MANAGER Andy Coote believes his Achilles side deserve to win a trophy after the upheaval they have faced this season.
Touchline SIL side Achilles meet Cornard United of higher-league Thurlow Nunn Division One North in the final of the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup at Portman Road on Friday, kick-off 7.30pm.
Achilles, who won the Senior Division title last season, finished third this time around as well as being beaten in the semi-finals of the Bob Coleman Cup.
However, they have reached their second Suffolk Senior Cup Final in three years, winning 2-1 against Crane Sports in 2017, before being beaten in the semi-finals by last season’s eventual winners Woodbridge Town.
Coote, who was assistant manager, took over the reins at Achilles after Luke Hillyard moved to Felixstowe & Walton United earlier in the season.
He said: “It would make it more special for the boys to win it after what they have been through this season with all the upheaval. After Luke left we lost three or four good players and so have had to build the side up again, with players coming in and having to cement their place in the team.”
Coote has warned his players, several of whom were in the side that won the cup two years ago, not to be complacent because of their previous experience of playing at Portman Road in that final.
“I think it does give us an advantage, but it can also lead to complacency as they have been there before. I am hoping that with the players who have played there before, the fact it is at Ipswich Town is enough to mean they have the right attitude to go out there and perform on the day,” he said.
Although it is his first final as a manager, Coote is adamant about wanting his players to win the cup for themselves and not him.
He added: “I was assistant manager to Luke two years ago and was injured so didn’t play in the final, so was not part of the team, but I have always been with Achilles and have a lot of love for the club.
“The boys deserve to win something this season as they have stuck together and I want them to win it for themselves.”
As well as watching Cornard himself, Coote has had them scouted and received reports from elsewhere.
“I went to watch them on Bank Holiday Monday and was impressed with some things, but saw other things which I think we can capitalise on. I think it will be a good, interesting game,” he said.
Coote admitted he has some ‘tough decisions’ to make as he has a full strength squad available.
Admission to the final will be £8 for adults, £4 for concessions (over 65 or in full-time education) and £1 for children under the age of 12.
A souvenir programme, priced £1, will be on sale inside the ground.