Cheltenham Town: Elsey 'amazed' as two of his former clubs face Cup clash
DAVID Elsey is one of ten players to have represented both Cheltenham Town and Yate Town at first team level.
He admitted he was amazed to see two of his former clubs paired together in the first round of the FA Cup, with 111 places separating the League Two Robins and Yate, who are currently propping up Division One South and West of the Evo-Stik League Southern.
Despite winning only once in their opening seven league fixtures, Yate stunned Blue Square Bet Premier leaders Newport in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, winning their replay 3-1 after extra time to book a trip to the Abbey Business Stadium on Saturday.
"To be honest I am amazed that they have been drawn together because the clubs are in such different places both financially and in the standard at which they play," Elsey said.
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"It just shows the true value of the FA Cup and I always love the early rounds because you can physically see how much it means to everyone concerned at a smaller club.
"A good cup run can position a club securely for the next few years, which is something I know would be huge for Yate.
"I am delighted for everyone at Yate, because it can put them on the map."
Elsey would love to watch the match, but he is now based in Canada, so he will be watching events unfold from afar.
"I'll be trying by best to see it live if I can, but I have already pre-recorded the FA Cup highlights programme – the football coverage over here is great," he said.
Elsey knows the odds are stacked against Yate – the joint lowest ranked team left in the competition.
"I think Yate have done fantastically well to get this far and hope they do themselves proud in this game as they obviously have in their other FA Cup matches," he said.
"No matter what the result I hope they take all the positives from the day."
Elsey believes the two clubs have a great deal in common, which is why he enjoyed his time with both so much.
"I played for Yate and lasted there because it wasn't about money or the facilities," Elsey said.
"I feel pretty confident both could be improved elsewhere, but it was because of the people at the club and how you were made to feel.
"It was a tight-knit environment where you were made to feel part of the family.
"That was exactly what made Cheltenham so special to me when I played for them.
"I was never made to feel anything other than part of the club and if that mentality is still there it shows why they have progressed so well."
Now 36, Elsey runs the Calgary division of engineering recruitment company Randstad, for whom he has worked for ten years.
He is married to Louise and they have two children.
Elsey spent two seasons with Cheltenham after his release by Swindon Town.
The left-footed defender made a total of 22 appearances, scoring twice, but his time was hampered by a back injury sustained while training with the Wales Under-21 squad.
After leaving Cheltenham, Elsey played for Gloucester City, Bath City and Mangotsfield United. Yate was his last club before moving to Canada four years ago.