Martin fancies Eastbourne Borough in the FA Cup

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The FA Cup

Russell Martin would love to take on his best friends who play for Eastbourne Borough in the FA Cup in a couple of weeks time.

The National League South side booked their place in the first round on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Dulwich Hamlet. No strangers to the first round, Eastbourne have made it there three times previously, but have failed to progress further.

Martin, who lives in Brighton, admitted he has friends in the Eastbourne side and would love to take them on in the competition.

“Eastbourne away would be nice, it’s local for me as well!” he said. “I love the FA Cup, my best friends play for Eastbourne Borough, the delight when I saw them was fantastic.

“You can see how much it means to people and you get the chance to play against the top teams.

“Anyone that comes to England they see it as a massive competition and they are excited to play in it. For me, it’s great, it has changed a little bit, but I love it. It’s one we want to do well in it.”

It’s a competition skipper Dean Lewington looks upon fondly too, especially in the first round when the chance of going to new grounds and non-league sides is high.

He said: “I think the first round is always special, a non-league away game is always fun. You go to grounds you’re not used too, but that’s part of my early memories of football.

“I think the first round proper is still a special round for most players and it’s something we all look forward too. They are good games, they are competitive and hostile little grounds. You strip football right back and they are hugely positive night.”

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