Why matches against league sides could be an annual thing for Bracknell Town and Binfield

Berks & Bucks County FA Senior Trophy. Photo: Richard Claypole.
Berks & Bucks County FA Senior Trophy. Photo: Richard Claypole.

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Significant changes to the structure and entry criteria of the Berks & Bucks County FA Cups mean local Hellenic League clubs Bracknell Town, Binfield, Ascot United and Woodley United could face annual matches against Football League sides.

A statement on the County FA website reads: As a pilot for the 2017/18 season the Football Operations Committee have elected to merge the previous Senior Cup and Senior Trophy for all those clubs in the Football League and National League down to Step 5, and moving all other teams up a competition.

This means that our Hellenic Premier Division clubs will play in the same Senior Cup competition as MK Dons, Maidenhead United and if they choose to enter teams in an expanded competition Wycombe Wanderers and Reading FC.

The full list of league criteria for the County Senior Cup is:

  • Premier League
  • EFL Championship, League 1 & League 2
  • National League, National League North & South
  • Southern League Premier & Divisions 1
  • Combined Counties Premier
  • Hellenic League Premier
  • Spartan South Midlands Premier
  • United Counties Premier
  • Wessex League Premier

Bracknell Town have history in the Senior Cup having reached the final in 2000s losing out to Chesham United, while they beat an MK Dons team managed by Roberto Di Matteo 1-0 at Larges Lane in 2008 courtesy of a goal from Michael Buck.

The Robins currently hold the Senior Trophy after beating neighbours Binfield 2-0 in the final at Windsor while the Senior Cup final between Hungerford Town and Maidenhead United has been postponed and will be played in pre season.

For balance, qualifying criteria for the Senior Trophy is:

  • Reserve Teams from Senior Cup
  • Combined Counties Division 1
  • Hellenic League First Divisions
  • Spartan South Midlands Division 1 & 2
  • United Counties Division 1
  • Wessex League Division 1
  • Premier Division Thames Valley Premier League
  • Selected teams as recommended by following leagues:
  • Aylesbury & District Premier
  • East Berks Premier
  • North Berks Division 1
  • North Bucks & District Premier
  • Oxford Senior League Premier
  • Thames Valley Premier League Division 1
  • Wycombe & District Senior

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