The final of the Sussex Veterans Challenge Cup is due to take place on Sunday 10 March 2019 between AFC Varndeanians and Eastbourne Town.
AFC Varndeanians Vets vs. Eastbourne Town Vets
Sussex Veterans Challenge Cup Final
Date: Sunday 10 March 2019
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
Brighton based club, AFC Vardeanians Vets have been together for four years, with three of those being linked to Montpellier. However, this season it was decided to make the short move over to the Old V’s.
The team, who has a mixture of former Montpeillier and AFC Varndeanians players, was created by player-manager Chris Foulerton and they compete in the Mid-Sussex Football League Fred Pretty Veterans Trophy.
Foulerton’s team currently sit mid-table in their league and are hoping to add their first bit of silverware to the club’s trophy cabinet come Sunday evening.
“This Cup has been a real good addition to our season and everyone is really excited.
“It’s huge for us and the whole club. The whole of Vardeanians will be coming to support us which is great - everyone is buzzing around this cup final."
AFC have had quite the trip to reach the final and the player-manager insists that the first round was where their season really took off and ignited after progressing to the next round against Crawley team Galaxy Vets.
Their Second Round fixture against East Court had a special appearance from Albion front man Glenn Murray who watched in the stands, and the Quarter-Final against their rivals Montpellier finished in a dramatic fashion when they managed to put one past them in the closing moments of the clash.
The majority of the Semi-Final against Rustington was played with 10 men so Foulterton feels his side are certainly worthy finalists: “It’s been a really good cup run for us, there have been no byes or walk overs for us so we have really earnt our place here in the final.
“We’ve worked really hard to get there on Sunday and we are really looking forward to it.”
The Old V’s have a robust squad consisting of 30 players all based in and around Brighton ranging from 37 to 56 in age who all enjoy playing regular competitive football with this Cup Final being their 22nd game of the season.
Foulerton admits that selecting his squad will be a headache and the regular left-back is considering sacrificing his position in the team to focus solely on the role of being the manager on Sunday.
Although the teams will be treading on unknown terrain Sunday, the AFC Varndeanians manager says that his players know what they are up against: “It’s going to be a real tough game against them [Eastbourne], really tough and obviously we want to win, but win or lose, it’s a real achievement for us.
“We know they are going to be good and we know they have all played at a high standard.”
Similarly to their opposition, Eastbourne Town Vets started back up four seasons ago by ex-Albion players Danny Simmonds and Stuart Myall.
Eastbourne Town compete in the Eastbourne & District Football Association and are having an impressive campaign thus far with the potential of finishing first or second and making it to the league final too.
Simmonds admits that his side is full of quality with players ranging from ex-county league to ex- professional, but highlights that all players have played for Eastbourne Town previously at some point in their careers.
On reaching the final he said: “It’s nice that we are still playing at this age and it’s nice that there is a competition running.
“For the lads it brings back memories of us all playing together and that’s the reason we entered the cup because even at our age we are still competitive and want to challenge for stuff.”
Simmonds’ Eastbourne side began their cup journey away to Withdean and thumped them 14-0, which saw them draw Langney Wanderers and come away as 4-1 winners. In the quarter-final they met Steyning Town where 10 goals were conceded in total with Eastbourne being the successful side after a 7-3 victory.
They then faced the holders of the Sussex Veterans Challenge Cup, Mile Oak at the Semi-Final stage and Simmonds felt that it was a tough hurdle to overcome despite the 3-0 score-line suggesting otherwise.
“Our cup journey was comfortable up until the semi-final and then we played the holder’s which was a real tough game but we managed to come through,” he said.
Eastbourne’s age ranges from 36 to 45 and unfortunately two players will be missing out on the occasion due to one sustaining a knee injury and the other having other commitments to adhere to.
Like AFC, Eastbourne will be expecting a difficult encounter at Culver Road and Simmonds said: “I am expecting a tough game from the AFC Vardeanians, they beat a strong team in the semi-final and we will need to be at our best to beat them.”
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