|01||Atletico Magicmen 94||Matthew Jermy||541||86||12||2.5||1400|
|02||Fourteen Men and a Fantasy||Ross Peggs||343||59||18||7.4||1368|
|04||Borussia Munsongladbach||Scott Pritchard||433||36||23||0.5||1322|
|05||Butt Kickers||Lawrence Baynes||343||75||14||2.2||1318|
|06||Perdoc Byzeusthains||Quentin Baynes||433||31||9||5.0||1263|
|07||Crockford's Crackers||Peter Crockford||352||68||11||4.5||1227|
|09||Brexit Bingo||Adam Walters||553||57||17||5.9||1201|
|08||Da Roo Ron Don||Nick Jermy||343||47||13||4.5||1207|
|10||AC Spartak||Michael Lucchesi||343||35||19||21.6||1085|
|11||Y Tu Wanyama También||Martin Edwards||283||33||18||0.5||1084|
|12||50 Shades Of O'Shea||Adam Pritchard||433||50||4||21.7||1059|
|13||Swings And Roundabouts||Edward Mcnamara||433||55||13||7.5||1039|
|14||Just The Tip||Adam Patterson||343||28||11||7.2||856|
Martin Edwards limbers-up for his first ever solo Cup Final appearance, as he takes on two times winner Walters in the 5ASide Cup Final this weekend.
Edwards did reach the SFP Cup final in 2012, but as part of the Christine Hamilton Academicals F.C. outfit with Jermy Junior. This will be his first final on his own, and gives him the a chance to claim his 2nd major honour.
In the other corner sits Brexit Bingo, as the 2004 and 2014 winner aims to make it a hat-trick of 5ASide Cup wins.
Scoring will take place using the games from Saturday to Monday evening. With it being a two game week for some Premiership sides the SFP Committee has decided that, as these two sides won't affect the top 4 and will be playing a weakened league side at the weekend, they can both change their midweek team for the final at the weekend.
For full details click here.
The SFP Cup Semi Finals were concluded last weekend, and we now know who will be going head to head in May.
In the end, the two Group victors continued their goal scoring form throughout the knockout stages, as Munsongladbach and Butt Kickers navigated their way to the final.
For Butt Kickers, a simple 2:0 scoreline saw a comfortable 4:1 aggregate win knock Atletico Magicmen out at the Semi Final stage for the second time in two years. For Baynes, this will be his first Cup final appearance of any kind since winning the first competition back in 1996.
In the other tie, Munsongladbach finished off AC Spartak in emphatic style, with a 3:1 second leg win, making it 5:2 overall. Pritchard Junior was looking forward to the prospect of his second SFP Cup final appearance in 3 seasons:
"Mega - a cup run that is reminiscent of 14/15 season, which took us to the finals where we were runners-up to Rob Dale's juggenaut. Gratitude and respect to Spartak as always. This time, anything is possible and we feel we can go one better. Munson are having their suit fittings – love a cup final."
"This time, anything is possible and we feel we can go one better."
This years final is scheduled for the 13-14 May 2017.
With the SFP Cup 2nd legs looming large this weekend, it's seemingly all still to play for.
Munsongladbach and Butt Kickers both have one foot in the final after narrow 2:1 victories over AC Spartak and Atletico Magicmen respectively.
Spartak Chief Lucchesi was still confident of turning things around this week:
"Our league is elite. I'm talking Michael Jordan and Usain Bolt level tough. So winning any trophy is something you reach for with both hands and savor. Over the years I'm chuffed that I've picked up some great goal scorers. We won it with Bale and I would love to see Zlatan bag Spartak another cup"
Meanwhile, current league leader and 3 times SFP Cup winner Jermy Snr was also hopeful, despite rumours suggesting star midfielder Antonio was sidelined for the rest of the season:
"The fact that we've struggled for goals in the last three weeks gives us hope that this week is our week. And the fact that Antonio is out is not a concern - it simply opens the door for someone else. This squad was built as a squad, not around any individual. That's how we will continue to play it until the final day."
As the business end of the season approaches, we turn our attention to the SFP Cup Semi Finals this weekend.
In the first match-up, two of the SFP's longest serving managers go face to face for only the second time in a knock-out stage. Three time SFP Cup winners Atletico Magicmen go head to head with Butt Kickers, who still haven't made the final since their 1996 victory.
In the second tie it's Munsongladbach VS AC Spartak, for the second time in 3 years at this stage. Last time Munson were the winners, something Pritchard Junior still remembers dearly:
"Last time we met Spartak, the tie was settled by a Spanish midfielder who scored two penalties in one game - (he only score 3 league goals in his 35 appearances for Sunderland, which spanned 714 days)."
