No kidding around with Kidderminster vows Blackpool’s Bowyer

Gary Bowyer
Gary Bowyer

Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer says his side will be treating the FA Cup with the respect it deserves when they face non-league opposition in the first round on Sunday week.

The Seasiders have been handed a home tie against AFC’s Fylde’s National League North rivals Kidderminster Harriers, who won through to the first round proper with a 6-0 demolition of Weymouth.

Bowyer welcomed the draw and insisted his side will prepare properly to face the Harriers.

He said: Kidderminster are a big non-league club with great tradition and great history.

“I know some of the people there and they are putting a good structure in place. They won’t want just to be in the National North. They’ll want to get back in the National League.

“And with the people there, I expect them to have aspirations to get back into the Football League as well.”

Kidderminster spent five seasons as a Football League club at the start of the millennium and faced Blackpool in the old Division Three in 2000-01. The Seasiders defeated them 5-1 and 4-1 en route to promotion via their play-off final win over Leyton Orient in Cardiff.

The Harriers were relegated to the second tier of non-league last season but they stand in the play-off zone following Tuesday’s 2-0 win over promotion rivals Harrogate.

Bowyer was mentioned during the BBC’s TV coverage of the first round draw, when Westfields FC chief executive Andy Morris said he would love to play Blackpool.

Bowyer started his playing career with the Hereford side from the Midlands League, who are the lowest-ranked club still in the competition. They have drawn another National North club in Curzon Ashton.

Bowyer said: “Kidderminster will be a tough game but it’s one we’re looking forward to. I’m just glad we didn’t get Westfields!

“I’ve had fantastic experiences at Blackburn in the FA Cup. We took Manchester City to a replay. We beat Premier League teams Stoke and Swansea and took Liverpool to a reply in the quarter-finals.

“They’re wonderful days out for the supporters and it’s great for the players to measure themselves against better opposition, so we will treat the Kidderminster game as a normal league game and show them the respect they deserve.”

Pool haven’t won an FA Cup tie since reaching the fifth round in 2011-12.