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FA Vase Third-Round Tie Set For Single Game Season

Published on: 13 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 16 Mar, 2021

Guildford City FC’s first team manager Paul Barnes. Picture from Guildford City’s website, credited to Graeme Wilcockson.

By Julian Cooper

The long-delayed third-round fixture in this year’s FA Vase competition between Guildford City and Walton & Hersham is on for Saturday, April 10 at Guildford Spectrum.

The Combined Counties game, between Premier Division and Division One, had been due at the beginning of January but fell victim to the national lockdown rules. Unlike the cancelled domestic league fixtures, this match was always going to be played, although now behind closed doors.

Guildford City manager Paul “Barnsey” Barnes has been telling The Dragon how they’ve kept the club and players motivated over the past few months. And how he managed to set up this match.

He said lockdown has helped them build a new chapter at Guildford City, implementing new ideas and creating a professional environment for the whole club.

The players have been using online fitness sessions and programmes to maintain focus and fitness, and the club has delivered socially distanced 1- 2-1s to allow interaction.

Barnsey said: “We haven’t been looking at the Vase game with any special preference or treatment, we are looking at the bigger picture and long-term objectives for City. There is no pressure to go through or reach a certain round.

“It would be great for the club if we could remain in the competition to allow fans to come back and support us, I witnessed the brilliant support when I was in the opposition dugout earlier this season.

“But again, we are all on a journey over a longer period and not just a few games.
“The supporters and people behind the club who have given so much will always be the heartbeat of the club and community, so our job is to give them a team to be excited about and proud to follow us home and away.”

About not being allowed to watch the Vase tie, veteran fan Ian Plested said: “It’s a real shame but we must all follow the regulations.” He said fans were excited about having Paul Barnes and the new management at the club.

The match is worth £1,350 to the winner and that should be motivation enough in what has been a challenging year for everyone involved in trying to keep football clubs at this level afloat.

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