AFC Portchester boss Dave Carter back involved in the FA Vase and keen to make real impression
Dave Carter wants AFC Portchester to make a mark on the FA Vase this season on his personal return to the competition.
The Royals welcome division lower Wessex League Division One side Romsey Town in the first qualifying round on Saturday.
Carter last took charge of a team in the competition five seasons ago having spent the past four years in the Southern League Division One South with former club Moneyfields.
The FA Vase is only open to clubs at steps 5 and 6 of the non-league pyramid, while from step 4 to National League level the FA Trophy is the nationwide tournament entered by teams higher up the league structure.
Carter admitted there were never any real expectations of going far in the FA Trophy in recent seasons given the calibre of clubs in the tournament.
But the Royals boss, who left Moneys for his current role in February, is eyeing a prolonged FA Vase run this term.
Carter said: ‘The FA Cup and FA Vase are always a priority. You always want to get a good cup run in that (the FA Vase).
‘The prize at the end of it is Wembley, I’ve been in the Southern League for the past four seasons, you’re in the FA Trophy and you’re the lowest ranked team in it so you don’t expect to get very far.
‘When you drop down a level, you’re in the FA Vase, you’re the highest ranked team in it in the Wessex Prem. We’ve got a good chance to progress in that.’
Should Portchester progress past Romsey, Carter could secure a return to Dover Road in the next round - provided Moneyfields overcome Totton & Eling in their first round qualifying tie.
But Carter stressed his and the players' sole focus will be making sure they see off their division lower opposition.
The Portchester boss said: ‘If we get through and Moneyfields get through, we’re back at Moneyfields for the first time early doors this season.
‘Derbies, everyone wants to be involved in them, it raises expectations and there’s a bit more bite about the game.
‘We’re not going to talk about Moneyfields until we beat Romsey. They’re a very high scoring side, I’ve looked through them, but things are starting to gel.’
Carter is waiting to discover when both defender Owen Roundell and Jake Raine's suspension kick in after they were both sent off in the midweek win at Alton.
Defender Curt DaCosta is once again in contention having been named on the bench for the win at Alton.