FA VASE: New College get first taste of Vase competition
NEW College venture into unknown territory tomorrow when they compete in the FA Vase for the first time.
The students entertain Combined Counties side Staines Lammas in the second qualifying round at the Webb’s Wood Stadium, with boss Rob Hopkins hoping his team’s debut will result in further eligibility for national competitions next term.
“It’s the first time we’ve been in the FA Vase, but hopefully next year we’ll be in the FA Cup and the FA Youth Cup as well,” he said.
“We applied to go in all three for this season but because we hadn’t been in any before, they said we could only go in the FA Vase.
“But hopefully we’ll be able to offer a really good national cup package in future as well as the various ancillary cups and leagues we play in.
“There’s not many academy sides that can offer the chance to play in three FA competitions, so that would be great for us.”
Staines are currently second in Combined Counties Division One and Hopkins, whose side received a bye in the first qualifying round, admits to limited knowledge of the visitors.
He said: “They are second in their league so they are going to be a challenge. The one positive is they won’t know what we’re like, but then we won’t have a clue about them either.
“In terms of the way they play I ‘d expect them to be a typical Combined Counties side - big, physical and strong - but whether they get it down and play, I don’t know.
“We’ll prepare for it as we prepare for another game and it’s just a question of who turns up. If it’s the team that played Malmesbury and Tytherington it’s going to be a long day, but if it’s the team that played Tuffley and North Leigh then we might get a positive result.”
Elsewhere, Shrivenham travel to Brimscombe in the same competition as they face the team they drew 4-4 with in the Hellenic Premier last weekend.
Left-sided midfielders Dave Coleman and Michael Silvanus are missing through suspension and injury respectively, while Ryan Wilkinson and Matty Bown are on holiday.
“Brimscombe gave Highworth a very good game the other night (Highworth won 4-3) and I think they will be absolutely fine this year,” said Shrivvy boss Dave Turner.
“It’s a very hospitable place to go and it’s the FA Vase so what’s not to enjoy?”
Wootton Bassett travel to Odd Down and Lee Stevens, Aaron Stevens and Shaun Carter all return, but Ryan Stanners is suspended and Callum Wright is ill.
Bassett have brought in keeper Wes Clark from Highworth and he will continue in the absence of Steve Allison tomorrow.
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