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Suffolk Sunday side target last 16 spot in national cup

FRIENDSHIPS: Gym United came about so friends could play together
FRIENDSHIPS: Gym United came about so friends could play together

Gym United are vying to be the first Suffolk club to ever reach the last 16 of the FA Sunday Cup, with this weekend’s third round match against Eden Park Rangers.

The Sunday club, who compete in Division One of the Bury and District Sunday Football League, made it to this stage last year but were knocked out.

But the club have already broken Suffolk FA records with this achievement, reaching the furthest of any county side since the tournament’s inception 53 years ago.

They will line up against Eden Park Rangers, an East London-based side, on Sunday at Ram Meadow (1pm) — their home ground for the tournament.

Matt Morton, chairman and club manager, said the team were ‘incredibly grateful’ to Bury Town chairman Russell Ward for providing access to the facilities for the competition.

Gym United’s home — the Victory Ground — is not at the standard necessary for entry to the national competition and they would have been unable to take part without Ram Meadow.

He said: “It’s the first time we’ve been at home this tournament so it wasn’t an issue before, but the ground has to be at Thurlow Nunn level or above.

“Ours isn’t, so we’re incredibly grateful that Bury have let us use theirs.

“But more than that, they even rescheduled a Vets game that was meant to take place at the same time. So we want to also extend our thanks to Mickie Logan.”

Morton wants this year to be the year the club takes the next step in the competition and hopes a home draw can be the boost needed.

He said: “We’ve entered it a couple of times before and have always surprised ourselves with how well we’ve done.

“But we’ve not been able to get past this stage.

“We’ve got a lot of quality in our squad —we’re pretty much all Thurlow Nunn and Bostik level players.

“I know football fans can be unsupportive of teams they see as a ‘rival’ but we’re really hoping Suffolk can get behind us this year.

“It would be great if lots of people came down to Ram Meadow to show their support.

“And hopefully we can go further than we, or any other Suffolk side, have ever gone in the tournament.

“We’re feeling a bit of pressure, of course we are, but we’re also really excited.

“The final is always played at a Premier League club too, so we all really want to get to that stage.”

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