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FA Vase Final: Cray Valley choose tracksuits over Wembley suits

By Steve Tervet

Cray Valley’s players will get the full Wembley experience ahead of Sunday’s FA Vase final.

The Southern Counties East League champions will stay in a London hotel on Saturday night before travelling to the stadium together for the game against Chertsey Town.

They’ll arrive in brand new tracksuits before changing into a bespoke one-off kit and new boots.

Cray Valley will be wearing a one-off kit in the FA Vase final at Wembley Picture: Alan Coomes
Cray Valley will be wearing a one-off kit in the FA Vase final at Wembley Picture: Alan Coomes

Cray Valley manager Kevin Watson said: “The players will make their own way to the hotel on Saturday in time to watch the FA Cup final at the hotel which is about 20 minutes away (from Wembley), seven or eight miles.

“We will eat together, prepare together and travel by coach to Wembley on Sunday.

“We decided not to do suits – the players felt more comfortable in tracksuits but we’ve had a kit company make a bespoke kit so Kevin James helped design that.

“It’s got the players’ names on the back, squad numbers and across the middle it’s got all the committee and fans and people that have been a big part of the club this season.

“Their names are on the kit and that’s a nice touch. The players will get to keep that kit.

”We’ve got all the players some boots from the Our Game initiative as well.”

Most of the squad were at Wembley on Tuesday evening to get a taste of their surroundings – so does Watson feel ready for the big day?

“Not really!” he admitted. “I don’t know if you can be ready.

“We’ve just carried on training and we’ve not done anything unusual. We did have an in-house game on Saturday at Dartford’s ground against a team we’d put together but other than that, we’re just ticking along.

“We’re not making too much of a big deal about it. There’s the commercial aspect going on with the club but that doesn’t involve the players too much.”

The Millers haven’t played a competitive game since clinching promotion on the final day of the league season, almost three weeks ago.

Watson said: “I don’t think there was time to think about (Wembley) from the semi-final until the last game of the season because we were still in the title race and our focus had to be on that.

“We enjoyed getting promotion, we celebrated for a week or so and from that point it’s been organisational bits and pieces for Sunday.

“It’s unusual circumstances for the club, selling over 3,000 tickets and sorting out a kit and boots, travel arrangements and accommodation, all the bits and pieces teams of a higher level are acclimatised towards – and we’re not.”

Read the second part of our FA Vase final build-up on this website on Friday.

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