BURY Town Manager Ben Chenery says the opportunity to potentially play at Portman Road is a ‘huge carrot’ for his players.
Chenery’s side face Needham Market at AFC Sudbury in the first of this season’s Omni Freight Services Suffolk Premier Cup semi-finals on Wednesday night, kick-off 7.45pm.
The final is one of four county cup finals which will be staged at Portman Road, subject to Ipswich Town not being involved in the end-of-season play-offs.
Chenery said: “It is a big incentive for my players as not many of them have played at Portman Road before, and you never know if you are going to get another opportunity.
“It is a huge carrot, and not only that it is about the possibility of getting through to a county cup final.”
Bury, along with most other non-league sides, were inactive on Saturday, after their scheduled Bostik League North Division match at home to Heybridge Swifts was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Needham Market, on the other hand, did play – and lost 3-1 at home to Merstham in the Bostik League Premier Division.
Chenery said: “We always want to play – our last game was a defeat the previous weekend at Grays, and it is never nice to have to mull over a defeat, so we would have liked to have played on Saturday.
“It has given us more of a rest than Needham Market, but both teams will be up for it as it is a cup semi-final, so it doesn’t make much difference that we didn’t play on Saturday.”
Chenery will be monitoring the fitness of Noel Aitkens (ankle) and Ryan Jolland (hamstring) before naming his starting line-up.
Chenery added: “We have played at Haringey Borough and Grays recently on 3G pitches.
“They are great to play football on, which both ourselves and Needham Market like to do, because of the true run of the ball, but they are not the most forgiving for knee and ankle injuries.”
Admission will be £9 for adults and £5 for OAPS and children under 16.
A souvenir programme, priced £1, will also be on sale.