Plymouth Argyle starts planning for FA cup clash
PLYMOUTH Argyle have already started planning for the ESPN-televised FA Cup first round trip to Dorchester Town next Sunday.
Pilgrims' boss Carl Fletcher has received two DVDs of their Football Conference South opponents in action and admitted 'we will do as much homework on them as we can'.
Argyle will be anxious to avoid a repeat of their FA Cup first round exit to West Midlands part-timers Stourbridge last season.
Dorchester are scheduled to have a Dorset Senior Cup tie at home to Hamworthy United next Tuesday and Fletcher will travel to the Avenue Stadium for that match.
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ESPN's decision to cover Argyle's clash against Dorchester means both clubs will each receive a £63,800 broadcast fee.
On top of that, there is £18,000 prize money for the winners of the first round tie, which will be played at 4.30pm next Sunday.
As a result, the Pilgrims' home game against Burton Albion in League Two the following week has been put back by 24 hours to Wednesday, November 7.
They will also play host to table-topping Gillingham three days later.
Fletcher, a beaten FA Cup finalist with West Ham United in 2006, told Herald Sport: "We are looking forward to going to Dorchester and having a good game.
"The week after is going to be different from what we are used but it's alright, we will get on with it.
"We have a weekly schedule for the players so they are well aware of what's coming and where we are.
"It means everyone is well prepared for when they come in and what they need to do."
Dorchester manager Phil Simkin was reported to have carried out a scouting mission on Argyle when they lost 2-1 away to Cheltenham Town in League Two on Tuesday.
Simkin has steered his side to fourth position in the Conference South, ahead of their home game against Tonbridge Angels today.
They have a 100 per cent record at the Avenue Stadium this season, including wins in three earlier FA Cup ties – against Wotton Bassett (4-0), Basingstoke (1-0) and Bury Town (3-1).
Their squad includes midfielder Nick Crittenden, who played twice on loan to Argyle from Chelsea in the 1998/99 season.
Fletcher continued: "The importance of the FA Cup is starting to come back. You can feel it.
"A few years ago, I think the bigger teams looked upon it as more of a headache than something to enjoy.
"They are good games to play in. You are up against teams you wouldn't usually play. Win or lose, just go out and enjoy the game."
Argyle have been allocated 2,100 terrace tickets for the tie against Dorchester and nearly 150 seats in the main stand at the Avenue Stadium.
They went on sale to club members on Thursday and will be available to other supporters from 9am on Monday.
Seat tickets are priced at £15 (no concessions) and on the terraces it is £10 for adults, £6.50 for 65-plus, and £5 for under-18s.
The first round tie is not all-ticket so supporters will be able to pay for admission on the day of the match.
However, to assist Dorchester's matchday operation, Argyle are encouraging their fans to buy their tickets in advance.