Berks County prepare for Step 5 and FA Cup adventure

Ebby Opoku-Ware. Photo: Andrew Batt.
Ebby Opoku-Ware. Photo: Andrew Batt.

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It was something that was expected, however with the FA confirming their entrants to the 2024/25 FA Cup it is now official. Berks County will play in the competition for the first time. It will be a proud moment for the club, who were playing at Step 7 not that long ago.

Berks County were promoted from Combined Counties League Division One into Combined Counties League Premier Division North this summer after an extra space came available. As a Step 5 club they are now eligible to compete in the FA Cup along with 745 others across the pyramid.

Other clubs making their debut in the competition across England are AFC Whyteleafe, Blyth Town, British Airways (the club Berks County lost to in their play-offs), Hamworthy Recreation, Ivy Town, Larkfield & New Hythe, FC Millbrook, Newcastle Blue Star, South Liverpool, Sporting Club Inkberrow, Wormley Rovers.

County’s FA Cup bow in the competition will take place on Saturday 3rd August in the Extra Preliminary Round. The draw for the Extra Preliminary and Preliminary Round will be released on Friday 5th July.

The Swords have moved to sign on many of the players who earned them Step 5 status as Luke Hayden, Ben Hutchings, Ebby Opoku-Ware, Sam Day, Alex Winstone and Ollie Graham have signed for the 24/25 season. The club have also bolstered their attacking options with the signing of Connor Suckling from Woodley United, the forward scored eleven goals for the Kestrels last season in Combined Counties Division One.

County have now finalised their pre-season schedule and will take on Knaphill, Ash United, Westwood Wanderers, Deportivo Galicia and Hilltop as they look to prepare for Step 5 football. Their first pre-season fixture is against Knaphill on Tuesday 2nd July at Arborfield Leisure Centre.

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