Framlingham Town boss Mel Aldis is dreaming of bringing FA Cup football to Badingham Road for the first time ever next season.
Fram have enjoyed a fine start to 2017, beating Halstead Town 2-1 and drawing 2-2 with Stowmarket Town 2-2 last week, and currently occupy fifth place in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division.
And while Aldis admits promotion may be a step too far for his side in their debut season at step six, the Fram boss is targeting a high enough finish to secure their place in the FA Cup for 2017/18.
“This season is really about the club being established in the Thurlow Nunn League, after having 60 years in the SIL (Suffolk and Ipswich League),” said the Framlingham manager, who takes his side to King’s Lynn Town Reserves (15th) tomorrow (3pm).
“It’s more about the club than actually the team at the moment, and I’ll be happy if we can be in the FA Cup draw next season.
“Obviously we want to finish as high as possible, and if we need a point on the last game of the season to get promoted then we’d go for it.
“I don’t want to lose any games. We’ll do our best to finish as high as possible.”
Framlingham are one of only two sides to have beaten First Division leaders Coggeshall Town this season, while goals from Danny Smith and James Mayhew had given Aldis’ men 1-0 and 2-1 leads in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against second-placed Stowmarket.
Yet despite having provided a stern test against the current top two, Aldis says the race for promotion is between only four teams, not including his own.
“There’s Coggeshall, there’s Diss, Stowmarket are there obviously,” he said.
“You’ve got those three and I think you put Woodbridge in the equation.
“I think three from that four will go up.
“I’ve heard different things (about the qualifying criteria for next season’s FA Cup).
“I’ve heard the top six are almost guaranteed, and I’ve also heard it’s based on a points per game ratio.
“We’ll just keep trying to pick up as many points as we can.”