STARTING their competitive fixture schedule with an FA Cup extra preliminary round clash is “not ideal” for Bees’ chief Adam Fricker but he is looking for his squad to be fully focused for the encounter.

The Bridport manager and his side make the trip to AFC St Austell in the first stage of their FA Cup journey on Saturday (3pm) with £1,500 in prize money at stake.

With their Western League campaign not kicking off until a few days later, Fricker admitted he would rather have a league fixture to begin their campaign but realises a lot of teams, like their cup opposition, are in the same boat.

Asked about the scheduling, he said: “It’s not ideal but you have got to do it sometime, haven’t you?

“We know it’s going to be a really tough game down at St Austell. I would much rather have a league game first and then play the cup game after, but it is what it is.

“You have to play it at some time. We would rather be playing in the league first but you want to play in the FA Cup, so you just get on with it.”

He added: “The lads are professional enough to know that it’s our first competitive game of the season. Whether it has got thousands of pounds riding on it for the club or not, it doesn’t make a difference for us. They are competitive enough to know that every single game they go into, even in pre-season, they need to be fully focused, no matter which one it is.”

Andy Martin is set to be unavailable for the cup clash.

* Bridport beat Axminster 4-1 in a pre-season friendly, with Tom Richardson, Richard Hebditch, Leighton Thomas and Cameron Vere all scoring.