FROM fine dining at Harvey Nichols in Leeds to a potential feast at the top table of Yorkshire football.
That is the journey Steve Kittrick hopes to complete by the end of this weekend as the FA Cup reaches the first round proper stage.
Kittrick’s Guiseley host BlueSquare Premier outfit Barrow today looking to make history by making it through to the second round for the first time.
Securing that elusive prize will not be easy, not least because the Cumbrians are a division above Guiseley and boast an illustrious history that includes a stint in the Football League and FA Trophy success.
“The tie is one that I see as winnable,” the Guiseley manager told the Yorkshire Post ahead of today’s tie, which is due to attract a crowd of between 1,700 and 1,800 to Nethermoor.
“I didn’t watch the draw because I was having a bite to eat in Harvey Nicks restaurant with my wife when it was on. My son let me know who we’d got.
“I wasn’t sure at first how I felt about the draw, to be honest. I know people presume I wanted Sheffield United or someone like that. But I don’t know if I did.
“At least this way, we have a proper Cup tie. If we were playing Doncaster or someone like that, it would all be about putting on a good show and enjoying the occasion. But now it is all about the result and I reckon the match will be a belter.”
Guiseley’s fortunes in the Cup since Kittrick succeeded Terry Dolan as manager in November, 2007, have been mixed with even their outstanding campaign of 2010-11, when they reached the first round proper, ultimately ending in disappointment.
“We got Crawley Town at home, an awful draw,” laments the Lions manager about his side’s 5-0 defeat to a team who just a few months later would be crowned BlueSquare Premier champions.
Until this term, that proved to be the outstanding Cup moment for Guiseley under Kittrick with his other three seasons in charge having seen the club bow out at the third qualifying stage. Now, though, he is eyeing a slice of history.
He said: “Guiseley have never been in the second round so the message to the players before kick-off will be, ‘Let’s make history’. This is a big chance for the players and myself, and we are all looking forward to it. I am told we are expecting a crowd of 1,700-1,800 with Barrow bringing about 500 down. That shows what the Cup means to everyone. And, of course, whoever wins can look forward to a possible glamour tie in the second round, which, in our case, would be great if it was against Sheffield United or Doncaster Rovers.”