Images by Oli Biddle
TENSION and anticipation surrounding who Curzon Ashton may have got in the FA Cup first round may not have lasted long – but Craig Mahon can sense it building now.
The Nash were the very first team pulled out of the bag in the draw and they were eventually paired with National League high-flyers Barnet.
Tests do not come much tougher but interim player/manager Mahon is in no doubt his National League North side can test their opponents on Saturday, November 4.
As big a crowd as possible at the Tameside Stadium can also play its part as they look for a second round place for only the third time in the club’s history.
“I didn’t like our name coming out first,” admitted Mahon about the draw, which originally saw Curzon played Aveley or Barnet.
“I like that excitement of, ‘When’s it coming?’
“But Barnet is a big club and they’re doing really well in the league above, so it’s going to be a challenge but we can make it tough for anybody here.
“We’re always trying to get more fans on board and to get the club out into the community. It would be lovely to get more people through the gate but the fans we have are fantastic.
“Home and away, they always come and we like to go and have a drink with them after, I like that and I’d like to keep that going.”
Irishman Mahon is a busy man at the moment as he doubles playing with managing following Adam Lakeland’s departure.
But there is now standing off the boss once he crosses the white line.
He added: “I’m enjoying the challenge, especially with the management team. It’s learning on the job but we’ve a great group of lads who’ll do something good for us.
“And I told the lads that when I’m on the pitch, l I don’t want to be seen as the manager, I’m a player.
“So if I’m making mistakes or doing things I shouldn’t be, you can tell me. I’m not proud enough to have a go back. If they think I should have done something better, I’ll be more than happy to hold my hands up and admit it.
“It’s a team effort and we all treat each other with loads of respect. That’s what will do us well in the future and this is what you relish, you’ve got to get yourself ready for this type of game. The lads will embrace it.”