As 25 EVO-STIK League clubs prepare to kick off in the second qualifying round, the Mariners are the subject of a special feature in the build-up to their trip to the Alder Hey home of EVO-STIK League North newboys Atherton Colleries in Manchester on Saturday.
Proud Mariners chairman Paul Leary, pictured, tells the FA about the club's upcoming 125th anniversary, their history as the Northern Premier League's longest serving club and why the Non-League's cup showpiece competition means so much to the Merseysiders after twice reaching the semi-finals in 1983-84 and 1991-92.
Leary, whose club is hailed as an NPL institution in the article, says: "We are the longest-serving member club of the Northern Premier League Premier Division. We joined in 1979 and here we are, nearly 40 years later. That’s good from a stability point of view. As a club, we’ve never been relegated and in two years’ time, we’re celebrating our 125th anniversary. To have a run this year may set the scene for things happening in the next couple of years.
"We’ve got a very loyal group of supporters. What’s happened in the last few years is that our supporters have increased in numbers because of the pricing of tickets at Everton and Liverpool. In the Merseyside non-League area, over the last 15-20 years, there have been a number of clubs with great traditional history like Marine that have either folded or have completely dropped down the pyramid.
"Clubs like South Liverpool, Runcorn, Formby and Vauxhall Motors, who voluntarily went down from Step Two to Step Seven – there are not as many non-League teams around in Merseyside as there used to be. So it’s great that we’re still here and we’ll be celebrating our anniversary in the next few years."
He added: "I believe that [Atherton Colleries] are a useful outfit and a tough side to play against but our form has improved since the end of September, and we’re going there with confidence. We’re taking lots of fans to Atherton on Saturday – we’ve got a couple of coaches and a minibus and lots going by car, so we reckon we could be taking 150 to 200, which, at this stage of the competition, is very good.”
To read the full article, click here: www.thefa.com/news/2017/nov/09/fa-trophy-2rq-preview-marine
Saturday's ties involving EVO-STIK League clubs
Altrincham v Ramsbottom United
Alvechurch v Coalville Town
Atherton Collieries v Marine
Barwell v Mildenhall Town
Chasetown v Workington
Glossop North End v Leek Town
Hednesford Town v Cleethorpes Town
Kidsgrove Athletic v Grantham Town
Lancaster City v Stratford Town
St Neots Town v Stourbridge
Stafford Rangers v South Shields
Stalybridge Celtic v Rushall Olympic
Stamford v Droylsden
Warrington Town v Ashton United
Image courtesy of Susan Nugent/thefa.com
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