Marine manager Neil Young has revealed how Liverpool have helped provide pre-match analysis for their historic FA Cup tie with Tottenham.
The eighth-tier club host Spurs in the competition’s biggest ever mismatch, with 161 places between them in the footballing ladder, providing they come through a second round of coronavirus testing unscathed.
They were tested again on Thursday night and, having come through a first round without any positive tests, are hoping for a similar result in the next 24 hours.
FA Cup Big Weekend: Marine v Spurs; Villa, Derby reserves; Van de Beek
Neighbours Liverpool, who beat Spurs in the Premier League last month, have provided Marine with video analysis of Jose Mourinho’s side as well as use of their training ground on Saturday.
Young said: “We are well prepped as we can be from a part-time perspective,” he said. “I have done a lot of analysis with the help of Liverpool, who have given us some information in terms of the games. We have done a lot of analysis on them.
“All they have done is given us access to games that we can’t get access to. We see a lot of the Premier League games live but unless we record them we haven’t got the scouting networks or the software to go back and look at games.
“They have sent us the recordings of the games so we can do the analysis.
“We have had a few issues with the latest lockdown regarding training venues, our pitch where we were due to train yesterday had to be covered due to the frost and then leisure centres that we would normally use to train have been closed because of lockdown.
“We are very thankful that Everton stepped in to allow us to train last minute at their training ground at Finch Farm and Liverpool have stepped in to allow us to train there tomorrow.
“We are very grateful for that. From a part-time perspective it is a little bit of a nightmare with these Covid restrictions.”
Spurs will have to be prepared for a culture shock as they visit the Marine Travel Arena which just has two stands, with the remaining sides backing on to houses.
Mourinho’s side, used to the plush surroundings of their £1billion stadium, will get changed in a bar in the clubhouse, but will receive good hospitality.
“It’s a tight little ground, they’ll come in off the road,” Young added. “They’ll get changed in the bar area, obviously because of Covid restrictions.
“It’s three-sided, a very tight ground, houses on two sides, big stand behind one of the goals – it’s a proper non-league ground, it’s what most non-league grounds at our level are like.
“They won’t be getting changed in the dressing room, they’ll be getting changed in the bar area. We normally get changed in there.
“They still have to use the away dressing rooms to shower but in terms of changing they’ll have a fairly big bar area to change and we’ll be back in the smaller dressing room because there’s not as many of us.
“What they will get is great hospitality – everyone that comes to Marine goes away talking about how well looked after they were and Tottenham will have that same experience.”
Marine, whose Northern Premier League North West Division campaign is currently suspended due to the current lockdown, have a squad made up of bin men, NHS staff, teachers and factory workers, whose maximum wage is £300 a week.
Chairman Paul Leary said: “For Marine, step eight, to play Tottenham Hotspur is the dream of all dreams to be quite honest.
“We do have a great history but certainly in our 126 years this game against Tottenham is without a doubt the biggest game in our history.
“2020 was a dreadful year with the impact on all businesses and people’s health and livelihoods through Covid.
“The FA Cup run our players have enjoyed, it’s given us something to smile about and to play Tottenham with all the grief around us and with the new lockdown this game will put a smile on people’s faces.
“And for Marine to play Tottenham on BBC on Match of the Day is fantastic.”