NEW Windsor manager Mark Cooper is aware of the love affair the club has with the FA Vase and he has assured supporters the competition is high on the agenda again this season, writes Rob Stevens.

Windsor have a rich recent history in the Vase after reaching the quarter-final stage in 2018 and the fifth round (last-16) last season, both campaigns under the leadership of former boss Mick Woodham.

Their campaign will begin in round two this season with a visit to Stag Meadow from Eastbourne Town, who Windsor beat 3-1 in the fourth round two seasons ago, on Saturday 2nd November (3pm).

The seasiders however are currently top in the Southern Combination League Premier Division and unbeaten in their first 10 matches with eight wins and two draws.

Cooper told the Observer: “We would’ve preferred an easier draw because Eastbourne are top in another step five league but we’ve entered in a later round so were always going to play a half-decent side.

“When the draw came out of the hat we were delighted to be at home, but equally, any manager will tell you they would prefer a side from a lower league or bottom in the table.

“I would suspect that the emphasis every year at this club is the FA Vase as well as the league, so it’s a big competition for us and we want to do well.

“It’s another big game for us and we will certainly take it very seriously. We will look to be as strong as we can for it, as we do every week.”

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: Supporters of Windsor celebrate during the win at Eastbourne Town in the FA Vase during the 2017-18 season.

Windsor Founding Director, Kevin Stott, added: “Eastbourne are at the top in their league and flying but our history in this competition is that we go to these sorts of teams and beat them.

“That’s the message I’ve tried to get across to Mark, but equally, we’ve still got three or four players in the mix that have been a part of the journey before.

“For me, it was very special going to Eastbourne and winning. The atmosphere from both sets of supporters was absolutely fantastic.

“I’m glad we’re at home because we play much better on a decent pitch and certainly we have an even chance going into the game. Just because Eastbourne are top doesn’t mean they should be favourites. We could be in the top four quite comfortably by the time we get to that game.”