Watts determined to continue Cup run
Friday 19 October
Ilkeston FC have received a major boost ahead of their FA Cup trip to AFC Fylde with the news that veteran striker Gary Ricketts is in contention to return to action.
The 37-year-old has been out with an ankle injury but came through training this week and manager Kevin Wilson hopes to be able to call on his services.
Laurie Wilson's injured shoulder may not be risked, while skipper Russell Cooke is expected to return next weekend from his thigh problem.
Meanwhile, Jack Watts is on a mission to help us to victory at AFC Fylde tomorrow - and earn his chance to play in the first round proper after missing out three years ago.
A teenage Watts, now 21, was part of an Ilkeston Town squad that included the likes of Junior Mendes, Sam Duncum and Amari Morgan-Smith who last reached that high-profile stage of the competition in 2009-10.
He did not get on as the Robins were beaten 4-0 by Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium, but remembers the electric atmosphere, and is keen to sample that buzz again with our current team.
“You don’t get the chance to play in the FA Cup first round every week and I’m really looking forward to the game,” said Watts.
“I’m determined to get into the first round proper, even if we know it is going to be a difficult task for us up at Fylde, who are going well.
“I know what the FA Cup first round can mean to a club and their fans; the anticipation of that draw and then going to play a big club.
“Even though I was only on the bench for Ilkeston Town when it last happened, I still got to see the travelling fans enjoying the day out. It would be great if we could get that far again and this time I could be involved.”
We have struggled to get results on the road so far this season, having lost all five of our Evo-Stik Premier League games away from the New Manor Ground, each by the odd goal.
Things have been slightly different in the cups, with away triumphs at Coalville, Belper and Stourbridge, but Watts insist the venue of games should be irrelevant.
He added: “I don’t think there should be any issue in our heads about playing away. I don’t think we have played to our full potential home or away yet, so it’s up to us as players to rectify that.”