We will have to be at our best on the day to progress and hopefully the potential we’ve seen will be realised against Sutton Athletic in The FA Cup on Sunday, says AFC Croydon Athletic joint-manager Kevin Rayner
AFC CROYDON ATHLETIC joint-manager Kevin Rayner says there is a buzz and vibe around the club ahead of their eagerly-awaited FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie against Sutton Athletic on Sunday.
The Rams have been taken over by Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha, musician Stormzy and Danny Young and they kick-off their campaign against Daniel Kelly’s side from Hextable at Mayfield Stadium.
Sutton Athletic are in fourteenth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table but have yet played a league game.
The Rams appointed Rayner and former Holmesdale boss Lee Roots as joint-managers in May and Rayner is relishing their opening game of the new season.
“Both Lee Roots and I are really looking forward to kicking off the new season in The FA Cup on Sunday,” said Rayner.
“We’ve worked hard through the close season and Lee is obsessed with football in the right way and we have prepared the squad really well and he is a great addition to our club.
“The FA Cup is fantastic for clubs at our level and a real opportunity to add to the media spotlight, which we now have.
“Sutton Athletic will pose a threat as they are a very good footballing side and have been together as a team unit for a while.
“We will have to be at our best on the day to progress and hopefully the potential we’ve seen will be realised on Sunday.
“It’s a great way to start and it’s an honour to represent the new owners Danny, Wilf and Stormzy in this new venture and it will be an exciting way to kick off the season.
“The new owners have been so supportive of Lee and myself and have backed us well and added four or five players of real quality, which I’m sure our supporters will enjoy watching this season.”
AFC Croydon Athletic kick-off their Combined Counties League Premier Division South campaign with a trip to Alton on Saturday 12 August and Rayner has made it clear what the club’s aspirations are with supportive owners.
He said: “The aim this season is to push into the play-off positions as a bare minimum and most clubs will have that aspiration.
“We have a great support team of Adam Groom, Ean Patterson, Garry Henry, Dennis Lawton and Tony Pearson, who have all worked tirelessly for the club.
“We are all positive and I’m sure we will be right up there this season. The real quality signings we have made will push us in contention and there is a real buzz and vibe leading into Sunday’s game and the season ahead.”
The winners will travel to Horley Town or Punjab United in the Preliminary Round on Saturday 19 August.
Visit AFC Croydon Athletic’s website: www.afccroydonathletic.co.uk
AFC Croydon Athletic v Sutton Athletic
The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Sunday 6 August 2023
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Mayfield Stadium, Off Mayfield Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 6DN