Wes Tate is hoping to go on another FA Vase run with Rye United.
The 29-year-old wasn’t part of Rye’s historic journey to the quarter-finals last season, but probably has more experience of the national competition than anybody else in the squad.
Tate, who tends to play on the right for Rye but has generally operated as a central striker at previous clubs, reached the semi-finals with Whitehawk in 2009/10 and the last 16 with Crowborough Athletic in 2007/08.
He said: “It’s my favourite competition with all the away trips, staying away, good banter with the lads and obviously the final at Wembley. But it’s a tough one and you need a lot of luck on your side with the draws.”
Tate, pictured, scored several goals during Whitehawk’s adventure two seasons ago, including two in the quarter-final victory at Gresley.
He continued: “I think the Whitehawk team was probably a bit stronger (than the current Rye side) because we had players that had just come down from higher levels and a couple had played Conference with (Eastbourne) Borough.
“Although most players at Rye have played a higher level, it was a couple of years back. But it’s a very, very strong side and probably slightly stronger than the Crowborough side.
“If we can get past the first two (rounds), which will probably be local sides, and on to the regional stuff, I think we’ll do alright. It’s not the best draw. Three Bridges are on a good run, but we’re not in bad form either.”
See tomorrow’s Rye Observer for the full article and preview of Rye’s second round tie at home to Three Bridges on Saturday.