AS someone who cut his teeth in the muck and nettles of non-league football with Diss Town and Wroxham, Paul Warne will head to York Road today with his eyes wide open.
In terms of the world’s most enduring cup competition, the Rotherham United manager has sampled the good, bad and the ugly – from a red-letter day at Anfield as a player with the Millers to a televised tie in the Staffordshire coal-mining village of Chasetown with another former side in Oldham.
Another non-league date at Wealdstone is another memory for the Millers chief and just as he and his team-mates avoided an embarrassing exit on that first-round date in 2009, so Rotherham’s class of 2019-20 are seeking to swerve another banana skin not too far away in Berkshire.
Warne, who would have faced a return to Wealdstone if Maidenhead had not prevailed in their fourth qualifying round encounter, said: “I never under-estimate any opposition and that applies even more when we are away to a non-league side in the FA Cup.
“When I played for Ronnie Moore in my second spell here, we played at Wealdstone in the cup.
“We won only 3-2. It was a right game and we came way thinking: ‘Thank God we have won it.’
“I played non-league football for years. I know what a big game it will be for them. They will up their performance by 10 per cent.
“We are definitely not underestimating the opposition that is for sure.
“I do not even think it is non-league any more in that most of the teams in there (National League) are full-time.”
“There will be loads of shocks this weekend. Hopefully we are not one of them.
“There is no way I am picking a weakened side.”