Tuktuk Day Seventeen

The FA

FC DEPORTIVO GALICIA RELISHING FIRST-EVER FA VASE FORAY

Obviously the purpose of this 90 day tour is to raise money for Prospect Cancer UK and FC Deportivo Galicia. Equally important is to continue to raise awareness of the charity and the club. Last weekend was the 4th round of the FA Vase competition and by coincidence I came across an interesting article on the FA website about FC Deportivo Galicia in the competition. It’s pre Covid so I have updated it.

Wikipedia says , “The Football Association Challenge Vase, usually referred to as the FA Vase, is an annual football competition for teams playing in Steps 5 and 6 of the English National League System (or equivalently, tier 9 or 10 of the overall English football league system). The 2023 winners were Ascot United, who beat then reigning champions Newport Pagnell Town 1–0 at Wembley Stadium. Deportivo Galicia play in Step 6 (tier 10) with eyes on promotion this season to Step 5 (tier 10)

FA Vase

FC Deportivo Galicia have their maiden Buildbase FA Vase campaign ahead of them, but manager Leo Decabo insists they fear no side in their path, even if the odds are stacked against them.

The 48-year-old accountancy consultant and his assistant Jose Andon, are both former players for the west London outfit – and have helped rescue the club from a position where it was almost dissolved in 2007.

With the aim of ensuring there was at least one Spanish club in London, Decabo and Andon have rallied the local Spanish community to get behind them, with many of the players the sons and grandsons of those who were once part of the original ‘Centro Gallego de Londres’ team.

FC Deportivo Galicia v Irchester United

Buildbase FA Vase 

First Round Qualifying 

3pm, Saturday 10 September 2016

Bedfont Recreation Ground, Hatton Road 

Winning clubs receive £600 from prize fund 

And with the excitement in Ladbroke Grove reaching fever pitch, Decabo admits this weekend’s tie with Irchester United feels like a cup final.

“This is an absolutely massive game for us,” he said. 

“We’re making a big song and dance about it on social media, and we’ve left no stone unturned in terms of promoting it within our community.

“We have come from such a long way from here playing Sunday football, and struggling through a number of different leagues, so for everyone – especially those volunteers behind the scenes at the club – this one game feels like our prize, our trophy, our final.

“Where it goes after Saturday, I don’t know, but it feels like a dream at our level. The financial side of it is a big incentive for all clubs involved as well, and game promotes both us and our part of Spain, Galicia, which people round here know about now because of the club.

“A big crowd is expected on Saturday, and our reserve side kicked this all off last year by reaching the finals of their league cup – we filled out the stadium, it was a huge day and sent a tingle down the spine. It’s all there for us again this weekend.

“Irchester are from the Northampton area, but I have to admit I did go and take a look at one of their games despite the two-and-a-half hour trip in the middle of the week.

“I wanted an insight into how they play, and what they have. We have a special buzz at the moment, and even though we are probably the lowest-rated of 900 clubs in the FA Vase, we don’t fear anyone.”

FA Vase History

This is FC Deportivo Galicia’s first year in the FA Vase, but for Irchester United this marks their seventh straight year in the competition.

Following a 33-year hiatus – with their only previous FA Vase experience coming in 1977 where they lost in a preliminary round replay to Langford – the Romans re-entered the competition in 2010.

Their best performance to date came in the 2014/15 season, when victories over Staines Lammas and Crawley Green Sports saw them into the first round proper, although they were then downed by Fakenham Town.

Did you know?

Originally FC Deportivo Galicia was set up 49 years ago as a Sunday side that could trace its roots back to Galicia in north-west Spain, with a Spanish school in nearby Ladbroke Grove.

There is a huge Spanish community nearby, particularly from Galicia, and there were a number of Spanish clubs in the area – but now FC Deportivo Galicia are the only ones left.

The bulk of the side is still Galician, but Decabo is quick to stress that it is not about only including Spanish players at the club.

One to watch

With the likes of Luisito, Pahiño, and more recently Míchel Salgado and Iago Aspas all hailing from Galicia, the region boasts a proud football heritage.

And Decabo is confident they have talent all over the park that makes his side easy on the eyes.

