Published: 00:00, 09 November 2017
Whitstable are back in the FA Vase on Saturday and boss Scott Porter believes they can go a long way in the competition.
The Oystermen go into their second round tie as favourites at home to an Epsom & Ewell side yet to win in the Combined Counties League this season.
Whitstable have come through three ties to get this far and another win on Saturday would see their prize fund rise to £3,000.
Porter said: “The Vase is massively important for us financially and it’s what the players have come to the club for. A lot of players have dropped down a league because the Vase excites them.
“It’s a money earner and it’s a massive competition in non-league football.
“With the players coming back now and a couple of additions, we’ve got high hopes for everything. If we win those games in hand, we’re up there in the league but the Vase is massive.
“The chairman wants it and if we can get through to the next round, we’ll see what it gives us. I think it goes national the round after next.
“It’s important, it brings a big buzz around the town and we want to go far in everything this year.
“Brendon Cass has been to watch them. They’re not on a good run but it’s a one-off cup game and we’ll treat them with every respect.
“We’ve just got to do our job at home and try to make it a special day for the club.”
Ricky Freeman and Stuart West are suspended on Saturday and Shaun Welford is still at least a week away from being fit.
Porter has signed defender John Walker, who played for him at Hythe Town, while
TJ Jadama has joined on dual-registration from Ramsgate.
Both players came off the bench in Whitstable’s 3-0 win at home to Bearsted in Southern Counties East on Saturday.
“It was important to stop the three-game losing streak in the league,” Porter said.
“We’re going well in the cups but the league’s the priority.
“It was a perfect Saturday, a clean sheet and three points on the board. It could have been more but we’ll take that.
“We’ve been on a bad run in the league but we’re still in a good position. We’re three or four games behind people, so if we pick those points up, we’re in the top three or four.”
Whitstable are away to Chatham on Tuesday.
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