaders stand between David Batch's men and the chance to become Norfolk's first finalists since Diss triumphed at Wembley in 1994.
'I'm 32 now and I'm not getting any younger - that's definitely what my body is telling me,' said Howes. 'This could be my last chance so what a way to go out by reaching the final. We have a few lads who are in their 30s now and when you get to that stage of your career you realise these type of games might not come around again.
'We got to the last eight a couple of times in my first few seasons and you just tended to take it for granted we'd be there or thereabouts each season. But the more years we have played in it the more you realise what a tough national competition it is. I don't think there is any question with the sides we've had here at Wroxham that we have underachieved.'
Howes insists the Yachtsmen remain totally focused on the immediate task at hand this weekend with Whitehawk visiting Trafford Park six days later.
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'We know what the prize is for getting past them in these two games but Royston were talking about Wembley and that being the biggest game in their lives,' he said. 'To an extent, you also felt that with Needham Market as well in the last round with them getting to that stage of the competition so many times in recent years. We have to forget about what is at stake and concentrate on performing well. We know what we are good at and we want to do that again.
'Of course it is impossible not to think about what could be around the corner, but we also have enough experience in the squad now that we realise we have to concentrate on these two games.'
Howes is confident the visitors can cause Whitehawk problems in Sunday's tense opening match.
'We'll be going to win,' he said. 'We seem to be better away from home and I think that shows we are well prepared and professional in how we approach the games. We know what we have to do and that has worked for us so far. I wouldn't say we have had our fair share of luck in the competition but in the first game against Gorleston they were arguably the better side in that first game.
'We had a man sent off 15 minutes into the next tie but drew 0-0 and won the replay. Armthorpe over two legs were probably the better team but we managed to get through. Now in the draw we have avoided Whitley Bay and Barwell who, judging by their league form, are supposed to be decent side as well. We've got the second leg at home so we could not have asked for more - we have to make the most of it and go and do a job.'