Wembley heroes to kick off new season in Pitching In Super Cup

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Hornchurch and Warrington Rylands will do battle for the inaugural Pitching In Super Cup trophy
Hornchurch and Warrington Rylands will do battle for the inaugural Pitching In Super Cup trophy

TWO clubs with unforgettable days at Wembley fresh in their memories are set to raise the curtain on the new Trident League season by battling it out for the inaugural Pitching In Super Cup, writes Oscar Haley.

FA Trophy winners Hornchurch will welcome Warrington Rylands, who lifted the FA Vase in May, to Bridge Avenue on Saturday, August 7 – exactly one week before the new league season gets underway.

The match will be live streamed, while supporters will be welcomed back to the terraces to cheer on their local heroes.

The Urchins stunned Hereford in the final, landing manager Mark Stimson his fifth FA Trophy, following a fairy-tale run which saw them claim six other higher-division scalps.

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They will now look to take that confidence into their ‘Pitching In’ Isthmian League Premier Division campaign, while their visitors in the Super Cup, Warrington Rylands, are new to the Pitching In Northern Premier League, having been promoted as part of the National League System restructure.

Stimson is relishing the opportunity to build on his side’s finest hour and hopes to add the Pitching In Super Cup to the newly updated trophy cabinet.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea and it’s a game we’re really looking forward to,” said Stimson.

“It’ll be between two teams that have been to Wembley and been successful and now play this Super Cup which I think is a great idea.

“I think hopefully after this season it can continue and it’d be a nice game to have before the start of the season.”

For Blues boss Dave McNabb, the match represents an early test of how his confident side may adapt to playing at a higher level.

“It was something that was floated to us initially by the league,” explained McNabb.

“Straight away it captured our imaginations and it’s a good opportunity to celebrate what both teams have achieved last year.

“Hornchurch are arguably one of the best teams in step three across the country based on their performances in the league and obviously the FA Trophy so it’s going to be a massive test for us.”

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Pitching In Isthmian League chairman Nick Robinson added: “It was formulated in the Royal Box at Wembley after Hornchurch had one the FA Trophy.

“One of the directors turned to me and said, ‘why don’t we play Warrington, they’ve won the Vase’ and we thought it was a really good idea.

“It’s the first time ever we’ve had the Vase and Trophy winners in one of the Trident Leagues, so that’s when we went back to Pitching In who have been super – it’s just wonderful to have them on board with this.”

Robinson’s counterpart at the Northern Premier League, Mark Harris, said: “We were looking for something to be a curtain raiser for the new season.

“With hopefully restrictions being lifted we’ll be able to have a full and uninterrupted season – time will tell about that – but we wanted a way to be able to launch the second year of launching the Pitching In sponsorship.

“We wanted to do something that could really grab the attention, so it’s hugely exciting as it’s always exciting when you’re doing something for the first time.”

“Having spent time with Hornchurch prior to the FA Trophy final last season, I saw first-hand how much that run meant to the club and I was delighted to see them triumph at Wembley,” said Stuart Pearce, who is an ambassador for Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and their multi-million-pound investment programme, Pitching In.

“I compared their story to a Hollywood film and it was fantastic to see it have a happy ending.

“To bring them together with Warrington Rylands, who also had a brilliant day at Wembley, is a fitting way to start the new season.

“After such a difficult 18 months for clubs at this level, matches like this are vital in reminding local communities that non-league football is back.

“I hope supporters really get behind their local clubs this season and I’m proud to be an ambassador for Pitching In, who continue to fly the flag for the non-league game.”

Pitching In spokesperson, Simon Clare said: “Pitching In was launched a year ago by Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, to support and promote non-elite sport in the UK and we are delighted with how our partnership with the Trident Leagues has gone through what has been an incredibly challenging 12 months for all the clubs. 

"We are therefore thrilled to be launching the new season with such an exciting innovative new fixture, celebrating the achievements of both clubs, and we intend it to become an annual curtain raiser for the Trident Leagues new season”.

Entain, owner of Ladbrokes, has launched a multi-million-pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports. For more details see: https://entaingroup.com/sustainability/pitching-in/

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