Trophy test for Tudors as Torquay head to town

Hemel put four goals past Farnborough on Saturday. Picture (c) Don Blandford
Hemel put four goals past Farnborough on Saturday. Picture (c) Don Blandford

Hemel Hempstead Town will be looking to continue on the road to Wembley on Saturday as they host Torquay United in the last-16 of the FA Trophy.

The Tudors are hoping to attract a bumper crowd for the clash against a Torquay side who are currently sitting in mid-table in the Conference Premier division.

Victory for Dean Brennan’s side would put them just two games away from a cup final at Wembley, and the Tudors boss is urging his young side to rise to the occasion.

“I’m expecting another great occasion for the club and town of Hemel,” said Brennan.

“It’s obviously a fantastic competition and one I won as a player.

“Torquay have been a seasoned league team for many years and they find themselves 13th in the Conference and not far of a playoff place.

“They are probably not where they want be at the moment, but for us we have plenty of young players with ability who are looking to further their careers. The Torquay game puts these players in the shop window.

“We gave a good account of ourselves in the FA Cup first round at Bury, and we have learned plenty from that cup run.

“The players know our concentration levels have to be of a higher standard if we are to progress into the quarter-finals of the Trophy. We just keep taking it game by game.”

Hemel skipper Jordan Parkes has been in sparkling form this season, and he insists that the Tudors will give a good account of themselves against their higher level opponents.

“We are really looking forward to the game against Torquay,” he said. “It’s another chance for us to play against a side who are in a higher league and test ourselves against a professional team.

“There is a good feeling within the team at the moment, we are on a good run and confidence is high. We are going into games with positivity knowing that we are going to perform.

“We’ve had great success so far in cup competitions, beating Nuneaton and going so close against Bury, so we know we can perform on the big occasions.

“We have a team of players that are all hungry for success and push themselves to the limits each week.

“Now that we are running morning training sessions the lads are taking themselves out of work to train harder and improve which just shows the sort of players that we have at this club.

“With the final only three wins away, anything is possible. It’s every player’s dream to play at Wembley and now that it’s not out of reach, we will be doing everything on the pitch against Torquay to make sure we are still in with a chance of getting there.

“Torquay have an illustrious history but hopefully we can continue to make history at Hemel.

“To win on Saturday we will need everybody to be on their game; we know the pitch is in a bad way but we have dealt with it well in recent games and are on an excellent run at home.

“They are a full-time side so will be fit and strong, but we have a team that is prepared to give everything and we have the quality to break teams down and score great goals.

“Hawks (Oliver Hawkins) is on fire at the moment and every defender hates playing against him when he is on his game.

“We have a back-four and goalkeeper who are really gelling as a unit and are becoming hard to break down and If I get any opportunities around the box I will be shooting and hopefully one of them will fly in!”