"While he has now been forgotten following loans to Wigan and Blackburn, and a permanent to Rayo Vallecano, Munson will never forget '2014/15 Hall of Famer': Jordi Gomez"
"Anything can happen in the cup... time to make more history..."
After a twenty year wait, Martin Edwards has made his first SFP Cup final as a solo manager, and faces two-time 5ASide Cup Winner Walters.
Yet Edwards still has one eye on getting one over rival Lucchesi, who he eliminated along the way. You have to admire the ambition:
"Reaching the five a side cup final is great. But outscoring AC Spartak in the league in both legs without our best five players - now that's priceless. We still see finishing above Spartak as our #1 target for the season."
The SFP 5ASide Cup finalists will be decided upon this weekend, as the Semi Final stage draws to a conclusion.
In one tie, manager Edwards seems to have one foot dangling in the final. In the other, the two big hitters, and usual title chasers, meet once again. Walters VS Dale is the match up that has been an almost permanant fixture over the last three seasons.
Since 2014 they have scooped 7 trophies between them, including an SFP Championship each, while Walters was runner-up in 2016 and Dale runner up in 2014 and 2015.
But this season they have floundered with mid table obscurity. Dale in particular was seen as someone who, after 3 years of dominance, could genuinely become the first person to defend an SFP title since Baynes Junior in 1997. Both were eliminated from the SFP Cup in the group stage, which brings us nicely to this seasons 5ASide Cup.
It’s a trophy Walters has won twice, and one Dale is yet to add to his cabinet. With little else left to play for, one of these two will be the favourite should they reach the final, so this could be the most important weekend for both managers.
1. So, you guys go head-to-head again this weekend, with Brexit Bingo in the driving seat. Who's confident?
[WALTERS] If we throw it away from here we will look pretty stupid. Still, Rob-o-Klopp have some very dangerous players and we will be take nothing for granted, but we are quietly confident of progressing. Failure to do so however will likely see a mass exodus of players and the lynching mob entering the NFA (Nigel Farage Arena). I may be forced to flee to Panama if we cock this one up. We do however wish Rob Dale the best of luck, a fine manager and one we can all learn a lot from, and should we lose, I will be delighted that it was to him.
[DALE] Not I. I'm still being seduced by the prospect of a top four finish so went with a weakened side in the first leg. Have it all to do now and not the most favourable fixtures for my squad.
2. You’ll both be taking a hit in the league if you commit fully to the 5ASide Cup. How important is a good league finish now? Rob-O-Klopp are creeping towards a top 4 finish, while Brexit Bingo could surrender a place to Crockford’s Crackers.
[WALTERS] We have been forced to give up on our usual top 4 finish in pursuit of a cup double this season. It all went wrong when the Southampton defence were broken up for one reason or another and the defensive gamble ultimately died. As the chairman rightly pointed out to me, who remembers 4th place? A trophy is what gets you in the hall of fame… so we are more than happy to put our feet up in the league and focus our efforts on delivering silverware for our fans.
[DALE] Very important, I'm more concerned with a top four finish. Call me the SFP's Arsene Wenger. Can't really believe I still have a chance.
3. How’s it come to this – scrapping over a 5ASide Cup Semi Final instead of a title challenge? You were both billed as early season favourites and top 4 dead certs.
[WALTERS] Yep, sad old situation. But we will be back stronger than ever next season hunting another title. Note to self... don't get drunk and sign 8 defenders, and definitely not Daley Blind. Palming him off to Regis was our best effort at derailing his Pedro-driven juggernaut (yes I’m still bitter on that one Ross). The title was probably lost before the season even kicked off. Still the Birra Moretti went down a treat and bagged us a lucrative sponsorship deal with the Italian drinks company.
[DALE] My season went wrong before the first whistle was blown. The auction was a disaster due to my inability to count. Left me with just the one striker, albeit Aguero, and relying on wheeling and dealing to put a half decent squad together. It's not been an easy season.
4. If you could go back to the auction, how would you tackle it differently?
[WALTERS] Drink less, eat more, and sneak a peek at the Chairman’s pots... there's clearly a science behind winning the SFP in the modern era, and we are happy to move with the times.
[DALE] Where do I start? Ultimately I tried to look for value but ended up getting very few decent players. Perhaps I was a marked man after last year's success, or perhaps I tried to be too clever. Either way, I should have loosened the purse strings a little - again like Mr Wenger!
5. A trophy is a trophy though. How much would it mean to go all the way in this years 5ASide competition. It would be Walter's record 3rd and Dale's first?
