About four years ago I was dragging people out of bed on a Sunday morning to play and on Saturday we are going to be on BBC Sport live streaming playing in The FA Cup, says Punjab United boss Jugjit Sian

Wednesday 07th August 2019

PUNJAB UNITED chairman/manager Jugjit Sian says he has to pinch himself ahead of his clubs biggest game in their history on Saturday lunchtime.

The Gravesend based club play Broadbridge Heath in The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round, which is being screened live by The BBC, as part of their live coverage of the qualifying rounds.

“It’s a very proud moment for me and the club as this was one of my main aims to get the club into the FA competitions,” said Sian, who flies back from his Italian holiday today.

“I was only having a chat with the guys the other day, about four years ago and I was dragging people out of bed on a Sunday morning to play and on Saturday we are going to be on BBC Sport live streaming playing in The FA Cup – one of the oldest competitions.

“It’s amazing and I have to pinch myself to see if this is all real sometimes!

“With the amazing back-to-back double league title wins and winning the Kent Intermediate Shield in our first season in the Kent County League, plus staying up last season, to be here hosting
a FA Cup game at home, the whole club is excited and can’t wait for Saturday.

“A special thanks has to go out to Navin Pal who works so hard behind the scenes and never gets noticed.  These are the guys who deserve this game to be hosted at ours and to see how far this club has come with good people behind the club.”

Jindi Banwait (coach) and Neil Hunter (assistant) were in charge for their opening day defeat to much-fancied Beckenham Town last weekend.

Beckenham Town took advantage of playing on the carpet at Eden Park Avenue by securing a 2-1 win on the opening day of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division season.

“We were forced into an early change, losing Laurent Hamici to a dislocated shoulder but new boy Ayo Majekodunmi impressed on his debut, giving so much energy in midfield,” said Banwait.

“I think we had the better end of the second half, as we went in at the break level from Tunde Aderonmu’s spot-kick.

“We gifted Beckenham their opener, the ball into the box should have been dealt with earlier and we should have cleared it but Andrew Mott stabbed the ball past our goalkeeper.

“We didn’t look phased by this and credit to the lads, they carried on and played some decent football.

“The boys deserved something more out of this game, as although we set up to lose space for Beckenham’s forwards, we had opportunities on the counter, which was working for us.

“I think as the clock ticked down, a point away from home on
the opening day was the best we could have hoped for but we lost possession and got punished.

“We’ve got a lot of positives from this game. Beckenham Town
have a lot of good players but we more than matched them and the week leading up to our first FA Cup game we have only minor adjustments to work on in training.

defence were solid throughout the game and the way we stayed up last season has given the squad a tougher mentality.

“If we continue with the same effort and make our
game play just as consistent, I don’t see why a top half finish is beyond us.”

To mark Punjab United’s participation in The FA Cup, the world-famous trophy will be at Punjab United’s Elite Venue ground for four hours from three o’clock on Friday afternoon, where fans can have photograph taken with the FA Cup for free.

Punjab United will receive a broadcast
fee from the BBC to have their game televised.

“We do receive money but unfortunately we cannot disclose the amount,” added Banwait.

Broadbridge Heath, which is based just outside Horsham in West Sussex, started their Southern Combination Premier Division campaign with a 5-1 defeat at Langney Wanderers at Priory Lane in Eastbourne at the weekend and hosted Loxwood at their brand new ground at Wickhurst Lane last night, snatching a late equaliser to draw 2-2.

Punjab United  v  Broadbridge Heath
The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Saturday 10 August 2019

Kick Off 12:30pm
at Elite Venue, Dunkirk Close, Gravesend, Kent DA12 5ND