Marine boss hopes ‘phenomenal’ Kane is rested for Tottenham FA Cup tie


he manager of eighth-tier Marine has admitted he hopes Harry Kane is rested for Sunday’s FA Cup visit of Tottenham, saying he has been staggered by his analysis of the England captain.

Jose Mourinho has promised to respect the Merseyside minnows by fielding a strong side in the third-round tie, despite the biggest chasm between clubs in the competition’s history.

Part-time Marine have not played since Boxing Day due to the suspension of non-elite football but they have been given special dispensation to continue twice weekly training sessions while they remain in the FA Cup.

And manager Neil Young has been working extra hours with his staff to analyse Spurs, leaving him in awe of Kane’s quality.

“I’ve done a lot of analysis,” Young told Standard Sport. “I’ve looked at them in the Europa League, the League Cup and obviously in the Premier League – I’ve done the lot.

“You have to look at the whole lot [because] you know Jose Mourinho, he’ll never put a weakened side out. That’s been proven in their League Cup run.

“We know the size of the task but we’ve got to be as prepared as we possibly can. There’s been a lot of analysis done and lot of preparation.

“The only way we’ll be able to stop Harry Kane is if he doesn’t get on the bus up here!” continued Young, a facilities manager at Merseyrail Electric.

“When you’re analysing a football team, you look at games totally differently and I honestly hadn’t realised until doing this analysis what he brings to the party. It’s quite phenomenal. I’ve got a real appreciation now of what he brings to Tottenham. Ability-wise, he’s unbelievably good.”


Fans outside Marine Travel Arena in Crosby.

/ Getty Images )

In a sign that Sunday is more than simply a day out for his players, Young says he wants to see Kane and Son travel but stay off the pitch.

“I’d like to see them but I don’t really want to see them on the pitch,” he said. “I’d like them to come up and enjoy our hospitality.”

But Young said he is looking forward to the opportunity of picking Mourinho’s brain.

“If I can,” he said. “I’m like a sponge. If anyone has anything to advise me on, especially a legend oft he game like Jose, I’ll definitely be accepting it.”

Marine beat National League sides Chester and Havant & Waterlooville and League Two Colchester en route to becoming the second-ever eighth-tier club to reach the third round.

Young is under no illusions about the scale of the challenge that awaits his players at the 389-seater Marine Travel Arena but says he has had no difficulty in keeping his 19-man squad focussed this week.

“It hasn’t been hard at all to be honest,” he said. “They’re focussed on what they need to do. In the main, they’re fairly young and young players normally either sink or swim in terms of confidence.

“In every [FA Cup] game we’ve been the better side when we weren’t expected to be, so I don’t think we get overawed too easily.

“Tottenham is a totally different entity – they’ve got about seven international captains in their squad – but we’ve got to make it as difficult as possible for them. We can’t stand on ceremony once we get going. We’ve got a football match and we can’t go out there with any negative thoughts. We’ve got to show we can compete and see where the competition gets us.


Marine manager Neil Young and player Niall Cummins ahead of the game.

/ PA )

“It’s about enjoying the occasion but making sure we put on a performance, whatever the score, that shows why we beat Colchester and Chester. I know our lads. They’ll run through brick walls. That’s what they do.”

Marine described the loss of earnings from the game being forced behind closed doors as “disastrous” but Spurs fans have set up a number of GoFundMe pages to raise money for the club, as well as buying virtual match-day tickets at £10 each.

The Crosby club also stand to make £75,000 from the game being broadcast live on BBC One, as well as thousands more in sponsorship.

“Tottenham fans have been absolutely fantastic for us – it means everything,” Young said. “In a normal year, it would probably have been double in terms of finance because [the prize] money has got cut because of the pandemic and obviously there’s no fans as well. We’ve had no revenue really since March, so the money is a massive help.”

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