Tue, 15 May 2018
THE countdown is well and truly on for the FA Vase final at Wembley Stadium where Thatcham Town and Stockton Town go head to head to write their names in history.
Ahead of Sunday's showdown, we spoke with Mark Carruthers who covers non-league football in the north-east for The Chronicle as he gave us the lowdown on what the Kingfishers should expect from Stockton.
There has been an accusation thrown at Northern League clubs that their success in the FA Vase is down to money.
There can be no doubt that wealth has played a part in the domination of the completion by clubs from the North-East.
However, this would not be the case if Stockton Town are victorious on the big day.
The Anchors are built on progression of young players, with a focus on player and club development through quality coaching and careful recruitment.
A glance at their player stats tells you that 12 players have made over 150 appearances for the club, seven of them have made over 200.
They have a quality coaching team that have a well-disciplined side under their control.
The club have made rapid progress on and off the park over the past two years, winning the step seven Wearside League before securing promotion into the Northern League’s top-tier at the first attempt.
They look set for a top eight finish and have reached the semi-final of the League Cup.
The Vase run has been a surprise, albeit a pleasant one for everyone connected with the club.
They’ll enjoy their big day out, but don’t let anyone be fooled that they’re happy just to turn up.
There is a burning desire for success and they’ll want to satisfy that at Wembley.
A powerful striker and a deadly finisher, Owens has been key in their progress to the final with some big goals.