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Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Friday, 7 January 2011

Dover's Adam Birchall confident of another FA Cup upset

Adam Birchall
Birchall scored against Gillingham and Aldershot in the FA Cup

Dover striker Adam Birchall believes they can defy the odds and get a result against League One's Huddersfield in the FA Cup.

The 26-year-old, who is the competition's top scorer with 11 goals, has netted 29 times for the Blue Square Bet South side this season.

"It's a massive task - just the same as Gillingham and Aldershot were," Birchall told BBC Radio Kent.

"But it's the magic of the FA Cup - anything can happen."

Even though there are three leagues between the two sides, Birchall insisted: "It only takes them to have an off game and for us to be on form and anything can happen.

"We've just got to go into it full of confidence - not give them too much respect but understand they're going to give us a lot of problems as well.

I'd love them to go up there and get a result and bring them back to the Crabble or even win up there

Ex-Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler

"Hopefully we can get the win but there's no getting away from it - they're a top League One side. "

As he prepares to lead the line for Dover in the biggest match in their history, the former Arsenal trainee thanked the club for kick-starting his career, after almost quitting because of injury and personal problems.

"I'm living my life with a smile now," said Birchall.

"After a few years in the lower leagues I'm a different person now and when you're living your life happy, when you're playing football you're happy - it goes hand in hand.

"I'm just grateful to Dover for giving me the opportunity to come down here and persuading me not to quit and so long may it continue."

Chairman and Whites owner Jim Parmenter insists the team do realise the scale of the task they face if they are to pull off another upset.

"Of course we'd like to beat them but everyone's seen Huddersfield play and they've seen where they are in the league.

"It's going to take a tremendous effort by everybody to get anything at all out of this game but we're going to go up there and give it a go.

"But we go into it with our feet firmly on the ground."

Former manager Andy Hessenthaler, whose Gills side were Dover's first round victims, told BBC Radio Kent he would love to see his old team continue their great run.

"They obviously knocked us out and Aldershot along the way and deservedly so, because they were the better team in both of those games," he said.

"They're the lowest ranked team in the cup - it is FA Cup day.

"I'd love them to go up there and get a result and bring them back to the Crabble or even win up there.

"Who knows? It's a fairytale and good luck to them all and I wish them all the best."

Hessenthaler's switch from Dover to Gillingham at the beginning of this season caused a lot of animosity between the two clubs, but he says he is delighted to see the players he brought to the club doing so well.

"I take a lot of satisfaction out of seeing how well they are doing - one in particular Adam Birchall, who for me will play in the league again.

"I'm sure there are a lot of clubs looking at him at the moment.

"I'm pleased he's signed a new deal at Dover because they deserve him to be there."



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