sports gazette

Ten things you didn't know about Sutton United

Published: 18 Feb 2017

There’s only one day to go until Sutton host Premier League giants Arsenal in a historic FA Cup clash.

Sutton United, the lowest-ranked team left in the tournament, will be playing the biggest match of their lives at Gander Green Lane on Monday as they walk out onto the global stage.

But, as it’s their first time in the fifth round, compared to Arsenal who have won the FA Cup 12 times, the Sports Gazette decided to find out a bit more about them.

So manager Paul Doswell and the players revealed some facts we didn't know about the National League side. 

1. Sutton have only lost four times at Gander Green Lane out of 45 matches.

2. The Sutton players get around £500 a week compared to Arsenal players whose salaries range from £75,000 (Danny Welbeck) to £140,000 (Mezut Ozil). 

Doswell revealed in his press conference that he will be giving Arsene Wegner a bottle of red wine on Monday. 

He said: "From our perspective we're just over the moon that they're coming here, and my brother, who's a little bit richer than me, has got a nice bottle of red wine that he's going to give me to give him. 

"So we're going to treat them with a lot of respect and give them a nice Sutton welcome because that's what this club's all about."

Arsenal’s turnover is £330 million a year compared to Sutton's £800,000.

5. Sutton sold 4,000 tickets in four hours on Sunday.

6. Sutton have received over a million pounds for this FA Cup run. 

7. The Arsenal players will have lukewarm showers as the boiler is knackered, according to Doswell.

All of Sutton's players are part-time footballers that train on Tuesdays and Thursdays, whereas their fifth round opposition train around six days a week.

9. Player facts - skipper Jamie Collins is a builder three days week with early 5am starts when he isn't pulling on his Sutton shirt.

Craig Eastmond, who has played over a decade for the Gunners - where he got 10 starts in the first team - now trains twice a week and is a househusband for the other days looking after the kids whilst his wife goes to university.

Roarie Deacon is another former Arsenal player that played at the club from nine to 19 years old where he was heavily involved in their youth setup. He also spent some time at Sunderland.

Now, he is a part-time footballer and is a carer for his mother on his days off. 

Craig Dundas trains twice a week and when he's not playing football he's a personal trainer and, like Deacon, is a carer for his mother. 

10. Sutton's FA Cup success has attracted lots of media attention, helping to fund the club's future. 

Doswell says that the money will go back into the infrastructure of the club such as:

- Four new dressing and shower rooms mainly for the new children joining the club 
- Funding for training and matches for over 100 U16 children that are starting at Sutton in September
- Two new bulbs in six of the pitches' floodlights to help brighten up training sessions 
- Getting the roof fixed and fitting a new, much-needed boiler! 

Sutton v Arsenal, Gander Green Lane, Monday 20th Feb, kick-off is 7:55pm. BBC One.

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