Tim relishing ‘tight’ trophy test

Player-assistant manager Tim Ryan says the Bucks face a stiff test this weekend, with a rejuvenated Darlington outfit on the horizon.

Darlington 1883, formed in 2012 out of the remains of the former Darlington FC, won the Northern Premier League in their maiden campaign.

This season they have started in a similar style and they head to the Silverlands for Saturday’s FA Trophy first round qualifier sitting second in Evo-Stik Division One North.

Ryan, who made 46 appearances for the original Quakers between 2007 and 2009, says Saturday’s match will be a stern test.

He told the Advertiser: “The club have obviously had a bit of a nightmare since I was playing up there. They’ve more or less started again.

“They’ll be looking to come here for the win and they’ll have that expectation because of how they’ve been doing.

“You can see them going the same way as other clubs that have re-formed, such as Chester and Halifax.

“I know the manager Martin Gray very well and so I know what kind of teams he likes to set out. It will certainly be a test for us.”

Despite having praise for the new regime, Ryan is adamant that the Bucks are well-equipped for a good cup run, having had to swallow the disappointment of an early FA Cup exit.

He added: “We want a good run in this competition.

“There’s not only the financial side of getting through but also a run would be nice, especially after losing in the FA Cup so early on.”

The 38-year-old says he is enjoying his new dual role, and the responsibility that comes with it.

He said: “Since I’ve started the role the lads have been brilliant. We’ve got a good group here and it’s just about pushing on as far as we can.”

• A replay, if needed, will take place on Wednesday, October 23 at Heritage Park, Bishop Auckland.