the real fa cup

Hebburn Week – Daniel Regan

Hebburn Town are approaching their final few days of preparation before they meet north-east neighbours, and non-league high-flyers, Gateshead on Saturday. Hebburn’s 22-year old goalkeeper, Daniel Regan, who works for Virgin Media and joined Hebburn earlier this season from Washington, takes time out from his schedule to talk about his FA Cup journey this season and his thoughts on the match on Saturday:

“The game against Radcliffe Borough in the previous round was good experience; the whole weekend was a little unreal. We felt like professionals staying overnight in the hotel after taking the coach down the day before the match. Over my cup of tea and breakfast in the morning, I just had the feeling that the whole day was going to work out well, though I had been feeling confident leading up to the game. There were a few nerves when I was walking out onto the pitch and there were quite a few fans there watching, but the nerves soon went as I focused on my job.

We probably played the best 90 minutes as a team as we possibly could and we deserved the 4-2 win, a scoreline that in truth flattered them. From start to finish, we passed the ball well and worked hard for each other; we were so organised even though we didn’t have any scouts watching Radcliffe beforehand, unlike the previous round against Runcorn Linnets. We thoroughly deserved our victory and we could have won by more goals. Whenever we go forward, we look like scoring goals and all of the lads have great confidence in each other.

Our team is coming more together with every game that we play and we try and play football in the right way. We recently took on the Northern League Division Two leaders, Team Northumbria and we played them off the park. As a goalkeeper, I was untroubled for so much of the game [which Hebburn won 2-0]. We’ve been trying to play as Benno and Woody [the management team at Hebburn] want us to and we’ve been comfortable in possession.

The Gateshead FA Cup match is a good tie for us to have. We go into the game under no pressure as no-one fancies us to at all; plenty of people have already written us off. But, we have great team spirit and we feel that we can go anywhere and play a good, attacking, game. I don’t think we’ll go to the International Stadium and defend as it’s in attack where are strong, even though we’ve shown that we are difficult to break down in defence. One of the goals we conceded against Radcliffe, who are two levels above us in the pyramid, was a penalty that may not have been given on any other day.

Gateshead will be under pressure as they will feel that they can’t win either way. If they win then that’s what they are supposed to do and if we draw or beat them then it will be viewed as a huge shock.

We’re preparing well for this match and again we’ll be staying in a hotel on Friday night so that we’re all together as a team for the final preparations. We’ll enjoy the whole weekend and hopefully we’ll get the result we’re hoping for.”

Remember, kick-off is at 3pm this Saturday and entrance to this huge match in the north-east is only £10 for adults. Hebburn Town, the part-timers from the Northern League, will have a great day out against the professionals of Gateshead. How great that day is could be down to Daniel Regan’s fantastic shot-stopping.

Words: Daniel Regan of Hebburn Town & Andy Hudson. For more on Hebburn and much more, visit Andy’s world-wide-website Gannin’ Away.

Cheers Dan, good luck. And cheers to Andy, yet again!

Previously on therealfacup, Reaction To The Draw and Hebburn Town founder Alphonse Reyrolle.

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