St Helens Town AFC Wins Place In 2020/21 FA Cup

The Club Is Back Where It Belongs Competing Against Big Clubs

St Helens Town AFC Wins Place In 2020/21 FA Cup

St Helens Town AFC have been awarded a place in the FA Cup for the 2020/21 season. The news came after a list of accepted clubs was published on the FA web site.

To be in with a chance of competing in the tournament, Clubs must fulfil the following criteria.

Clubs to be automatically accepted subject to the ground fully conforming to the minimum standard

- Clubs in the Premier League, English Football League and in Steps 1, 2, 3 & 4 of the FA National League System.

- Clubs must also be a participant in either the Buildbase FA Trophy or the FA Vase Competitions in season 2020-21.

A Club participating at Steps 5 & 6 of the FA National League System in season 2019-20 shall be permitted to apply for entry. However, acceptance into the competition will be subject to availability of places, which cannot be guaranteed.

Clubs must have a ground where all home first team League matches are played, which fully conforms to a “G” grade of the FA National Ground Grading (appropriate to Step 6 of the FA National League System) or higher.

The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest national football competition in the world.[1] It is organised by and named after The Football Association (The FA). Since 2015, it has been known as The Emirates FA Cup after its headline sponsor. A concurrent women's tournament is also held, the FA Women's Cup.

The competition is open to any eligible club down to Level 10 of the English football league system – all 92 professional clubs in the Premier League (level 1) and the English Football League (levels 2 to 4), and several hundred non-League teams in steps 1 to 6 of the National League System (levels 5 to 10).[2] A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12. The tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. Entrants are not seeded, although a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in later rounds – the minimum number of games needed to win, depending on which round a team enters the competition, ranges from six to fourteen.

St Helens Town AFC currently play in the North West Counties Football League. The Ruskin Drive side played in the Cup up to and including the 1970/1 season, then didn't enter 71/2, 72/3 & 73/4 before being back in the Cup from 74/5 through to 2015/16 and since then haven't qualified on league position/PPG.

“We were delighted to have been accepted into the Emirates FA Cup for the 2020-21 season and whilst the circumstances aren't ideal, we will take the place with open arms.  Because of the last season technically being null and void, the FA decided that they would enter all eligible clubs into a draw for the places and we bagged a coveted spot. 

Whilst we are overjoyed at getting the place, we are also mindful of the fact that other clubs in the area have missed out. However, we have received a number of good wishes from around the area and we hope that we can make the most of our opportunity and qualify on League points scored next time.

This is a huge opportunity for us as a club to remind people of who we are and to showcase St Helens Town AFC.  The BBC normally pick one of the early round games up as well so we are hoping that our luck can continue.  It is a great platform too, everyone wants to play in the FA Cup and for our players whom have not had the opportunity over the last four seasons or so, this will give them the chance to participate in the worlds most renowned club cup competition.

It's great that there is going to be an FA Cup competition this season as at one point there was a worry that there may not be one. With everything going on in the world at the moment, it will be great to have football back and what a way to get going.”  

That's according to club chairman Garry Langley.

Playing in the FA Cup should bring a sense of prestige to St Helens Town AFC. This should hopefully be able to attract better players so they can compete fairly with the bigger teams in the country while having a chance. This should hopefully lead to the club playing in and winning more honours to add to it's illustrious history.

If you'd like more information on the FA Cup or related tournaments and would like to get involved, please visit http://www.thefa.com/

For more information on St Helens Town AFC, please visit: https://www.pitchero.com/clubs/sthelenstownafc/

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Ashish Prabhu
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