For me personally, I am proud as first team manager to be part of such an exciting time for the club, says Bearsted boss Kevin Stevens
BEARSTED manager Kevin Stevens says he’s feeling proud to be the first manager to lead the club in The FA Cup next month.
Bearsted have been drawn away to Eastbourne Town of the Southern Combination Football League in the Extra Preliminary Round of The Emirates FA Cup and the tie at Saffrons will take place on the opening day of the new season, Saturday 5 August 2017.
Bearsted, who completed their first ever campaign in the Southern Counties East Football League campaign in 12th place, will compete in The FA Cup for the first time in their 122-year history.
The Bears finished last season strongly, remaining unbeaten in their final five games, with four wins and a draw and are now looking forward to entering The FA Cup as a reward for all of the hard work put in by the Otham based club to reach Step Five and complete all of the necessary ground grading requirements to compete at that level of football.
Eastbourne Town, who finished fifth in their division last season, are one of the oldest clubs in Sussex, having been founded in 1881. Their best ever FA Cup campaign saw them reach the Fourth Qualifying Round in 1967.
“For me personally, I am proud as first team manager to be part of such an exciting time for the club,” said Stevens.
“We’ve made huge strides on and off the field and this is an achievement everyone at the club deserves.
“The lads gained a lot of experience from our first season playing Step Five last year and like me, they are all now looking forward to the trip down to Eastbourne and the possibility of a little Cup run.”
Bearsted chairman Duncan Andrews added: “This shows how much our club has grown in stature in recent years. We would have loved a home draw in either The FA Cup or FA Vase after the improvements we’ve made at the ground but that opportunity will hopefully come if we can get through the first couple of rounds.
“We are excited by the prospect of testing ourselves against these teams and the potential to create a fairy tale story that will live long in the history of the club.”
Should Bearsted get past Eastbourne Town, then they will bank £1,500 in prize money and victory over Eastbourne Town will set up a trip to either Sutton Common Rovers or Canterbury City two weekend’s later, with a further £1,925 in prize money up for grabs by beating opponents at the same level.
Bearsted must travel to their League rivals AFC Croydon Athletic in The Buildbase FA Vase First Qualifying Round on Saturday 9 September, with the winners travelling to Southwick or Broadbridge Heath two weeks later.
Visit Bearsted’s website: www.bearstedfc.co.uk