It’s funny really, winning a trophy you don’t have much time for. It must’ve been strange for Cambridge Utd’s manager Richard Money at Wembley yesterday as he held aloft the FA Trophy after beating Gosport Borough 4-0.
Earlier in the season, he had called for the Trophy to be downgraded to a midweek competition with no replays as it was a distraction to Conference Premier clubs who are looking to return to the Football League, like he is with the U’s.
Strange, but now he’s won it, will he change his opinion? Doubt it. I don’t think the likes of Gosport would agree, as they took their place in their first Trophy final, the biggest game in their history. It was not hard to tell that the Borough fans were loving their day, even despite being well beaten.
If the professional clubs of the Conference dislike the Trophy then the answer is simple, restrict the competition to semi-professional clubs. Leave the likes of Cambridge and the big Conference clubs to play in the FA Cup and enter them in the Johnstones Paint Trophy, in which they would probably acquit themselves very well. Many of the full time Conference club will no doubt have playing budgets very similar to some League 2 clubs and this would given them a stake in the competition that would mean something to them, giving the clubs a glimpse of what standard they need to match if they reach the Football League.
Catch the discussion on Non League Podcast The Independent Podcast on Non League by fans