Fenix Trophy – the journey so far! – Lewes Community Football Club

Fenix Trophy – the journey so far!

Fenix Trophy – the journey so far!

Men's football news

Written by: Jack

It’s time to look ahead to what could be a truly historic moment for the football club this weekend as we look to win the Fenix Trophy at the first time of asking. 

Tony Russell’s side head to Lake Garda, Italy, this weekend, with FC United of Manchester in our way in a semi-final clash on Friday evening.

It only seems like yesterday when the exciting news came out that Lewes would be entering competitive football in Europe for the first time when we were invited to take part in the 23-24 Fenix Trophy.

It was an extremely exciting prospect for our fans knowing that they had the chance to watch their local side not just away in Europe, but also the chance of bringing two, special European nights under the lights to the Dripping Pan.

As the excitement continued to build, the anticipation began as the draw was announced for the Group Stage. Groups of three with the difficult task of needing to win the group in order to qualify.

And there we had it, we were drawn with Belgium’s KSK Beveren, a club with rich history on the European stage having previously competed in the Champions League as well as being Belgian Champions some years ago. Then we had Norway’s FC Oslo, a club at the heart of its community providing playing opportunities for local players of all backgrounds.

After many social media posts and messages begging us to announce the first fixture, we were delighted to reveal our first game in the competition would be at home to FC Oslo. The Dripping Pan is famous for many reasons, and it was about to become a groundhopper’s dream, hosting a European night for the first time.

We were able to welcome a bumper crowd for the evening with over 1,100 in attendance and thanks to a first half header from Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala, we were able to reward them with a 1-0 win to start the competition.

Then it was onto our first away game in Europe as we set off on the Eurostar to Antwerp to face KSK Beveren. We were joined by away supporting Rooks in the hundreds for this one, something all of us at the club were completely blown away with.

Due to the weather we were in a makeshift venue which had no cover whatsoever but that didn’t stop the supporting Rooks singing the whole game in the torrential rain! Once again we were able to reward them with another special night, with goals from Luke Dreher, Kalvin, and Athur Penney pushing us on with a 3-1 win.

The scenes for this one before and after the game were a joy to behold, with fans, players and staff all coming together to celebrate and one that will live long in the memory of all involved.

When it was announced we would be playing in the Fenix Trophy, the club, and fans, without wanting to look too far ahead, dreamed of that finals weekend in Italy. And all of a sudden, after two wins from two, were were one more win away from booking our spot there.

KSK Beveren had their turn to come to the Pan this time and a win would make us the first side this year to qualify. Thankfully no nerves were on show as the Rooks romped to a 4-0 win in the biggest result yet.

Whilst celebrations could begin for reaching that weekend in Lake Garda, there was still the prospect of travelling to a very cold and snowy Oslo to play the final game. Tony was able to rest some players for this one but still we managed a 1-1 draw to finish the group unbeaten and comfortably at the top.

So, we now have this weekend to look forward to, and we know that we are going to be incredibly supported as always! Here’s to a special weekend on the lake, and as always send us in your content using #RooksOnTour.

Can’t make it to Italy? We will be hosting a watch party in the Rook Inn! This is free to attend but please register attendance below.