Coral’s 10 eye-catching picks from FA Cup extra preliminary round
The FA Cup kicks off on Saturday, August 15th, although only featuring non-league clubs the vast majority of the country would not have heard of in the extra preliminary round, which is a whole 14 stages before the final at Wembley.
So, in light of this, Coral football writers have picked out 10 standout teams, either for their history, factual interest, or just that they have a hilarious name.
Ashington v Albion Sports
We apologise that we start off with the relatively boring name Ashington, but if you’ve ever gone to watch the Northumberland outfit, you would have been forgiven for double checking to notice that their manager is former Ashes cricket hero Steve Harmison.
The ex-fast bowler is now using his words, rather than balls, to deliver his expertise in an attempt to skittle over the enemy. Another interesting fact about Ashington, who were founded way back in 1883 and once reached the third round in 1926/27, is that the town is also the birth place of former England greats Jackie Milburn, and World Cup-winning Charlton brothers Bobby and Jack.
Tipton Town v Cadbury Athletic
One of two clubs called Cadbury in this year’s FA Cup extra preliminary round, Birmingham-based Athletic are the only one actually associated with the famous confectionery company. They have the Cadbury logo, play in their corporate colours of purple and white and are even nicknamed the Chocolate Men.
Many a Crunch-ing tackle, pre-match managerial Boost, instructional Wispa to a sub, fan Picnic on the sidelines and Heroes’ ovation have been witnessed at the Lye Meadow, but never a half-time Chocolate Orange as that is made by Terry’s. Oh, Daniel Sturridge used to play for them as a youngster too.
FC Romania v Whitton United
As their name suggests, this is a football club made up of expatriate Romanians based in the Hertfordshire town of Cheshunt.
The Wolves, as they are nicknamed, play in the colours of their national team, and have had former international Claudiu Raducanu, who once scored against Southampton in the UEFA Cup for Steaua Bucharest, on their books.
Garforth Town v Morpeth Town
Former mining town Garforth may not seem an appealing place, but it has attracted the likes of Brazil greats Socrates and Careca, although they were in their mid-to-late 40s at the time, to play for them thanks to the connections of former manager Simon Clifford.
Others such as ex-Manchester United winger Lee Sharpe, Gibraltar international Adam Priestley and current Oldham Athletic boss Darren Kelly have also turned out for the Yorkshire outfit, while Paul Gascoigne nearly become their head coach.
Odd Down v Ashton & Backwell United
Nothing particularly interesting about this Western Football League Premier Division club based in Bath, which is ironic given their name.
They are over 100 years old, though, and their furthest run in the FA Cup was the second qualifying round in 1992/93.
Penistone Church v Pontefract Collieries
The town of Penistone, near Barnsley in South Yorkshire, was made famous by former Top Gear trio Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May in an episode where they made a hovervan, making several puns aimed at its name along the way.
Sadly, the football club’s history is not as eye-catching as the name.
Shepshed Dynamo v Retford United
While Shepshed Dynamo is a fantastic name for a club on its own, that is not the reason for its addition to this list.
Many an eyebrow was raised from our sports writers in surprise upon finding out that Dynamo’s ground is situated in Butthole Lane, Leicestershire. We didn’t delve deeper to find out more about this club, as quite frankly, nothing would top that.
Basildon United v Sporting Bengal United
Like FC Romania, Sporting Bengal United is a team made up of one nation, although this time players of Bangladeshi origin.
The Bengal Tigers were one of the first Asian clubs to play in the FA Cup, and are situated in Mile End, London.
Hebburn Town v Tadcaster Albion
Tadcaster is famous for being home to the John Smith’s and Sam Smith’s breweries, as well as being the place that King Harold II assembled his army on the way to the Battle of Stamford Bridge, via York, in 1066.
The club, founded in 1892, are aptly nicknamed the Brewers, and until recently boasted 1999 Champions League winner with Manchester United Jonathan Greening on their books.
Hillingdon Borough v Wembley
We finish quite fittingly where the location of the FA Cup final will take place, at the famous Wembley ground. Unfortunately the amateur outfit don’t use the 90k-seater stadium to play their fixtures, but their Vale Farm home is just a stone’s throw away.
The Lions once used their recognised name to recruit former internationals Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Graeme Le Saux (all England), Claudio Caniggia (Argentina) and Brian McBride (USA) for their 2012/13 FA Cup campaign. However, they were knocked out by Uxbridge.