Jersey Bulls pull out of FA Cup draw

THE JERSEY BULLS have announced they have made the “difficult decision” to withdraw from the FA Cup qualifying round draw on Friday.

The island-based club had a dream run in last year’s bracket which saw them lose a game before the first round proper.

The Bulls cited the lack of fixture foresight, the regularity of flight cancellations and the realization that any successful campaign leads to a backlog of league matches at the end of the season as reasons for the decision. The club will instead focus their attention on the Combined Counties Premier League South and the FA Vase.

Manager Gary Freeman said: “As a group we have made the decision not to compete in the FA Cup but to focus on league and pot competitions.

“We understand that many of our supporters will be disappointed – so are we – but it’s the right thing for the club to do at this time.”

Last season, his team played 58 matches, 28 of which were away and 11 in midweek, which naturally has an impact on the players.

Chairman Russell Le Feuvre said: “It has been such a difficult decision to make as a board, management team and players.” We agonized over it.

“Everyone naturally wants to be in the FA Cup – it’s such an amazing competition and we really enjoyed our run last season.”

“The FA Vase is run differently to the FA Cup, with matches played just once a month, with no replays until you have successfully made it to the final or been eliminated. It just makes more sense to us right now.

Cup magic has huge appeal on top clubs as well as grassroots teams.

However, at present the Bulls consider the current FA Cup replay setup to favor continental teams over island teams – with issues also surrounding the recoupment of travel costs.

The Bulls plan to participate next season, provided the aforementioned issues are resolved.

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