FA Cup debut for Thornbury Town
THORNBURY Town have been accepted to play in the FA Cup and FA Vase for the first time in their history.
The FA Cup is the world’s oldest cup competition and, while Thorns have no chance of winning it, a couple of wins at the preliminary stages would raise the club’s profile, be financially beneficial and possibly increase the supporter base.
They enter the competition in the Extra Preliminary Round on August 10, facing a long trip to Bedfordshire to face Leighton Town of the South Midlands League Premier Division. If successful, Thorns will be away to Thame United in the next round. The club will be running a coach to the game and any supporters interested in travelling with the team should get in touch as soon as possible.
The Buildbase FA Vase is also a national competition, exclusively for step 5 and 6 clubs in the National League System, with the Final played at Wembley. Town have been drawn at home to fellow Hellenic League side Cheltenham Saracens on August 31, with the winners travelling to Wokingham & Emmbrook or Chipping Sodbury in the next round.
Manager Jason Rees, pictured, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be taking part in such a prestigious competition. All credit should go to the Squad and Andy Davies for getting us this far. We hope to play our part in this years FA Cup story.”
With Rees and Gary Kemp at the helm of the first team and a third team having been started, pre-season training has seen good numbers attending, with over 40 players regularly taking part. Most of last year’s first team squad have committed themselves to the new season and with the addition of a few new faces, there will be plenty of competition for places.
The club have withdrawn from the Stroud League and entered two teams into the Bristol & District League for the coming season, with the second team being a development squad made up primarily of last season’s U18 team.
New players should make contact with any of the club’s managers or turn up to training at the Mundys on a Wednesday evening at 6.30pm.
Town’s second season at Hellenic League Division One West level will see them facing plenty of new opposition as the league complement has been increased to 16. They face three trips to Hereford, as well as Malvern Town, Bourton Rovers and Moreton Rangers. They will also be renewing acquaintances with Stonehouse Town and Shortwood United.
The committee are busy behind the scenes looking at ways of improving facilities at the ground and new dug-outs that have been constructed are the first step in that direction. The committee have also been busy trying to increase their sponsorship base, and vice-chairman Graham Smith has worked tirelessly in this area: he would be pleased to hear from any individual or company keen to sponsor the club in any way as they make the historic step into the FA Cup and FA Vase.