GUY Heffernan hopes his FA Vase experiences will come in useful when Holker Old Boys host Prestwich Heys in the first qualifying round tomorrow.

The Holker manager is eager for his side to get on a run in the national knock-out competition, particularly with the team having narrowly missed out on qualifying for this season’s FA Cup.

Fellow North West Counties League First Division North side Prestwich are familiar opponents and while Heffernan acknowledges their strengths, he wants his players to benefit from his own experiences of a competition he has always enjoyed being part of.

“It’s little cup runs that we need to build on and I want to pass my experience on,” said Heffernan.

“I’ve always done quite well as a player in this competition. In terms of teams above us, Atherton Colliery were only two leagues above us and got to the quarter-final three or four years ago. It’s a good competition to be in and anything can happen in it.

“We’re looking at it as our FA Cup tomorrow. It’s a great competition to play in as a player and be involved in as a manger.

“Prestwich, for me, at the start of the season were probably one of the favourites for the league so it will be a good challenge for us.”

Victory for Holker would set up a trip to Padiham in the second qualifying round on September 15, along with earning them £550 in prize money.

The financial importance of a Vase run is not lost on Heffernan either, particularly with Old Boys aiming to keep improving off the field at Rakesmoor Lane as well as on it.

“That’s a massive incentive,” said Heffernan. “I want the club to do well and, for the club, it’s a great incentive because if you get through the rounds, the money goes up and that’s what we have to think about.

“What we’re trying to build is not going to happen overnight, but every round we get through is another tick in the box and another pound towards the goal we are trying to achieve.”

Holker go into the Vase tie having picked up their first league point of the season on Bank Holiday Monday in a 3-3 draw at home to Daisy Hill.

Heffernan was pleased to get points on the board after opening with six straight losses, but was disappointed at having to settle for one instead of three after the hosts had led 3-0 at half time through Jamie Hodgson, JP Stanway and Jake Carter.

Holker’s reserve team enjoyed a midweek success too, moving up in the early Furness Premier League standings thanks to a 2-0 win over Haverigg United.

David Cook’s finish and an own goal saw them take all three points on Wednesday evening.