Date:Thursday July 20 2006
Supporters` Direct Cup match vs Wimbledon
FC United welcome some very special guests to Gigg Lane this Saturday for what promises to be a hotly contested Supporters Direct Cup encounter.
The support, guidance and encouragement given by officials from AFC Wimbledon last summer was integral to the establishment of our club and it`s with great pleasure that one year on we can host the Dons, their staff and their supporters.
Despite the niceties between the two clubs, it was AFC Wimbledon which inflicted FC United`s first ever defeat with an entertaining 1-0 victory to clinch the Supporters Direct Cup in front of 3,301 supporters at Kingsmeadow last July.
Back then, Wimbledon were the Ryman Division One champions, whilst it was only United`s second ever game. With a championship winning season now under our belts the Reds will be confident of making a bigger impact this time around.
FC United General Manager Andy Walsh explained why it will be extra special to welcome AFC Wimbledon to Gigg Lane this Saturday. He said: "Without the help and guidance of Kris Stewart (Chairman) and the Wimbledon officials last summer FC United may never have happened.
"When most people in the game were telling us that we did not have time to get through the necessary paperwork, it was the achievements and encouragement of AFC Wimbledon that inspired the steering committee to press on.
"There are significant differences in the circumstances that led to the formation of each club but the desire as fans to have some control over the way our club is run is the same."
Kris echoed Andy`s sentiments. He said: "I have been looking forward to this match since last year. It promises to be a great occasion for the supporters and hopefully we can thrash them since the trophy looks good in our cabinet!
"But the game is not really about that, this game is about two clubs formed in a similar fashion but from very different circumstances. A year ago FC United looked to us for advice but already we have begun to look to them for advice.
"We are proud to be able to play our part in the Supporters Trust movement with mutual support from other clubs and Supporters Direct. We look forward to an exciting season and to challenge for the Ryman League Premier Division title."
The cup was established by the Supporters Direct Trust and has previously been competed for by Brentford and Enfield Town, two other clubs that are owned or operated by their supporters.
The Chief Executive of Supporters Direct, Phil French, is also looking forward to the day which epitomises what fan lead football can achieve. He said: "We are delighted to see both clubs competing for the SD Cup.
"If last season is anything to go by it should be fantastic occasion with a festival atmosphere and a highly competitive match to savour. We wish both teams every success for the forthcoming season as they continue to battle against the odds and prove to the world of football what a success story they are."
Entrance will be available on the day, priced £7 for adults, £5 for over 60s, and £2 for under-18s. In the spirit of the competition, the gate money from the match will be shared between both clubs.
For FC United fans there should be another opportunity to see how Stuart Rudd, Rhodri Giggs and Alex Mortimer amongst others are fitting in to the club.
Taken from the FC United newsletter, so spread the word.
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