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Civil Service FC celebrating 150 years of the FA Cup

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

Civil Service FC will compete in the Generation Cup finals on Sunday, March 13th at England’s training base St George’s Park in Derbyshire. Civil will be taking on Crystal Palace FC (yes that Crystal Palace) and Upton Park FC (no not that Upton Park).

The Civil squad will be made up of 24 male players aged 17 or over. The rules require that a minimum of 3 players aged 50 and over must be on pitch at all times so some squad legends will be pulling a Civil kit again. A maximum of five players under the age of 40 can be on the pitch at the same time.

What is the Generation Cup?

The Generation Cup is a tournament to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the FA Cup, and has featured nine clubs who can trace their history to the earliest days of football. We will mark our 160th anniversary next year and as a result we were one of 11 clubs who founded The Football Association at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street in London on 26 October 1863.

We then played our part in creating and playing in the first ever FA Challenge Cup competition in the 1871/72 season. As entrants in that first FA Cup we were invited to play in the Generation Cup. Having lost 2 v 0 to Barnes on 11 November 1871 we have already done better in 2021. Matches are 11 aside and last for 60 minutes with roll on roll off substitutes.

How did we reach the final?

Nine clubs entered the Generation Cup along with the three finalists - Clapham Rovers, Maidenhead United, the Royal Engineers, Civil Service FC, Hitchin Town, Wanderers FC and Reigate Priory. The nine clubs were drawn into three groups of three. On Sunday 7th November 2021 we played against the Royal Engineers and Clapham Rovers in our group games, all held at Reigate Priory’s historic Park Lane ground, scene of an original 1871 tie.

We beat Royal Engineers 4 v 1 in the first tie with a brace from Harry Magee and goals from Lucas Macdonald(o) and James Langham. It was a fairly feisty first half, Giggsy was playing, which ended all square before Civil ran our comfortable winners in the 2nd half. In the second game we won 4-3 with Harry scoring again and Chris Jones, Joe Heap and John Sewell getting the others. Civil went 1-0 up in the first minute before taking the foot off the gas and falling 2-1 behind, this led to manager Paddy Carton utilising the full squad by substituting off 10 of the 11 players in one go, only Jonesy surviving. This tactical master stroke saw us score 3 before Clapham pulled one back.

Who are we playing?

You all know Crystal Palace FC, currently plying their trade in the Premier League. Their side is likely to be made up of older players with the likes of Mile Jedinak and Andy Johnson already confirmed in the squad. Crystal Palace got to the semi finals, losing 3-0 to Royal Engineers in a replay on 9 March 1872. They played in the next 3 tournaments. The professional club was then formed in 1905.

Upton Park Football Club was an amateur football club from Upton Park, London playing from 1866 to around 1911. In addition to playing in the first ever FA Cup tie in 1871, losing to Clapham Rovers, they also represented Great Britain at the first ever Olympic football tournament in 1900, which they won. In 2016, Upton Park were 'reformed' as an amateur club and staged the final game at the Boleyn Ground, against Royal Engineers.

What are the arrangements for the finals?

All games will be played on the Sir Bobby Charlton pitch at St George’s Park, the Football Association's national football centre on a 330-acre site at Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire.

The squad will be travelling up on Saturday 12th and returning on the morning of Monday 14th. The timings of the matches on Sunday 13th are as follows:

Match 1 - 11.00 kick off - Civil Service v Upton Park Match 2 - 12.30pm kick off - Crystal Palace v Civil Service Match 3 - 2.00 pm kick off - Upton Park v Crystal Palace

The finals squad will be mainly the players who played in the qualifying group but with injuries and other enforced absences there will be a few new faces. The manager on the day will be Club Captain and 1st team manager Paddy Carton with Club Secretary Steve Evison as Assistant Manager.

8 March 2022

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