Sussex Veterans Challenge Cup

Sussex Veterans Challenge Cup Preview

Haywards Heath Town Vets vs. Mile Oak Vets

The final of the Sussex Veterans Challenge Cup is due to take place on Sunday 18 February 2018 between Haywards Heath Town and Mile Oak.

Haywards Heath Town Vets vs. Mile Oak Vets
Sussex Veterans Challenge Cup Final
Date: Sunday 18 February 2018
Kick-off: 2.30pm
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX

Sunday’s Veterans Challenge Cup at Culver Road’s 3G will certainly not be short of goals, according to both Haywards Heath Town and Mile Oak’s cup results. On the route to reaching the final both teams scored a staggering 15 goals and conceded 9 each.

Manager of Haywards Heath Che Williams, who also plays as a defender, set up The Blues Veteran’s team in the 2015/16 season and they currently compete in the Mid-Sussex Football League Fred Pretty Veterans Trophy Group B.

Unfortunately due to lack of players and form, the team have had a difficult season to date and are close to facing relegation. “It’s been a tough season as a manager and our team has struggled this season but we will be putting our all into Sunday,” Williams said.

The player-manager expressed how important reaching the County Cup Final is for the club. “After the year we’re having, it has truly been the salvation of our season - it means a lot to me as a manager to see our team enjoying themselves and winning!”

Captain Derek Elphick is well known in Sussex having played at numerous clubs within the county and won a wealthy number of trophies. Elphick is not the only player to have played at a high standard as midfielder Robb Sayers has represented Haywards Heath at county level too and is set to be in the line-up on Sunday.

The teams have met before - 2 years ago in the League Cup knock out stages - when Mile Oak beat Haywards Heath 5-1.

Mile Oak Vets were formed in 2015 by manager Tony Burnett and also compete in the Mid-Sussex Football League Fred Pretty Veterans Trophy Group B, which is played in the same format as the UEFA Champions League - a group system followed by knock-out stages to reach the final.

This season the Oak Old Boys have had an impressive domestic campaign, gaining qualification from their group holding a 100% record with just one match left to play.

Manager Tony Burnett, who is also a striker and holds the record number of appearances for the team, admitted that his players have had a very tough draw in the County Cup after getting Eastbourne Town Vets away in the quarter-final for the third year running. On all occasions it had been close ties, losing 5-4 and 7-4 in previous seasons, but this time Mile Oak made it through after a thrilling end-to-end match which they edged 7-6.

He added: “It’s a nice feeling to make the County Cup Final as they’re the best and most prestigious ones to win.

"It’s a good achievement for us, especially when it is only our third season.”

Mile Oak also have some big names in their squad. Ex-professional Jay Lovett defender/midfielder started out at Lewes before moving to Crawley Town and Brentford, and then later in his career made his way back to non-league football. Midfielder Graham Martin has also competed at county level and was with Burgess Hill when they won promotion to the now Bostick Premier League in the 2014/15 season.

Entry prices for the final are as follows:
£5.00 Adult (17+)
£3.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
FREE Child (16 and under)

For further details about the Sussex Veterans Challenge Cup please contact Competitions:

T: 01903 753547