[WALTERS] It's another honour, and a potential record 3rd 5-a-side title, and if we can make it a double with an FFA cup title we will still consider it a successful season, but there's a few hurdles to jump as yet. Silverware is what keeps fans happy, ask Wenger.
[DALE] Any silverware would be great, and I'll certainly be fielding a stronger team this time in the hope of pulling off the comeback. But I feel overcoming adversity and making the top four would be a greater achievement, and something I still have a decent chance of pulling off.
6. They say it’s not how low we fall but how high we bounce back. How will you make sure you are back on form next season?
[WALTERS] I think I've answered this, I'll be sitting next to the chairman and taking a more scientific approach to squad selection. I will have a jug of water to sup, and will also be appointing a sporting director as part of a club restructure. Early speculation is linking the great Newcie Brown Ale drinking Eli Earl with the position, although Les Rushmere is rumoured to be interested.
[DALE] I have a few ideas up my sleeve, a few players I have my eye on. Preparations have already begun. One thing I've noticed is that you no longer need to be reliant on a top striker, a decent array of defenders and midfielders can bring great results.
7. I thought I'd take the opportunity to ask the last two SFP Champions their take on the Lukaku transfer. The Pritchard brother's have laid bare their cases on the web site, but what do you two think. One of you a known Wheeler Dealer and one a genuinely honest sportsman. What is your take on it and would you like to see any changes made in the future?
[WALTERS] Well. As for the Pritchard brothers, we have nothing but great words to say for two of the longest standing members of the SFP elite. Also, I have to say having been on the receiving end of such lucrative transfers in the past I can't exactly criticise. That said, those days are in our past and we would be happy to work closely with the chairman and the SFP board to help clean up what traditionally becomes a dirty and dark stage of the season.
We have a strong feeling towards a closing of the transfer window at the end of January like real life when teams don't truly know where they will be come March / April. If this were to be agreed we would like to see squad sizes increased slightly to allow for injuries / loss of form later in the season.
Only other option we can see is the formation of a panel that passes transfers involving top point scoring players... although this does create a confidentiality issue and I feel this may not be the answer. Should such a panel be formed however, we feel Martin should be an integral part of the panel given his experience in being asset stripped, his input would be extremely valuable.
[DALE] I've no problem with the deal. No rules have been broken, and similar deals have happened before. Will revise those comments if Lukaku points were to cost me a top four finish though!
8. Morning or night?
[WALTERS] If I'd been asked this 3 years ago it would have been mornings... when lay ins were taken for granted. Night is now the new morning.
[DALE] Morning, big dawn chorus fan.
9. If you had an endless supply of food, what would it be?
[WALTERS] Easter eggs, korma and chips.
[DALE] I'm ruling out tofu after our Christmas get together. I'll take pizza (hold the meat)
10. If someone made a movie about the other managers season, what movie would it be?
[WALTERS] I think mine would be easier to select. Cast Away. Stuck in the abyss, with little hope or left to play for but as it looks like all is lost, a chance for glory beckons....
But the question is for Rob-o-Klopp.... and as my film knowledge is pretty dire, I handed this one over to Vicki… after explaining the pressure on the winners shoulders to repeat their success and their failure to meet these expectations but their admirable efforts to fight their way back…. she settled on The Mighty Ducks… its now on download.
[DALE] Not sure I understand the question, so I'll go with an obvious alternative answer - Groundhog Day for Martin, sorry Martin...
For full fixtures and results of this weeks 5ASIDE Cup Semi Finals, click here.
In a short 3 week month it's Atletico Magicmen chief Jermy who collects his third MOTM award of the season
His side were only one of four to tip the ton in March, with rivals Peggs and Pritchard Jnr. closly in tow. Manager Dale also continues his recent good form, and almost took the award himself, as he clings onto faint hopes of reaching the top 4. Jermy remains cool and calm:
"The award is irrelivant. Talk to me in May. Have we done enough to be contenders? Possibly. Have others made significant improvemnets to their squads? Yes."
At the other end of the scale, it's Walters with the lowest tally for the month as he remains focused on the 5ASide Cup. And for once, Patterson is way up the charts. With 50 Shades having sold out, can Just The Tip avoid the wooden spoon?
For a closer inspection, check the expanded league table here.
|138||Atletico Magicmen 94|
|122||Fourteen Men and a Fantasy|
|75||Just The Tip|
|72||You Say Cabaye, I Say Hello|
|69||50 Shades Of O'Shea|
|67||Da Roo Ron Don|
|43||Swings And Roundabouts|