Trams and Rams face friendly summer start to their cup runs

Wimbledon tennis is barely half-done. The Ashes cricket Tests don’t start until next week.

fa cupYet football’s about to get underway again, marked with yesterday’s draw for the preliminary rounds of the FA Cup…

AFC Croydon Athletic, the phoenix club, returned to their Mayfield Road ground last season and won the London Senior Trophy, and for the 2015-2016 season they move from the Combined Counties League to the Southern Counties East League – the old Kent League – where they will have two derby fixtures against Croydon FC, who have not fared so well the past couple of seasons.

The FA Cup for these clubs begins in just a month’s time, which means that pre-season friendlies have been lined up beginning next week – AFC take on South Park (no, not that one) in Redhill next Wednesday, the first of a series of games throughout July. Croydon FC, too, have five pre-season friendlies, as they try to get themselves better organised after last season’s poor results, when they finished third from bottom in the league.

And Croydon are definitely on the road to Wembley – one of their friendlies, on July 25, is at Wembley FC.

In the FA Cup, both clubs face a preliminary qualifying round, just to reach the qualifying round (the first round proper isn’t until November…).

In the preliminary qualifying round on August 15, Croydon, the Trams, are at home at the Arena against a side now calling itself Sutton Common Rovers – renamed from Mole Valley after moving back to the London Borough of Sutton and using Sutton Utd’s ground.

Athletic, or the Rams, have been drawn away to Horsham YMCA, who play in Sussex County League Div1, one level below AFC.

If all goes well, then the first qualifying round on August 29 will see Croydon travel to Tunbridge Wells or Glebe. Chislehurst-based Glebe play in the league below Croydon; Tunbridge Wells in same league as Croydon. Croydon won 4-1 at Tunbridge Wells on the penultimate day of last season to avoid relegation.

If AFC get through to the first qualifying round, they face a trip to Selsey or Erith Town.

The draw for the FA Vase was also made yesterday, with AFC drawn away to Bexhill United in qualifying round 1 on September 5, while the Trams travel to Raynes Park Vale.

Qualifying round 2, to be held on October 3, could see Croydon at home to Horsham YMCA or FC Elmstead, while AFC have had yet another away draw, at Hollands & Blair.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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