Bragging rights between families, former teammates and rivals will be at stake this weekend as Malvern Town go head-to-head with Worcester Raiders in the preliminary round of the FA Cup at the HDAnywhere Community Stadium.

Malvern will be looking to progress to the first round of qualifying for the first time in 15 years whilst Raiders are making their debut in the prestigious competition.

Having secured promotion via a league reshuffle, Raiders joined Malvern in the Hellenic Football League Premier for the 2022/23 campaign, meaning the club’s will play each other home and away in the league this season as well as the cup tie on Saturday.

With being just a 20 minute drive apart, these two clubs look set to form a new rivalry, giving Saturday’s game some added meaning.

“Me and Sooty (Stephen Cleal, co-manager) have both said to the players that it is important to enjoy this experience,” said co-manager Lee Hooper.

“It’s good for the club and it’s a good occasion for everyone involved. Raiders will want to put out a statement and beat us.

“A lot of the players from the two sides are mates off the pitch. Jay (Sauntson) and JT (James Timmins) are still very good friends with our players here and I see them regularly.

“So there are bragging right at stake, they won’t want to lose and neither will we.”

The centre-half pairing of Timmins and Sauntson both departed Malvern for Raiders in the summer and they will return to face their old teammates this weekend.

Worcester captain Joe Billingham also spent time with The Hillsiders not so long ago, meaning three former Town players will be playing against their old side on Saturday.

“As well as JT and Jay there is also Joe (Billingham), another good lad that I stay in touch with,” added Hooper.

“Win lose or draw I will have a beer with them all and I will always chat with them.

“A lot of teams in close proximity around this area and there are going to be occasions like this when you play against former players.

“I look forward to the competition on the pitch and then have a beer after and that’s what football is about.”

Hooper has been to watch Karl Gormley’s in-form side in recent weeks and says he is expecting a “high tempo” match.

Raiders are unbeaten so far this season in cup and league.

“You can’t question their start, their unbeaten,” said Hooper.

“We have watched them a couple of times and they are a force to be reckoned with. They are riding that wave and momentum is with them so they are going to be a strong outfit.

“We back ourselves against anybody. We have to believe in what we are doing and believe in the quality we have and play our own game.

“They will be good and up for it, that will make for a high tempo game and some good football played in food spirits. May the best team come out winners on the day.”