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Pub Cup champs are ready to go again

They’ve already grabbed glory at Wembley, but our Pub Cup winners are hungry for more

Victoria

After that first sip of a drink in the pub, you know how good the next one is going to be.

And in a similar way, our current Pub Cup champions are now thirsty for more after tasting success at Wembley in last year’s final.

The road to Wembley is open again with men’s and women’s pub teams being given the chance to represent their pub in our glorious grassroots competition.

Two teams that will definitely be in the draw are our current women’s and men’s champions.

Our women’s winners The Crown have kept together as a team but have transferred to a new pub, following General Manager Tony O’Kereke to the Old Horns in Birmingham.

Last season they came out on top in our Bisham Abbey heat to win a place at Wembley. The final was a repeat of the previous pre-pandemic Pub Cup final in 2019, when The Crown lost 5-4 in a topsy-turvy match against Shifnal Town at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.

But they got sweet revenge with a 1-0 win against the same opponents at Wembley last summer

The Golden Hind, Women's Pub Cup Champions 2021

Midfielder Chantai Ahmed played in both of the finals and is keen to make it a third.

She said: “It’s been brilliant, the whole experience is something that not many people get a chance to be involved with.

“The year before we didn’t win which was upsetting but it was great to come back again and play at Wembley. It was one of those once in a lifetime things.

“Our aim is to defend it now. We are in it to win it and that’s what we will try to do.”

Owen Scerri of Brighton’s The Victoria pub is also keen to repeat the team’s success. They formed to enter the Pub Cup last season and managed to go all the way to Wembley, winning their Bisham Abbey heat before defeating Bradford’s New Line 4-0 underneath the famous arch.

Owen, who scored a penalty in the final, said: “I’ve been to Wembley a couple of times since and it still feels surreal to know that I’ve played on that pitch.

“We will take the same team up there this season and we’ll see how it goes. You need a lot of luck, especially in those early rounds but we’ll give it a good go.”

And since winning the Pub Cup the bond between the pub and the players has grown stronger.

“We are in here every week for a couple of pints,” he continues, “every time we come in the locals are like ‘there’s the boys who brought the trophy home’. We’re like local legends. But we’ll be barred this year if we get knocked out in the first round!”

There’s bound to be plenty of pub teams with both The Victoria and The Two Horns in their sites.

This season 64 women’s and 64 men’s teams will be taking part in heats across the country in a bid to reach the Wembley showpiece.

Entries are open until 4pm on May 25th. To be in with a chance to follow in our winners’ footsteps, register to enter now at btsporthub.co.uk/pub-cup-2022.

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