‘Raring to go’ – Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally eyeing FA Cup progression at Padiham’s expense

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Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally is looking to kick off the upcoming campaign with a win in the FA Cup.

Skem emphatically secured promotion with a win over Cinderford Town in the playoff final to book their spot Northern Premier League West.

Their preparations for the season have been good on the pitch but off the pitch, it has been less than ideal as they have been forced to groundshare with Burscough.

Skelmersdale famously reached the first round during the curtailed season where they travelled to Harrogate Town.

Fast forward a couple of years and their journey in the FA Cup begins once again against Padiham.

For McNally, he is excited for the return of competitive football, he told Off The Park: “Everyone loves getting back to the competitiveness of football. If I’m truthful, I’d rather have the extra week and we started in the league and given an extra round in the cup.

“But it’s nothing unusual, every pre-season we’ve always started at this point. We’ll take it how it is and we know we’re in for a tough game.”

Their promotion at the end of last season saw them leave the likes of Padiham and Charnock Richard in the North West Counties Premier Division.

Padiham are a team Skelmersdale United know well and it’s a challenge they’re not taking lightly McNally insisted, he added: “Far from pushovers, every game we’ve played against them they’re always competitive, a good strong outfit, they’ve recruited well during the summer so we are anticipating a tough game. We know that it’s not an easy tie.

“There’s two ways to look at it, for them they’ve played two competitive fixtures so they’ll be right into it. For us, we haven’t been so bad in our pre-season but pre-season means nothing once we cross the line on Saturday and hopefully we got off to a good start ahead of next week. I’m hoping we don’t start slow and we’re on the front foot and get into the next round that’s all that matters.

“It’d be nice to get off the mark and start off on the right foot. The players know what’s expected of them and they’re all preparing for the week ahead. We’ll all be raring to go.”

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