The 138th edition of the FA Cup kicks on in earnest on Friday night when Ascot United host Camberley Town at the Racecourse Ground.
The Yellamen are one of 736 sides entering this season’s competition with the ultimate goal of a glamour tie against an EFL side in the latter qualifying rounds as well as the lucrative win bonuses for each tie.
Berkshire clubs have a decent record in the world’s oldest cup competition with some huge results for Bracknell Town, Slough Town and Wokingham Town in competitions past.
So what do you need to know about this season’s FA Cup competition? Football in Bracknell has the answers!
The Extra Preliminary Round draw
The draw for the Extra Preliminary Round was made in July with home ties for Ascot, Reading, Sandhurst and Windsor. The ties will be played on the weekend of Saturday 11th August.
- Ascot United v Camberley Town (Friday night)
- Crawley Green v Woodley United
- Farnham Town v Binfield
- Reading City v Chipping Sodbury Town
- Sandhurst Town v Lymington Town
- Windsor v Highworth Town
The draw for the Preliminary Round has also already been made. You can see that here.
The Football Association has changed how yellow cards will tally up in the 2018/19 competition.
This time around booking accumulated will be competition specific so a yellow picked up in an FA Cup game will no longer count toward the league total.
It will still be a case of five yellow cards in the league before suspension, but in the FA Cup, Trophy and Vase it will be two.
What’s the prize fund this season?
For some time the losing side in the FA Vase received a certain amount of prize money following a fixture while the winners naturally received more.
In January 2018 the FA announced the competitions prize fund would be doubled from the 2017/18 total of £13million.
That means according to our friends at Non League Crowds on twitter that the winners of the Extra Preliminary Round ties will receive £750 more than last season, while the losers will receive £750 instead of nothing!
Over the course of this weekend 368 teams start their campaign with 184 extra preliminary round ties taking place. A genuine and sincere well done to the @FA as each winning side now gets £2,250 whilst the losers now get £750 – a significant increase from last season!!
— Non League Crowds (@NonLeagueCrowd) August 6, 2018
A fourth sub
You saw it in the World Cup, well now you’ll possibly see it at Hill Farm Lane.
The FA have confirmed a fourth substitute will be available to teams in extra time of a replay.
The governing body say: “Other additions to the Cup this season see the introduction of a fourth substitute being allowed in extra time of replayed fixtures in all matches throughout the competition.”
Bracknell will miss out on this seasons tournament after an administrative error meant the Robins weren’t entered in the competition which was over subscribed.
At the time, chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse said in a statement to Football in Bracknell: “Although we realised he had not made the entry before the deadline to apply it was already over subscribed when our application was made. We made several requests, however the FA had continued to state this years competition is over subscribed.”
Bracknell’s history in the competition is decent, fans of the current side will argue that the current team is the best in the clubs long history but older fans will point at a First Round Proper tie with Lincoln City as being the real high point.
Historic ex-Football League clubs are now scattered across the top two non league tiers of the English Football Pyramid with the likes of Leyton Orient, Hartlepool United, Hereford and Torquay United.
Then there are the historic ‘giant killers’ of the competition which include the likes of Woking (1990/91) and Kingstonian – the latter consistently facing and knocking out league side over a decade.
Typically, the Vanarama National League North and South sides enter in the Second Qualifying Round while clubs from the National League’s top tier enter in the Fourth and final qualifying round.
Last season, three teams from step 6 (equivalent to Hellenic League Division 1 East or Combined Counties League Division 1) reached the Second Qualifying Round. Seven teams from step five reached the Third Qualifying Round and one (Shildon) reached the Fourth.