Excitement grows as season draws nearer

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The season begins to draw nearer and with it, the excitement begins to grow - none more so than when our clubs receive their FACup competition draws.

Oh yes! I know most managers will tell you they prefer a good league run but most, I am certain, secretly would like a good run in the Cup, Trophy or Vase because it would boost their players’ morale, their club’s treasurers would be well pleased and for a string of new managers, well what a way to start.

So let us start in the FA Cup where, with £1,500 awaiting the Extra Preliminary Round winners on Saturday August 16th, the newly-renamed Handsworth Parramore entertain Oadby Town from the United Counties Premier Division, whilst Staveley have a plum ‘derby’ home draw against Worksop Town.

Parkgate entertain Congleton Town whilst Maltby Main travel to relegated Wigan Robin Park. In the Preliminary Round on August 30th, £1,925. await the winners of the ties involving Stocksbridge Park, who entertain Bamber Bridge from the Evo-Stik League, and Sheffield FC, who travel to either Arnold Town or Basford United.

In the FA Trophy Preliminary Round on Saturday October 18th, £2,500 awaits the winner of the plum derby at Bracken Moor between Stocksbridge Park and Sheffield FC, while another appealing tie is Staveley’s home clash with Athersley in the FA Vase First Qualifying Round on September 6, with £600 awaiting the winners.

So what do our managers think of their ties? Well newcomer James Colliver at Staveley is “over the moon” as neighbours Worksop Town visit Inkersall Road in the Cup, with the date now confirmed as Friday, August 15.

Handsworth Parramore’s manager Rus Eagle added: “It is a great start to our campaign with a bye in the Vase and Oadby Town at home in the Cup to test my new squad is exactly what I want, so I could not be more pleased”.

Another happy manager is Stocksbridge Park’s Chris Hilton. He said “We start with a tough test at home but it gives our players a chance to show me what they can do, whilst Sheffield FC at home in the Trophy is a great test for both clubs and with it two big crowds.We could not have asked for more with two cracking home games for our fans to saviour”.

Meanwhile, Hallam manager Steve Toyne told me: “The club are struggling to find sponsorship and if anyone is interested in helping the second oldest club in the world please contact our chairman or myself, urgently.”