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  • Writer's pictureRob Stevens

Presidents Cup success is first step for Hype Train manager, Rob Austin

PICTURE: Hype Train celebrate with the Presidents Cup after a 4-3 win against Cressex in the final at Burnham FC on Saturday. PHOTO: Gary House Photography.

Hype Train manager Rob Austin admits it means ‘absolutely everything’ to him and brother Sam Austin (Chairman) after lifting the Presidents Cup trophy on Saturday.

The Austin brothers are the brainchild behind the Hype Train brand which, since its incarnation in 2015 as a football and fantasy sports website, has progressed at a remarkable rate, culminating in the team winning a first-ever piece of silverware.

The project first began with the brothers using a passion for football to help improve their media skills and, after launching their own football team with the East Berkshire League in 2019, were celebrating an emotional Cup final win in their 100th match.

Hype Train beat Premier Division rivals, Cressex, 4-3 in a pulsating end-to-end Cup final at Burnham thanks to goals from George Holloway, Paul Hatfield, Phil Newport and Leon Mannion.

Rob Austin, the team manager, said: “The Presidents Cup is the first-ever trophy that Hype Train FC has won. We’ve been around since 2019 although what a lot of people don’t know is that Sam and I started Hype Train as a fantasy football/football website. We did a lot of football and fantasy sports reporting.

“It was just a passion that we had after coming back from university. We wanted to be move involved in football, and make sure that we could grow and develop our skills, be it with creative writing, graphic design, video or podcasts. We thought that hype train was the right banner for what we wanted to get out of football.

PICTURE: Hype Train celebrate with the Presidents Cup Trophy.

“What it has culminated in is development throughout the years to the point where we created a football team at grassroots level that has been able to compete for trophies within three years.

“It means absolutely everything to me and sam, for the Hype Train brand and everything to do with the club, and all the hard work and personnel involved.

“We completely deserve this. There’s a lot of work that goes on in the background and I want to say thank you to absolutely everybody, from the individuals and volunteers, and to the companies that have got us to this moment.”

Looking back on the game, he added: “From the first whistle, I felt the team was quietly confident. We got on with the game quite well in the first half and largely had the bulk of the chances. We got into the lead after 15 minutes and doubled that on the half-hour mark, so were building every 15 minutes, and we didn’t really allow Cressex into the game too much.

“Cressex had a lot of possession, particularly in the first 20 minutes, but couldn’t really muster a shot on target. They did score from a freak corner to give them hope but, realistically, it was our first half and in hindsight we didn’t really have to deal with.

“There was a lot of probing and pressure. It was a tense game where both teams were slowly getting into it but Cressex fell behind because we were good at set pieces and headers as well as on the counter attack.

PHOTO: Hype Train Club captain, Vincent van Lembergen, prepares to lift the trophy and start the post-match celebrations. PICTURE: Gary House Photography.

“The second half was a little bit more of a frantic and open affair, it was a goal for us and then Cressex, and then repeat. It culminated in a pulsating end to the game where Cressex got to 4-3, although I feel like our third and fourth goals showed the prowess we have in attack.”

Austin admits it’s surreal to have won a trophy in a landmark match for the football club and the brand but, has also sent a warning shot to rivals that Hype Train aims to continue to improve and become a force within the East Berkshire League.

He explained: “In our 100th game, we won the Presidents Cup and it was a landmark victory for us, our first-ever trophy. I just keep on repeating that because it’s still a little bit surreal to hear.

“It’s been an engaging but draining couple of days, but the squad has really enjoyed the success. We’ve had an amazing weekend.

“It’s not an end goal or end game as such, this is much more of a beginning. My team and presence is going to be around for a long time and I’m not backing down. I want more challenges.

“Everyone at the club wants to progress and move in the right direction. Now we have a sense of responsibility to know of the standard we need to be to make sure that we can get to another level, compete in more competitions and press on in the leagues. That’s always been the agenda and each year we want to carry on building, growing and having more development so that we’re in an even stronger position in the future.

PHOTO: Hype Train captain, Vincent van Lembergen (right), and the Cressex skipper George Price, right, show off pendants made from Awards FC for the Presidents Cup final.

“It’s been a great start. I’m overwhelmed and deliriously happy with the response we’ve had to winning the trophy. It’s been a great weekend but, for me this is just the beginning of Hype Train Football Club.”

Austin also had praise for those that had helped the Club to success on Saturday, including Awards FC, Kitlocker and club captain, Vincent van Lembergen.

He acknowledged: “I just want to pass on my thanks and congratulations to people that are just as involved in this win as Sam and I.

“Awards FC created a lovely pennant for the game, for both us and Cressex. We had a brand new Kitlocker kit that was made for us, that beautiful white strip that you can see on our website and social media pages. Its absolutely amazing.

“There has been some incredible work that has gone on behind the scenes by some of our senior players. My club captain, Vincent, has done a fantastic job helping to organise, motivate and orchestrate the final. He’s been with Sam and I every step of the way and he deserves as much of the credit as anyone else.

“We’ve got a large bulk of our team that has put in some incredible work in training, and the dedication recently has been absolutely top notch. I can’t complain about absolutely anything.

“We’ve received a lot of positive messages from people in and out of the football community about the win. It’s been a very very good weekend. It’s been memorable and we will never forget this moment.”

To enter the East Berkshire Football League ahead of the 2022/23 season, or for further information about the league, or an entry form for the upcoming season, please email the team at


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