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Crane eager to enjoy another FA Trophy run

James Crane wants in-form Bognor to go on an FA Trophy run.

 

The Rocks go to National South strugglers Tonbridge Angels tomorrow (3pm) in the third qualifying round.

 

They have already beaten Uxbridge and East Thurrock to get this far but Crane knows all about going deep into the competition as he was part of the side 2015-16 side which reached the semi-finals only to lose to Grimsby Town over two legs in the semi-finals and miss out on a Wembley final.

 

Crane got the winner in a famous win over Altrincham of the National League to fire Rocks into the last 16 and it is a competition he regards fondly.

 

The defender, who scored a hat-trick in the recent Isthmian Premier win at Margate, told The Post: “I have a bit of history in the Trophy, obviously, having played in the days of the Grimsby game.

 

“It is something I always keep my eye on because it is a tournament in which you can always get a good draw but also it is good for the boys.

 

“People say it is a distraction from the league but it is a great competition to play in.

 

“Any competition where, if you do well, you get to play a big Conference side or, if you do seriously well, you get an opportunity to play at Wembley, is really good. Also, for us, we realise the importance of winning every game and the Trophy is definitely one competition we want to have a good run in.”

 

Fans have voiced fears that Rocks’ small squad is not big enough to cope with a prolonged cup run and league assault as they target promotion.

 

Crane, who took the captaincy when Harvey Whyte missed the Margate game and they fielded only two substitutes, believes there is an advantage to having such a tight-knit group.

 

He said: “People say it must be tough with a small squad but the one thing I’d say with it is that everyone in the team is a good lad.

 

“There is nobody in the squad that you look at and say, ‘you’re an idiot’. I’ve been in bigger squads where you have got a few who have got a bit big time and a bit cliquey but in this squad now we have every single person pulling in the same direction and wanting the same thing.

 

“The togetherness is the best I have known and I have been in some really strong dressing rooms over the years. The lads are really together and that’s testament to the management I believe.”

Posted in Sport.