HELLENIC LEAGUE: Constant wet weather could boost the stock of the cup

Swindon Advertiser: Rob Hopkins Rob Hopkins

WHILE the local non-league scene has been decimated by rain in recent weeks, New College boss Rob Hopkins is hoping the wet weather will bring about a resurgence for the much-maligned Supplementary Cup.

Hopkins and his students take on Carterton in the second round of the competition tomorrow in what will be only their second game since the middle of December due to the wet weather and the continual downpours in and around Swindon.

The likes of Highworth manager John Fisher have regularly been vocal in their criticism of the cup in recent years but for Hopkins, who has a larger squad to play with than his local rivals, the chance to play extra games is a blessing.

Furthermore, Hopkins now expects other teams to start taking the competition more seriously due to the recent dearth in action.

“It seems like we haven’t played for 20,000 weeks so we are just looking forward to getting a game in after training quite well this week,” he said. “The guys are screaming for a game.

“I would quite happily have a load more cup competitions and a load more games because it allows us to put the lads through a proper games programme which is what they really need for their development.

“I’m probably in the extreme minority because a lot of managers around here don’t enjoy the competition but I like the cup and it’s good for what we’re trying to do.

“I would think most teams who are left in it would take it seriously because they haven’t played.

“I would be surprised if they don’t because it’s a great chance to get a game in for once and a good chance to take a cup seriously.”

In Hellenic Premier action this weekend, Shrivenham travel to Wantage and Wootton Bassett travel Oxford City Nomads while Highworth’s visit to Abingdon Town will almost certainly be postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

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