The competition clearly lacks the glamour and financial reward of its early days under the generous sponsorship and support of FletcherSports, but it is still the biggest tournament in terms of numbers and de Garis wants to land it again.
But, in a last-16 round of many likely mis-matches, his exciting young Sylvans side have drawn one of the shortest straws – Rovers.
The two sides meet in the clash of the weekend – scheduled for Port Soif at 1.30 tomorrow – but like all this weekend’s six ties it is in line to be moved to the dry KGV3G if poor pitch conditions necessitate.
Either way, de Garis is not fazed.
‘I’m not really fussed [about KGV3G].
‘Last season we played quite well down there, so I’m not really bothered whether we play on KGV or grass.’
And with a full squad to choose from, why should he?
There is a return for arguably the outstanding No. 5 in the domestic game this season, Jacob Fallaize, just one of many exciting young players de Garis has cribbed together to produce something possibly very exciting.
Back in early August, de Garis was concerned his squad was too small and too inexperienced to mount much of a challenge. But after an unbeaten run stretching eight league and cup games, his team sit third in the FNB Priaulx League table and are contenders, albeit in Mourinho speak ‘the little horse’ among the big stallions of St Martin’s and Rovers.
‘It’s been really good so far,’ said de Garis. ‘In August, I was fearful but the players have managed to turn things around. They have bonded together – there’s a good team spirit, they are are young and want to improve.’
De Garis knows all too well that, as he puts it, others are ‘starting to look at us now’, so tomorrow’s game is an important one. They have to put on another show, at least push to the limit a Rovers squad that could give a debut to new signing Frank Tobin.
It is one game that is hard to predict. Four of the remaining five should see nailed-on wins for Priaulx sides North against London House Bels, St Martin’s v. Rangers Reserves, Vale Rec over Sylvans Reserves and Belgraves over Rovers Reserves.
In the one FNB Priaulx league game of the weekend, Rangers travel to Alderney hoping to have Dale Garland back to lead their line in a game which also doubles as their annual Baker Cup clash. Alderney are likely to be without defender Steve Concanen.