Oxford City boss David Oldfield will be hoping to get over the line in more ways than one at the end of the month as his side aim for FA Cup history before the manager completes a charity running challenge.
Oldfield has been raising money for Prostate Cancer UK by running 10km every day in November – the challenge comes to a head on Monday with 300km clocked up in a single month.
But the day before, his National League South side have their own hurdle to clear – they will attempt to reach the third round of the FA Cup by beating Shrewsbury, a team three leagues above them.
“I’m definitely going to finish the month anyway, irrespective of what happens (on Sunday),” Oldfield told the PA news agency.
“I will definitely be out on Monday finishing that challenge, definitely. For all the people who have donated.”
Oldfield said he kept the challenge under wraps at the start of the month as he “wasn’t sure if I would be able to complete it”, but with the finish line in sight his fundraising has crossed the £1000 mark thanks in part to donations from club staff.
“I haven’t really mentioned it much to the players in all honesty, it’s only really been the last week or so that it’s come out,” he said. “There’s a little bit of banter as there always is going around.
“The club has been very supportive as well. Oxford City is a club that is very important in the community as all clubs are, so it’s been very supportive in the challenge.”
Inspired by assistant manager Andy Ballard, who picked the challenge up first, the 52-year-old former Manchester City, Luton and Leicester midfielder said he was raising money to show solidarity with his father-in-law who had recently undergone an operation.
“It was an opportunity to say to Andy (Ballard) ‘that’s a great idea,’ and also to say to my father-in-law ‘we’re with you and thinking of you,'” he said.
The Hoops manager will be joined by his wife for the final leg of his running odyssey, but before then he faces the small task of trying to make history with the sixth-tier side.
“This one’s a big game because there’s an opportunity,” he said. “The magic of the Cup, and a possibility that we can do ourselves justice and get a result.
“We’ll have to be absolutely at our peak to have any chance of winning the game.”
Part-time Oxford City dumped League One Northampton out of the competition with a 2-1 victory at Court Place Farm to reach the second round.