He said: “I think a few eyes will be on our keeper on Saturday, Manu Lamas. He’s a big lad and an excellent shot stopper, and then we’ve got Anton Fernandez up front who is on a hot-streak at the moment.

“In the middle of the park we have Felipe as well pulling the strings. They are all great players, all Spanish players, and not all necessarily from Galicia.”

The Prize

The winners will land an away tie with Rothwell Corinthians or Burton Park Wanderers in second round qualifying, as well as £600 from the prize fund.

FA Vase History

This is FC Deportivo Galicia’s first year in the FA Vase, but for Irchester United this marks their seventh straight year in the competition.

Following a 33-year hiatus – with their only previous FA Vase experience coming in 1977 where they lost in a preliminary round replay to Langford – the Romans re-entered the competition in 2010.

Their best performance to date came in the 2014/15 season, when victories over Staines Lammas and Crawley Green Sports saw them into the first round proper, although they were then downed by Fakenham Town.

Did you know?

Originally FC Deportivo Galicia was set up 49 years ago as a Sunday side that could trace its roots back to Galicia in north-west Spain, with a Spanish school in nearby Ladbroke Grove.

There is a huge Spanish community nearby, particularly from Galicia, and there were a number of Spanish clubs in the area – but now FC Deportivo Galicia are the only ones left.

The bulk of the side is still Galician, but Decabo is quick to stress that it is not about only including Spanish players at the club.


Anton Fernandez v Holyport

One to watch

With the likes of Luisito, Pahiño, and more recently Míchel Salgado and Iago Aspas all hailing from Galicia, the region boasts a proud football heritage.

And Decabo is confident they have talent all over the park that makes his side easy on the eyes.

He said: “I think a few eyes will be on our keeper on Saturday, Manu Lamas. He’s a big lad and an excellent shot stopper, and then we’ve got Anton Fernandez up front who is on a hot-streak at the moment.

“In the middle of the park we have Felipe as well pulling the strings. They are all great players, all Spanish players, and not all necessarily from Galicia.”

Sadly, it was not to be and the gallant home side went down 1-0 to exit the competition

Since then there have been some noteworthy performances including welcoming Irchester United back to West London and commendable away wins at Arlesley Town and Long Buckby. We are all looking forward to next season’s competition already.

2016-17 1Q IRCHESTER UNITED H 0-1
2017-18 1Q LEWISHAM BOROUGH (COMMUNITY) H 6-3
2Q MERIDIAN V P A 0-0 Meridian VP won 3-1 on penalties
2018-19 1Q LONDON TIGERS H 3-2
2Q BURTON PARK WANDERERS A 5-0
1 IRCHESTER UNITED H 1-2
2019-20 2Q SEAFORD TOWN A 0-2
2020-21 1Q HOLYPORT A 1-0
2Q HANWORTH VILLA A 0-4
2021-22 1Q ARLESEY TOWN A 4-4 FC Deportivo Galicia won 4-3 on penalties
2Q TRING ATHLETIC H 1-4
2022-23 1Q WELLINGBOROUGH WHITWORTHS H 3-1
2Q WELLINGBOROUGH TOWN H 0-4
2023-24 1Q LONG BUCKBY A 7-3
2Q WELLINGBOROUGH TOWN A 0-8

(Info from Football Club History Database

Among the more interesting matches in the 4th round this season were victories for Hallam, Jersey Bulls and Hilltop who will play Romford at Uxbridge’s ground on 11 February. Huge kudos to Hilltop who like ourselves have an immigrant background. Hilltop draws many of its players from the Somali community in London, and from time to time enters Somali tournaments around the world, having done so in Canada and Somalia. The club also participates in the Somali British Champions League. Kudos also to the fans of Falmouth Town who chartered an aircraft to get their fans to Jersey! #respect!

As always, I HOPE you are all enjoying the tour of the UK and that you will consider a donation however small to support FC Deportivo Galicia and/or Prostate Cancer UK If everybody chipped in £1 I would easily hit my target of £10,000 and life would be easier in West London whilst the charity continued their great work. A HEARTFELT thanks, if you can.

Share

Leave a Comment