Hartlepool United caretaker manager Antony Sweeney and goalkeeper Ben Killip name the teams they want in the FA Cup first round draw –  Bury, Sunderland, Darlington or Grimsby?

The draw for the Emirates FA Cup first round proper will take place from 7:15pm this evening.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 12:45 pm
Hartlepool United caretaker manager, Antony Sweeney prior to the Vanarama National League match between Aldershot Town and Hartlepool United at the EBB Stadium, Aldershot on Saturday 12th October 2019. (Credit: Paul Paxford | MI News)

Hartlepool United confirmed their place in the hat by scraping past National League North side Brackley Town on Saturday thanks to a deflected Ryan Donaldson strike.

The win means it’s now 96 years since Pools failed to appear in the first round of the competition. Now they could potentially face an eye-catching local derby against Sunderland or another big League One side such as Portsmouth or Ipswich Town.

There’s also the prospect of a draw against rivals Darlington after the Quakers won 3-0 at Tamworth over the weekend.

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Hartlepool United's Ryan Donaldson (L), Nicky Featherstone (c) and Ben Killip during the FA Cup match between Hartlepool United and Brackley Town at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 19th October 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

But the most appealing potential draw would arguably be being the last team left in the hat. Due to Bury’s expulsion from the EFL earlier this season, they are not allowed to partake in this year’s competition meaning a ‘draw’ against them would grant a bye straight into the second round along with the £32,000 prize money teams get for winning their first round matches.

“I’d want Bury,” admitted United goalkeeper Ben Killip.

“Either the buy, Sunderland, or maybe Grimsby away because I played for them so that would be nice to go back there.

“It would be class to get the bye, we’d get the bonus for it!”

Caretaker manager Antony Sweeney was critically honest about his side’s performance against Brackley but is now looking forward to tonight’s draw.

“I was disappointed with the performance but now the dust has settled I can be proud that the lads have been able to pick up three points at Aldershot and get through to the next round of the FA Cup,” admitted the 36-year-old.

“We’ll take the bye through to round two, I’m sure the football club will be more than happy with that!

“I’m right in thinking it’s the last team out that get the bye so I bet there’s a fair few around the club that would be hoping for that.

“I’d fancy a derby against Darlington, there might be someone else in charge for it but yeah. I’m confident our fans would fancy it and I’d hope the players would too!”