Grand Fort Road neighbours to meet in FA Cup

FA CUP holders North will begin their defence of the trophy with a Grand Fort Road derby in the 2022-23 season after the draw for the competition was announced by GFLM.

North celebrate one of their goals in their Guernsey FA Cup final win over Rovers at the end of last season. The holders will begin their defence against Grand Fort Road neighbours Vale Rec next season. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 30863845)
North celebrate one of their goals in their Guernsey FA Cup final win over Rovers at the end of last season. The holders will begin their defence against Grand Fort Road neighbours Vale Rec next season. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 30863845)

They have also announced the draw for the first round and the quarter-final of the Jeremie Cup, the group stage draw for the Stranger Cup and the preliminary rounds as well as the round of 16 draw in the FA Cup.

Guernsey U18s, who won the Stranger Cup for the first time in May, have avoided the two sides they beat in last season’s knockout stages, being drawn in a group with Vale Rec, Rovers and Rangers.

‘Our squad will be quite a bit different to last year, so it may take a little while to really get going since we’ll need to find the new group’s strengths and how they play,’ said Guernsey U18 head coach Angus Mackay, who currently expects to be leading the representative side out once again next campaign.

‘We’ll prepare the same as we normally do and we will certainly be doing our best to try and defend that trophy.’

The format is slightly altered from the 2021-22 edition as the participants are now split into two groups of four, rather than last year’s three groups of three when Manzur competed. The top two from each group will advance to the semis as opposed to the top one from last season alongside the best runner-up.

The 2021/22 runners-up North are drawn in a group with St Martin’s, Bels and previous semi-finalists Sylvans.

Lancaster Division One champions Rocquaine Pirates will compete in this season’s Jeremie Cup, as they have the opportunity to get revenge on Bels after being knocked out of the FA Cup by Stuart Simon’s side last year.

Elsewhere in the Jeremie, St Martin’s are set to play Vale Rec in the opening round with a clash against St Brelade awaiting the winner, while holders St Peter will play the winner of the Bels v Pirates match in the quarters.

North will meet Chris Tardif’s Rangers in the first round with a fixture against Grouville at stake while Rovers and Sylvans will battle it out for a quarter-final meeting with St Clement.

In the FA Cup, last year’s bottom side in the Jersey Premiership, Rozel Rovers, will make the trip over to play Rocquaine Pirates in the round of 16.

The Pirates made it to the same stage last year after prevailing against Manzur’s first team and will have the chance to make it to the final eight for the first time ever in their meeting with the sole Jersey representatives of the competition.

Channel Islands champions St Martin’s will play Bels’ first team in the quarter-final, the only other game bar the Grand Fort Road fixture to feature two Priaulx clubs.

Last year’s runners-up, Rovers, will play any of St Martin’s railway, Sylvans veterans and Rangers veterans depending on the outcomes of the preliminary round fixtures.

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