AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor is relishing the prospect of pitting his wits against a Premier League club after drawing AFC Bournemouth in the FA Cup third round.
Fylde earned their place in the hat with Friday’s 1-1 draw with League One table-toppers Wigan Athletic and now face a tough trip to the DW Stadium for next week’s replay.
The winners will travel down to the south coast for a glamour tie against the Cherries over the first weekend of January 5-7.
Bournemouth are 14th in the Premier League table following their 1-1 draw against Southampton at the weekend and Challinor (right) could not hide his delight.
The Coasters boss said: “The chance to play against a Premier League team might not happen again in the next 10 years, so to be in this situation is fantastic.
“A few of the big teams had already come out and e would have been happy with anything Championship or above. For the game to be away at a Premier League ground is another really big incentive for us.
“It gives our lads more motivation to get through at Wigan now. However, that is still a huge task in itself.
“I don’t think it adds more pressure to the replay. It may change the mindset of Wigan and I suppose the date of the replay may affect them because they will have a strong focus on staying top of the league.
“We still have a very difficult game ahead but there is now a huge prize at the end of it.
“We went into the original game not knowing exactly what to expect, but having 90 minutes of experience against them will certainly help us. Hopefully we can learn lessons and get a better foothold in the game next time. We have to stay in the game as long as possible.”
Over 90 places separate the Coasters and their potential third- round opponents but Challinor is hoping to reduce that figure over the coming weeks.
“Hopefully there will be less places between us if we were to get through! Everybody is looking for that ‘big’ draw against the Manchester Uniteds and Liverpool’s but this is the next best thing.” Chances like this don’t come along often and we are delighted.”