CUP runs are all about the glory, but there is an extra incentive for Steve Wilkes’s Northwich Victoria side to go all the way in the Heys Invitational Tournament.

And that is their fans.

The tournament – which starts a week on Saturday – has a final scheduled for Saturday, May 22, and if Vics reached that stage, some fans would be allowed in.

“We had a chat after training last night and I said to the players ‘I want to win this tournament’ because the further we go in the tournament the fitter the lads will get,” he said.

“You play three games in your group then you play three games up to the final so that’s six games that takes you to the back end of May.

“The further we go in the competition and the better it is for us. And the fans can’t come until after 17 May, which gives the players an incentive to get to the final because the fans would be able to watch the final.”

Ahead of their opening tie against Chadderton next week, how have Vics been preparing for their return to action?

“We’ve had a few training sessions back at Witton on the warm-up pitch,” he continued.

“We’ve got a friendly on Saturday against Eagley, we’ve got another game on Tuesday against Ashton Town, we might train Thursday then we’ll go into the game Saturday.

“The boys have responded good. One or two are obviously working Saturdays now because they’ve got other jobs etc, so we’ve not had a full quotation of players yet.

“You’re allowed to bring three players in so obviously we will do that. It’s been good to see the lads back. We had a good session Saturday – we brought a few beers for the lads after to have a drink so it was good to see them as we haven’t seen them since November last year.”

Wilkes added: “We’ve had a couple that have left. Louis Potts has gone to AVRO, Matt Cook and Callum Jones have both returned to West Didsbury.

"We’ve got a couple of injuries and Kieron Kenny is busy with work, so they won’t be involved.

“The good thing is in the competition you can use seven substitutions, so you are allowed to rotate your players. You’re just building up to next season now.”