DENMEAD go in search of a major Portsmouth Senior Cup shock at three divisions higher AFC Portchester on Wednesday night.
Paul Goddard’s side are currently in their first season in the Hampshire Premier League second tier after a few years of success in the Meon Valley Sunday League.
Most of Goddard’s squad - average age mid-20s - have been together since under-12 level in the Portsmouth Youth League.
Goddard initially got involved as a parent, and has been managing the team since under-15 level.
After a year’s break when youth football finished, the team asked to carry on into adult football so entered the Meon Valley League.
‘We wanted a new challenge this season,’ explained Goddard. ‘We’d played five years in the Meon League and won the title four times and the cup three times.
‘We were just playing the same teams over and over.
‘It’s a learning curve for us, and we’ve found there’s a big difference between the top and the bottom.
‘The teams at the bottom are the same as mid-table Meon Valley ones, but the teams at the top are a bit more, how shall I put it, ‘bullyish’ - but the boys are really enjoying it so far.
‘The long-term aim is to establish ourselves in our division, hopefully win promotion, and then establish ourselves in the Senior Division.
‘I didn’t expect this season to be ‘wow!’ and I didn’t expect it to be a disaster for us either, and so far that’s how it’s panning out.’
Denmead are currently 6th out of 12 with three wins and three losses from eight league games. That is only four fewer league games than they played in the entire Meon Valley League in 2018/19.
In addition, Denmead have won through two rounds of the HPL Cup including a 4-2 home win at Front Lawn against higher division Sway.
Got a grassroots football story for The News? If so, please email words and pictures to email@example.com or contact Simon Carter on 02392 622141.