The dates for next season’s Buildbase FA Vase and Trophy finals have been announced.

Brackley Town’s Shane Byrne asks to have his photo taken in front of his image on the wall at Wembley as the Saints win the 2018 FA Trophy.

The FA released the dates this morning as part of the 2018/19 season’s fixture schedule announcement. Having taken place on Sunday May 20th this year, the Buildbase FA Vase and Trophy finals are set to be played in 2019 on Sunday May 19th.

In last month’s finals, Thatcham Town, champions of the Hellenic Premier Division, beat Stockton Town of the Ebac Northern League Division One by a goal to nil to win the Vase. 63-goal striker Shane Cooper-Clark’s penalty had just enough to make it past keeper Michael Arthur, and the Berkshire side held firm to seal a historic triumph for the market town club.

In the Trophy, also held at Wembley as part of Non-League Finals Day, it was a more dramatic affair, with Vanarama National League North outfit Brackley Town overcoming their higher-level opponents Bromley. It took a penalty shootout for the Saints to win through on the day, and that all came after Kevin Wilkin’s team had drawn level with the National League side deep into injury time, as skipper Gaz Dean nudged home to cancel out Omar Bugiel’s first-half effort.

The finals of these competitions are showpiece occasions for the non-league game, and in only two months’ time the seasons all begin again across the country. But before then, there is the small matter of a World Cup to keep us all occupied.

The tournament begins today with hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia. While neither of these teams are especially fancied to make much impact on the tournament overall, Portugal’s Euro 2016 success (and indeed Greece’s 12 years prior to that) shows that an outsider can be the last one standing, even on the biggest stage of all.

The NetBet world cup odds offer the chance to put your faith in whichever team you fancy.

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