Edwards: Kent Senior Cup crying out for makeover

Wednesday 08th February 2006

Roly Edwards, the secretary of Nationwide Conference club Gravesend & Northfleet, has called upon the Kent County Football Association (KCFA) to shake up the Kent Senior Cup competition.

The Fleet joined Ryman League trio Bromley, Margate and Ramsgate in Friday’s semi-final draw (which can be heard on BBC Radio Kent) following their comfortable 2-0 win over Ryman League Division One side Dover Athletic on Monday night.

Six days earlier Bromley secured their place, having defeated a youthful Welling United side 7-0 at Park View Road.
Ramsgate defeated Southern League side Dartford 2-1 and Margate, who have won the competition three years in succession, knocked Folkestone Invicta out last night by the same scoreline.

Before Gillingham’s rise up the leagues the final used to be played at Preistfield Stadium, which was a good day out for supporters and players alike.


The final, with the exception of last season, has, however, been played at the ground of one of the finalists on a midweek date during the football season – but fans demand the final must be played at a neutral ground (one of the three league stadiums) and on May Bank Holiday Monday.


Edwards, however, urges the KCFA to revamp the competition to keep interest alive.


“I believe that our success in lifting the trophy in 1999-2000 was the kick start to our rise through the leagues in recent years,” he wrote in his programme notes for his club’s tie with Dover Athletic.


“Of course we regarded it as a major achievement when we won the cup in three consecutive seasons.


“The trophy itself is a fine piece of antique silverware and is surely unparalleled for its type in any other competition that we compete in.  It undoubtedly looks magnificent in any club’s trophy cabinet.

”Strange then to see that nowadays most clubs place little merit in the competition and invariably use the matches to play fringe and reserve team players.


“This is only a personal opinion and not that of the club but I have to say that I place responsibility for this firmly on the governing body.


“The competition has been crying out for a “makeover” in more recent seasons but nothing seems to happen.


“If we are not too careful this competition will drift into obscurity and become an out and out reserve team competition.


“Why is that Charlton, Millwall and Gillingham who are all affiliated to the Kent Association, are not expected to take part as we are?”

Edwards gave the KCFA some ideas to ponder for next season’s competition.

Another idea would be to scrap the Kent Senior Trophy and have just ONE cup competition for ALL Kent sides that play above county league level.


Edwards asked: ”Why cant the competition not be started earlier in the season when we have warmer evenings for spectators?

”Why could the competition not be played in part as a pre-season tournament?

”Why could the final not be played at one of the major stadiums in the county?

”Why does the competition not receive any significant sponsorship?”

These are questions that need answers and we need them quickly.


“Spectators across the county are frustrated that they have to pay first team admission prices to see reserve team football matches," he added.


“I guarantee that hundreds of fans will be wiping these fixtures off their calendars for next season unless something is done – come on KCFA lets have some action.”

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