Needham Market boss, Kevin Horlock, says upcoming FA Cup opponents Burton Albion are a 'shining light' for clubs like his.

The Marketmen head to the League One Brewers in just over two weeks for a first round tie that is not just an historic occasion for Needham, the club having never got this far in the competition, but also a chance for them to find out what it takes to rise through the pyramid and into the Football League.

"Burton are the shining light for clubs like us," Horlock, who played almost 500 League and Cup games, including more than 50 for Ipswich Town, said.

"When I played, Burton were still non-league. But they have proved that, with a lot of hard work, time and investment, probably a bit of luck, you can get League status. We are looking forward to going there and seeing what it's about."

Horlock, however, knows his team face a big test.

"When you get to the first round of the FA Cup all non-league clubs dream. You get a bit greedy with the draw," he said.

"There were some massive clubs in that draw, Ipswich, Derby, Sheffield Wednesday to name just three. And we're not grumbling. Burton are a really good football club. They are in League One and it's a big test for us. But we'll be up for it and are looking forward to it."

Horlock, who got to the FA Cup fifth round as a player with Swindon back in 1996, scoring in a 1-1 draw with Southampton, before Saints won the replay, knows his Needham team will gain much from the Burton clash, having put out National League Maidstone, at the weekend.

"To pit yourselves up against a League One team is something I've always wanted our lads to do," he said. "Play teams in higher divisions for that experience. We are a young squad and it will benefit our players for the future, whatever the result."

And Horlock knows the tie is also a huge reward for all the people and fans at Bloomfields.

"It's great for the club in general, the fans and all the people who do so much in terms of volunteering and the jobs that people don't notice, but us and the players know," he added.

"This tie is as much for them as well the players."

Meanwhile, Brewers manager, Dino Maamria, has said he won't be taking anything for granted against his lower league opponents: “I’m well aware they (Needham) play in a decent division which includes Nuneaton Borough, one of my former clubs, and Tamworth one of our neighbours," he said.

Ipswich Star: Burton Albion boss Dino Maamria, won't be taking Needham for granted.Burton Albion boss Dino Maamria, won't be taking Needham for granted. (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

"It’s a division I know a bit about although not so much about them as a team. They have started the season well with five wins from nine games.

“They will be well supported, and it would be a big scalp for them to beat a League One club. We never underestimate anyone."

Either Burton or Needham will pick up £41,000 for winning the tie, as well as a place in the Second Round.