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BFA announces exciting new structure for Dudley Eve Trophy

Shannon Burgess, the BFA Competitions Committee chairman (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

A provisional format for this season’s Dudley Eve Trophy competition could potentially become permanent in the future.

For the first time, the competition will feature all 11 Premier Division teams who will be joined in the group stage by the winner of a First Division play-off between Hamilton Parish and Young Men’s Social Club.

Shannon Burgess, the BFA League and Cup Competition chairman, suggested that the provisional format could potentially be retained.

“We are going to take a look at how this tournament unfolds,” he said. “In my mind, perhaps, this could change the format of the Dudley Eve proper.

“We’ve chosen to name his tournament Dudley Eve because I feel it’s the right thing to do, even though it doesn’t take the Dudley Eve format.

“So whether or not we make moves to perhaps change the format going forward we’ll engage clubs and stakeholders to see.”

The BFA rolled out the provisional format at yesterday’s draw held at the Clyde Best Centre of Excellence.

Holders Devonshire Cougars have been drawn along with Devonshire Colts and St George’s Colts in group B.

Group A consists of last season’s runners-up Dandy Town, Somerset Trojans and the winners of the play-off.

Robin Hood, North Village and X Roads make up group C while PHC Zebras, Southampton Rangers and Somerset Eagles have been pitted in group D.

The eventual top teams in each group will advance to the quarter-finals, where the group winners have been kept apart.

The First Division play-off to determine who joins Dandy Town and Trojans in group A has been scheduled to be played on September 5.

“You will recall that the 2020-21 season was abandoned which created a unique scenario for us in that we had no team qualify for this year’s Dudley Eve competition,” Burgess added. “So the competition committee made a recommendation to the executive, which has been accepted.

“We were actually going to create a more preseason type tournament. This is something that the competitions committee has discussed over the last few seasons in that having the top six teams play in a preseason tournament kind of creates somewhat of a disadvantage for the other four teams that get those competitive games end of the season. So for this season we are going to invite all 11 Premier Division teams into the Dudley Eve competition.

“We are creating four groups of three, which actually creates 12 spaces and so we’ve also invited one of the top two First Division teams.

“We looked at last year’s tables once the season was abandoned and the two teams that were at the top of the First Division we have invited to play in a one-match play-off match, which will be competed on September 5, potentially in front of the Charity Cup match.

“The winner of that match, which will be Hamilton Parish and Young Men’s Social Club, will compete in this year’s Dudley Eve tournament with the 11 Premier teams.”

The tournament schedule and match dates have yet to be confirmed.

“We will release the schedule once it is approved by the Ministry of Health to the clubs to determine what match dates will be played,” Burgess said.

“The first match [group match] we all anticipate to be on September 6, but that is depending on our conversations with the minister.”

The Dudley Eve Trophy is played in honour of the late BFA founding member and administrator.

The original competition was inaugurated in 1978-79, with Burgess’s former team, Devonshire Colts, emerging as the first winners of the showpiece that has undergone multiple revisions since its inception.

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Published August 20, 2021 at 7:58 am (Updated August 20, 2021 at 7:58 am)

BFA announces exciting new structure for Dudley Eve Trophy

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