AYLESBURY Sunday Combination team Elm Farm have done the town proud by making it to the quarter-finals of the prestigious FA Sunday Cup.
The team, which boasts some of the best players from the Aylesbury area, will be just one step from a dream final at Anfield – home of Liverpool FC – if they can overcome the notoriously strong Canada on Sunday.
The match will be played at Haywood Way – Aylesbury FC’s base – and it is hoped a good crowd will cheer the Aylesbury boys on against their Liverpudlian counterparts.
The FA officially recognised Sunday football for the first time in 1960, amending the rules to accept Sunday clubs as members of their affiliated counties and the FA Sunday Cup began four years later.
Sandor Gyalog, the son of a Hungarian immigrant, achieved an unusual “double” in 1995. He won The FA Sunday Cup with St Joseph’s (Luton) and The FA Vase with Arlesey Town, scoring the decisive goal at Wembley in the latter.
After The Sunday Cup’s inaugural season, 1,600 requests for entry forms for the following season’s competition were received.
Entries are now around the 100 mark but the Cup, now in its 46th season, continues to serve its primary purpose of giving Sunday League clubs a chance to compete outside their own locality against clubs at a similar level in a national FA competition.
Elm Farm were set up five years ago by player/manager Kenny Fletcher and have managed to win at least one trophy every season since.
The club’s joint top scorer Tom Brindley said the team was looking forward to the match but know they have their work cut out against four-time semi-finalists Canada.
He said: “We’re definitely underdogs going into the game.
“Not knowing much about them, apart from looking at their results on the websites, makes it more difficult but that’s how it has been all the way through the competition.
“All the games we have played, apart from winning the first round 7-4, have been really tight and tough matches.
“Canada play in what is regarded as the best league in the country for this level so it’s going to be hard.
“But we have all been together for five years and know each other really well. We’re a good team, with some really good players so we’ll see.
“It helps that we are the underdogs and we’ll be fighting for our lives to win.
Founder Kenny Fletcher said the boys were ‘surprised’ to find themselves in the quarter-finals but hopes home advantage will play a part.
“They’re (Canada) meant to be a top side. But they’ve got to come here and it’s the biggest game we’ve ever had.”
Fletcher is hoping for a big crowd cheering the side on at Haywood Way on Sunday, 2pm kick-off. Adult admission is £3 each.