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View from the Dugout: This is the most I’ve been excited about a game all season

I can’t wait for today’s Emirates FA Cup tie at Edgeley Park against Stockport County.

Altrincham FC manager Phil Parkinson with his latest column for Altrincham Today…

I can’t wait for today’s Emirates FA Cup tie at Edgeley Park against Stockport County.

I haven’t been this excited since we won the Evo-Stik Premier Division in April and everyone at the club is buzzing! The game has got everything going for it… it’s a local derby and the first time that the clubs have been drawn together in the FA Cup and a big crowd is expected with our hosts having reduced admission prices to £10 for adults and £7 for concessions.

The financial prize for the winners is £25,000 which would make a huge difference to either club. Stockport County are a massive club who really should be in the Football League… it’s not that long ago that they were in what is now the Championship. I have a tremendous amount of respect for their manager, Jim Gannon, but I have to say that, during the week, we have been focusing on ourselves and what we can do to progress to Monday night’s televised first round draw, rather than on our opponents.

Owen Dale scores Alty’s third against Alfreton

For the first time since becoming manager of Altrincham, we have a clean bill of health and the whole squad is available for selection and with seven substitutes to be named in the FA Cup, we will be able to field a very strong starting XI and bench.

I really wouldn’t want to be playing us at the moment, we are in terrific form and confidence is high… last Saturday’s 3-1 win at home to Alfreton Town was a great performance and we were on fire for the first 25 minutes.

Watch highlights from the win over Alfreton:

Owen Dale scored his first goal for the club to set us on our way and the second month of his loan is up on Monday. Owen joined us after having a hernia operation and was a bit in and out in his first month at Alty, but we knew he was a quality player and that has shown up increasingly in the last few weeks and I am very keen to extend his loan further.

We had another great crowd of over 1,100 for ‘Non-League Day’ last Saturday and I know that our fans will be out in force today and will give us fantastic support… we will be in a covered stand, which always helps in terms of creating a good atmosphere and we all really hope that we can make it into the competition proper for everyone connected with Altrincham Football Club.

Pictures: Michael Ripley