FA Competition Draws
The draws for the early rounds of the FA Cup, Trophy and Vase are now out, properly signalling that the start of the new season is imminent.
The FA Cup starts with the Extra Preliminary Round on Saturday, August 11th. There are TWO HUNDRED matches taking place, with every team dreaming of reaching the First Round of the competition, and with it national coverage and the windfalls that come along with it. Forget the third round, this is the round that defines what the competition represents. You only have to read Ashley Greb’s excellent book The Long Way to realise that. There’ll be a review of his book on the site soon.
Of course, with the first three rounds being drawn, there are way too many fixtures to list here. In addition to the 200 Extra Preliminary Round games, there are 166 matches in the Preliminary Round, and 116 in the First Qualifying Round. That’s a grand total of 482 games. Way too many to be listed here! For any of the teams in the Extra Preliminary Round to reach the First Round, they have to negotiate six ties. If a Premier League team manages the same feat, they lift the trophy.
Along with the Cup, the opening draws for the Trophy and the Vase have also been made. The Trophy gets underway on September 15th, while the Vase begins two weeks earlier on the 1st. The Trophy and the Vase are the real showpiece tournaments for non-league clubs, with a day out at Wembley the aim for all the clubs taking part. Last year’s Trophy winners York City got promoted to League Two, so won’t be around to defend their title. Last season’s Vase winners, Dunston UTS, will be hoping to emulate Whitley Bay’s exploits in recent seasons by retaining the Vase after their win in last season’s final.
All the information on the draws, including lists of all clubs participating and the prize funds for each competition, can be found on the FA website.