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Dunne calls for FA to revamp county cup
3:31pm Tuesday 29th October 2013 in Sport
COLCHESTER United boss Joe Dunne has called for a complete overhaul of the Essex Senior Cup over concerns about dangerous pitches and a fixture backlog.
Ahead the League One’s trip to non-league Great Wakering in the competition tonight, the manager of the county’s top-ranked club has called on the Essex FA to reconsider the scheduling of its fixtures, which he feels are detrimental to professional clubs.
Dunne said: “Why can’t these games be spread over a whole season and be played when the pitches are good?
“We could have a gap and when the weather starts to get better in springtime, we could get it all done then.
“Or you could start it when you’re coming towards the end of pre-season.
“It would be a competitive game going into your league campaign and then you would have some of the games out of the way.
“We could then come into the cup in the third round in September and have a bit of a break for the winter pitches.
“The Essex FA will probably turn round and say that there’s a big fixture congestion, with the amount of games that are played.
“But I just think it’s something that we need to look at and we need to give the best for everybody.
“We played Hornchurch in the final a couple of years ago – we played it in pre-season and that’s not a problem to us.
“There was a good crowd, it was played in warm weather and it was perfect.”
Dunne also has concerns over the pitches his side might have to play on in the Essex Senior Cup.
He said: “I love the competition and we’ve taken it seriously over the last few years.
“This isn’t meant to be disrespectful to any of the non-league teams we play.
“But a league standard pitch and a non-league standard pitch are two different things.
“I’ve played in the non-league, so I know what it’s like.
“But the pitches may not stand up and sometimes there is ice or no grass on them and the players are in danger.”
Dunne added that he will be sending a squad of youngsters to Burroughs Park for tonight’s third round tie with Essex Senior League leaders Great Wakering.
He said: “We’ll be playing our youth team in the Essex Senior Cup this season.
“There’s no chance that I’ll be playing any of my pros in tonight’s game.
“I’m sure Great Wakering will be rubbing their hands at the fact that we’re not playing our pros.
“But we’ve got good kids and they can play and we’ll go there with the attitude to win.”
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