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     On This Day


In 2001,The Daggers drew 1-1 with Southport at Home in the Nationwide Conference 


In 2007,The Daggers drew 2-2 with Wycombe Wanderers at Home in the Coca Cola League Two 
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In 2009,The Daggers beat Shrewsbury Town 5-0 at Home in the Coca Cola League Two 


In 2012,The Daggers lost 0-2 to Cheltenham Town Away in the NPower League Two 


In 2015,The Daggers lost 1-2 to Exeter City at Home in the Sky Bet League Two 


 

 


Myth and Legend
by Alex Thorpe on 15/11/2002

The side taking up most column inches in the lead up to this seasons FA Cup 1st Round are Team Bath. Alex Thorpe looks at where the truth ends and the legend starts around the plucky students.

The Magic of the Cup
Alex Thorpe is a Kettering Town fan who also writes for the independent student paper Concrete at his university, UEA. Amazed by the coverage being generated by Team Bath's run to the First Round Proper of the FA Cup he wrote the following piece for them, reproduced here with his kind permission.
Myth and Legend
It's amazing how drawn in to a myth the national press can get when the story they find is a bit different from the norm. A fine example of this is Team Bath FC's run to the first round of the FA Cup, and impending home tie against Mansfield Town.

The image put across in all the media is of a bunch of plucky students who have managed to fight their way past debt and lectures to win the match of their dreams. This is, of course, a load of old rubbish.

But then again a story saying that a team that is essentially fully professional has beaten four teams that don't have two pennies to bang together isn't going to get people interested is it? But this is the case with Team Bath.

A little background
First a bit of background to the side that many pundits are saying have put the magic back into the FA Cup. A few years ago, with the completion of Bath University's version of Sportspark, the sports boffs in the area decided that it'd be a good idea to set up a centre of excellence.

Team Bath, a collaboration of twelve sports, was formed with the aim of offering young sportsmen and women the chance to earn a degree while continuing an intensive training program, just in case they weren't good enough to make the grade.

The football club decided that the best way forward was to scout around the Premiership youth academies, look for players that were rejected at 18, and offer them scholarships to do a two-year HND while continuing their football academy studies.

And the first batch of rejects jumped at the chance to get two years accommodation, fees and loan all paid for them to train like pros in the morning, and learn to be PE teachers in the afternoon without ever having to look at a lecture theatre.

Just to clarify here that we're essentially talking a two-year professional football contract worth 125 a week with a free HND thrown in. This is more than your average run of the mill semi-pro Conference player. All of a sudden the players of Team Bath FC don't seem so plucky do they?

This cup run
The biggest club Team Bath have faced on their run to the FA Cup is Welsh ex-league side Newport County, now plying their trade in the Dr Martens Southern League, whose gate receipts for the tie wouldn't have topped 4,000.

Now, because they've already got the money to throw at ex-pros who'd probably have ended up in the Conference, Team Bath with earn 100,000 from Sky just for turning up and an extra 30,000 from the FA if they win.

The real "plucky non-leaguers"
It doesn't matter to them financially if they win or lose but to a side like Forest Green Rovers, also on TV in the first round, every penny is priceless in a world where to succeed you need pots of cash to pay for players.

Of the 80 teams in action next weekend, six are from 'level seven', the unofficial name given to the leagues that promote into the Conference's feeder leagues. How many do you think pay their players 125 a week?

And on top of that, how many of them have 9,000 season ticket holders, of whom only about 100 turn up?

Yes, that's right, to watch Team Bath visiting fans have to pay while the students have all been given a free season ticket.

So, while Team Bath being the first university side to play in the FA Cup since Oxford lost the final 122 years ago is a good story, share a thought for the fans of sides like Heybridge Swifts, Hastings United, Harrogate Railway and Boreham Wood for whom an FA Cup run is the lifeline. They deserve their moment of glory, Team Bath have paid for theirs.


 

 

 

 

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