Tower Hamlets and Sporting Bengal aiming to achieve some FA Cup glory

The 2015/16 Fly Emirates FA Cup (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA)

The 2015/16 Fly Emirates FA Cup (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Ade Abayomi can’t wait to be involved in the extra preliminary round of the famous competition

Tower Hamlets manager Ade Abayomi is delighted to be involved in FA Cup action this weekend and see players he has developed from a young age compete in the oldest association football competition in the world.

The Mile End Stadium club are on the road to Eastern Counties League outfit Wivenhoe Town on Saturday to take part in the extra preliminary round.

And Abayomi’s young side go to Broad Lane in confident mood after two impressive displays in the Essex Senior League this week.

Although beaten 2-0 by Takeley on Saturday, Hamlets hit back on Monday to beat Basildon United by the same scoreline with Omar Rowe and Yusuf Ali on target.

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Ahead of their FA Cup tie, Abayomi said: “The opportunity I have been given as Tower Hamlets manager is great.

“Most of the kids in the team I have worked with from a young age, so I have seen them go from the Echo league into the academy, through to the reserves and now into the first team.

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“It is a great progression for them and for me as well, so to see them involved in the FA Cup is just brilliant to be honest.

“They are all looking forward to it and this is what it’s all about, playing in this competition. This opportunity is something you can’t buy and they’re all really excited.

“I have heard about Wivenhoe, they are a decent side, but if we play like we did against Basildon I think we can get a good result.”

Local rivals Sporting Bengal United are also preparing for the FA Cup on Saturday.

Now managed by Anwar Uddin, they will be hoping to do well in the competition as they face league rivals Basildon United.

Uddin has great pedigree in the competition after winning the FA Youth Cup in 1999 with West Ham United playing alongside the likes of current England international Michael Carrick and Joe Cole.

Uddin’s first competitive game in charge ended in a 2-2 draw against Sawbrigeworth Town on Saturday, but Bengal had been trailing by two goals at one point in the match at Crofters End.

Sporting were up against local rivals Newham at Tilbury last night (Wednesday) and drew 1-1 ahead of their fixture in the FA Cup at Basildon on Saturday.

With £1,500 prize money on offer for those that go through from the extra preliminary round this weekend, Bengal and Hamlets will both be aiming to progress.

Abayomi is looking forward to seeing his youngsters compete in the tournament, but he also expressed his delight at seeing them develop.

He believes the Essex Senior League is the perfect platform for them to continue growing as young, talented footballers.

“The more the young kids can get involved against men the more it will help them develop in the long run,” added Abayomi.

“This league is perfect to do that in and I hope if we can stay up this season and be successful, more teams will follow what we are doing by giving kids a chance.

“In the two games we have played it doesn’t take a genius to work out our team is full of kids, but the football they are producing is fantastic and a joy to watch.”

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