FC St Helens will be competing in next season’s FA Cup qualifiers following a successful 2023/24 campaign.

The Merseyside outfit claimed this season’s North West Counties Football League First Division North title, and went on to win a double with a 1-0 victory over Brocton in Saturday’s First Division Champions Cup.

Promotion from the tenth tier to the ninth makes FC St Helens eligible for next season’s FA Cup.

Featured image by Liam Grice
FC St Helens. Image: Liam Grice

The club’s sporting director, Mark Hayes, spoke to MerseySportLive about the FA’s recent decision to scrap replays: “Why do we keep changing the game that we love?

“There’s nothing wrong with it.

“I understand life changes.

“When I was a lad, it was record players and cassettes, and then it went to CDs and then it’s something else.

“I know people get itchy feet, and they want to change things, but it’s the simple game of football that we all love.

“They’re making it too different to what we’re used to.

“The incentive for an FA Cup replay is absolutely huge.

“All the statements that went out are totally, absolutely nailed on.”

Fellow Merseyside club Tranmere Rovers shared their dismay towards the FA’s decision in a club statement on Friday: “Tranmere Rovers condemn the disgraceful decision taken by The FA and the Premier League to change the format of the FA Cup, including the scrapping of replays.”