‘Prince of Dover Road’ Hutchings helps makes Moneyfields favourites in massive FA Vase clash with Portchester – Brett Poate
AFC Portchester player-coach Brett Poate insists Moneyfields are the favourites ahead of this weekend’s huge FA Vase second round qualifying tie.
Poate will be among a large contingent of ex-Moneys players and officials making their first return to Dover Road on Saturday since former boss Dave Carter was appointed Royals boss in February.
It's an occasion which promises to have plenty of additional spice, but one Poate believes his club head into as the underdogs.
Moneyfields manager Glenn Tunbull, his coaching staff, and several many of his playing squad were part of US Portsmouth's magical run to the FA Vase semi-finals last term.
And Poate insists those who were the talk of Hampshire non-league football just a few months ago, along with the presence of talisman Steve Hutchings, ensure Moneys are favourites to reach the first round proper.
Poate said: 'We’re really looking forward to it. It’s a shame a big game like this comes at this early stage of the tournament.
‘Obviously they (US Portsmouth) did very well in the tournament (last season) so I think they’ll be going off favourites. Especially with how they lost in the semi-final and they’ve got Hutchy (Hutchings) up top as well - the Prince of Dover Road.
‘We’re nearly full strength, we haven’t had a chance to have that this season - but we’re nearly there.
‘The boys are looking forward to it, it’s going to be a big occasion.'
Poate spent four years at Moneyfields as a player and then coach before following Carter to Portchester.
He added: 'We know a lot of people there, we had some good times there, Moneyfields is a great club, we just felt after all the Covid stuff it was the right time to move.
‘There are a lot of good people who are still there, so we’re looking forward to it.
‘I think there will be (a big attendance). When we played Fareham earlier in the season there were more than 500 there and when Baffins played Moneyfields they had over 500 there.
‘Where there are so many local derbies in our league, and I think most (local) teams will be fighting towards the top of the division - everyone is showing an interest in it.'