Army prepares for historic match

THE Army in Colchester is preparing itself for an historic football match this weekend, when Colchester United play Aldershot Town in the second round of the FA cup.

THE Army in Colchester is preparing itself for an historic football match this weekend, when Colchester United play Aldershot Town in the second round of the FA cup.

The match, taking place at Colchester United's ground in Layer Road on Saturday , is being dubbed as the 'Clash of the Garrisons' by the Army. It is sure to stir up friendly rivalries and generate a lot of interest in both towns.

Aldershot is the home of the British Army and was also home to the Parachute Regiment for 54 years until 1999, when two battalions and the regimental headquarters moved to Colchester following the formation of 16 Air Assault Brigade. Soldiers now based in Colchester, but who served in Aldershot for a long time, are sure to feel torn between the two teams.

As well as offering their support to the two teams, the Army will also be taking part in the match proceedings. A Lynx helicopter from 653 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps based at nearby Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk, will be flying in the Commanders of Aldershot and Colchester Garrisons who will deliver the match ball and four youngsters from both Garrisons' youth clubs will be the official match mascots.


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At half time, soldiers from the Garrisons will take part in a penalty shoot-out.

Commander of Colchester Garrison, Colonel Tony Barton said: "This is the FA Cup and it is always exciting and unpredictable. A good run is important for every club, but we, in the Garrison, are getting behind Colchester United to take the day.

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"Even though some of our soldiers may have served in Aldershot for a number of years, and some still have their families in the area, we all appreciate the support from the town over the past few years and will return that support on Saturday."

Colchester United's Chief Executive, Marie Partner, said: "Colchester United are proud to have such strong links with the Garrison, who have recently played an integral role in assisting Phil Parkinson and our players by offering first class training facilities. We would like to think that this relationship will continue into the future and it is our pleasure to host both Garrisons and their Commanders at the big match on Saturday."

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