AS leagues around Europe give way to international football (and that’s the real quiz), so the Southern League takes a break to allow the cups to take over for a week.

Taunton Town go to Winchester City in the FA Cup on Saturday and then host Willand Rovers in the Southern League Challenge Cup on Wednesday.

Cup runs are great for the fans and for the club coffers – the Peacocks would pick up £4,500 if they win on Saturday, £6,750 with victory in second round qualifying, £11,250 in third round qualifying and £18,750 in fourth round qualifying.

This week’s cup games – particularly the Challenge Cup tie, with that competition having been used by Town to blood several Bridgwater & Taunton College youngsters in previous seasons – also provide an opportunity for some players to make their case for more regular action in the league.

The young talents of Noah Coppin, Jack Rice-Lethaby and Luke Manley have been sent out on loan (the former two to Bideford, and the latter to Willand).

Not that boss Rob Dray will be struggling to put out a team to face Willand, even if he does choose to rest many of his starting XI from the last month.

The loan arrivals of Harry Kite, Zac Smith and Bradley Webb have meant that Josh Grant, Lewis Hall and Dan Sullivan have largely been restricted to appearances off the bench.

The centre of midfield is particularly competitive, with Kite, Ryan Brett, Ollie Chamberlain and the lesser-spotted Naby Diallo all very capable operators in that area.

Moreover, with centre-back Nick Grimes also coming in, Dray has the option of moving Ben Adelsbury and Shane White into different positions in the team – wing-back or central midfield, most likely.

Dray says that he has “16 or 17 starters” in his squad now, which is handy with cup matches and midweek games on the horizon – but also a potential headache.

Competition for places is a good thing, driving players to perform consistently to keep hold of their place in the team, but it will no doubt test Dray’s man management skills in keeping them all happy.