CORNARD United are eagerly anticipating their ’15 minutes of fame’ ahead of this season’s CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Final.
The Thurlow Nunn League Division One North side face Touchline SIL Senior Division opponents Achilles in the final at Portman Road on Friday, kick-off 7.30pm.
Joint Player-Managers Matt Grove and Michael Schofield, who took over earlier this season after the side had suffered back-to-back 6-0 defeats, announced last week that they will be standing down after the final.
Grove, who is Cornard’s goalkeeper, said the announcement had not disrupted their preparations for the showpiece final.
He said: “It has not affected our preparations – in fact, it will just make the day more special as we want to go out on a high. We are trying to treat it as a normal game, although it will be special being at Portman Road and also a cup final.
“If anything, it has added a little extra to the game and has made the players want it more and also us as we don’t want to end with a loss in the a cup final, we want to win the trophy for myself, Michael and the team.”
Cornard had been in the doldrums for several seasons, but the management duo have guided the club to not only a first Senior Cup Final appearance for 30 years but also a respectable 12th place finish in the table.
Grove said: “Winning the cup would send out a huge statement to everyone in our league who thought that Cornard were a nothing club that we are actually a club on the up. We announced the other day that we are getting a Youth team set up and we don’t believe we will be a mid-table side next season. We will keep striving to improve.”
Cup Final Fever has been building in Cornard since their 2-1 semi-final victory over Ipswich Wanderers.
Grove, who said both himself and Schofield are keen to stay at the club next season assuming the new manager wishes to retain them, continued: “There has been a really positive vibe around the area.
“I have spoken to the lads who live in Cornard and they say a lot of people are planning to come and watch and support us. Even where I live in Colchester people have been asking me about it.
“We are buzzing as a club because we live in the shadow of AFC Sudbury, so it is nice for us to have our 15 minutes of fame.”
Grove, who admitted he knew little about their opponents in the wake of their semi-final success, added: “We have had them watched and now have a better understanding of what they are about.
“Obviously they are a good side to get to this stage of the competition, but we now have a few different opinions highlighting how they will play and who their key men will be.
“We feel more comfortable and that we have a good chance.”
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.