Gold ready to unleash his Lions in FA Cup

London Lions manager Tony Gold is relishing taking the club into unknown terrority when they take their place in the FA Cup for the first time.

The Lions have been drawn at home to Clapton as they make their first-ever appearance in the competition won by Chelsea at Wembley in May.

Gold said: “This is obviously a big, historical moment for the club as the FA Cup is one of the biggest and most prestigious competitions in world football.

“Everyone at the club has been waiting for the draw since we knew we were in it. We wanted Wembley but got the next best thing, Clapton, in what is another extremely exciting period for the club.”

Preparations for the new season are well under way and the team warmed up for the new Spartan Midlands League season with a 2-1 friendly defeat against Fisher FC last weekend.

Victory against Clapton would see Lions face Oxhey Jets or Leverstock Green, and the they will also be looking to make their mark in the FA Vase, where they have been handed an away tie at Welwyn Garden City.

Gold commented: “Last year it was the excitement of playing in the FA Vase for the first time, which incidentally we didn’t do ourselves justice in, but I am confident the lure of playing in the FA Cup will provide the enthusiasm amongst the players you would expect to play in such a prestigious competition.

“For me, it is another challenge and one myself, Steve Grenfell and Darren Yarlett will relish. London Lions will strive to go as far as it can. We certainly have nothing to fear and will enjoy the ride for however long that ride lasts.

“We will make the most of the first game against Clapton by making it an occasion for families and the community and enjoy the whole experience together."

There was more good news for the Lions after they agreed a new groundshare arrangement with Hemel Hempstead FC after Broxbourne Borough went into liquidation.

The SSML agreed that Lions can return to their Rowley Lane base for weekend home games, with home midweek and cup matches at Hemel Hempstead, which will host their FA Cup match.

    Last updated: 10:08am, July 13 2012