Dawdon Welfare Park are the first Seaham to make the prestigious Durham County Sunday Cup final.
But they insist they’re not just there to take part.
Dawdon, defending champions in the Peterlee Sunday League, will take on Gateshead outfit Greenside in the final at Eppleton CW next Sunday, May 6 (11am kick-off).
Since their creation in 2015, Dawdon have won the Peterlee League’s Premier Division title in successive years.
They lead the table entering the final straight this season, but Peterlee Catholic Club, with games in hand, look favourites to deny the Green Drive side a title hat-trick.
Dawdon have made convincing progress in the County Cup, defeating Washington Lambton Lions, Jarrow Perth Green, Horden CW Supporters, Boldon Shack and Peterlee Catholic Club to reach the final.
Greenside have knocked out Hartlepool Fisherman’s Friends, Ashbrooke Hendon, Southwick, Gateshead Belle Vue, Darlington Albion and Chilton WMC, scoring 33 times in six ties to secure their crack at glory.
Dawdon’s director of football, Paul Welch is relishing the big occasion.
“To be the first team from Seaham to reach the Durham FA Sunday Cup Final is a massive achievement, and something the whole squad are proud of,” he said.
“Seaham has produced some great Sunday League teams over the years.
“We can now proudly call ourselves the most successful Sunday League team in the history of Seaham, but we’re hoping for more success.“
Dawdon’s first season brought a domestic quadruple of trophies, with a treble following last season. Another quadruple could follow this season, including the County Cup.
They have hit 60 goals in just 16 league games this term.
However, without funding, their success wouldn’t be possible. Dawdon are sponsored by local business – Auto Transportation – and Welch believes the club are lucky to have their support.
“A lot of Sunday League teams rely on sponsorship to keep afloat, we’re lucky we’ve got a great local business behind us,” he said.
Dawdon manager Kevin Dixon acknowledged the strength of their cup final opponents, Greenside, but insists his side have the quality to prevail on the big stage in Hetton.
Dixon said: “We know we are in for a tough game against probably the best team in the Gateshead Sunday League.
“But, on our day, we are capable of beating anyone. If we work hard and win our battles, the quality will shine through.
Welch hailed the hard work Dixon puts in to inspire Dawdon as part of the three “masterminds behind the success of the team”.
He added: “He’s an ex-pro, so all his tactics and drills are top notch. Dezzy Consitt and Ash Tashville have been invaluable to us as well.”