MANAGER Terry ‘Nibby’ Whomes will be telling his Old Newton United Reserve side to re-write history ahead of their KBB NEFF Suffolk Primary Cup Final.
Old Newton United Reserves face AFC Sudbury A team in the final at Portman Road on Monday, kick-off 7.30pm, aiming to become the club’s first reserve team to win a county cup.
Whomes said: “It's a massive achievement for our reserves to reach the Primary Cup Final at Portman Road. The club has previously reached the Primary Cup Final, but has never won it.
“Last year the reserves won the Intermediate A league title for the first time, so this squad is used to making history. This would be the greatest achievement ever for an Old Newton Reserve side.
“Before the game I will be telling the players you made history last year and now it’s time for you to write history again and be the first Old Newton reserve side to win a county cup. We will need to dominate in key areas, and attack and defend as a team. I want them to enjoy the experience, leave everything on the pitch and have no regrets.”
Old Newton United Reserves. Back row (left to right): Paul Thorndyke (Assistant Manager), Gary Newland, Ahkeim-O'Brian Stone, Adam Burch, Charlie Shave, Matt Ager, Mark Theobald, Ben English, Terry ‘Nibby’ Whomes (Manager). Front row: Aston Parris, Miles Keys, Ant Stowe, Ian Rice, John Hutton, Adam Barton.
Whomes is under no illusions as to the task facing his side versus opponents who play in Division Two of the Essex & Suffolk Border League.
He said: “AFC Sudbury A are a young, energetic and talented group of players that have already had an outstanding season and have convincingly beaten a number of SIL teams to reach the final.
“They will be trying to use every blade of the Portman Road pitch to create chances to unlock our defence. They will feel like they are the favourites going into the final but will be cautious of playing a team that has nothing to lose.”
Whomes said winning the cup would be the greatest achievement of his 20-year association with Old Newton United.
“I grew up living in Old Newton, joined the club 20 years ago and have played for all three teams. During my time at the club I won two cups, including the Junior Cup ten years ago as a player, won the Intermediate A league title in my first year managing the reserves and was awarded the key to the village along the way!
“Leading the team to county cup glory at Portman Road would be the greatest achievement and proudest moment of my 20 years at the club.”
“I think a lot of people have been surprised at what I have achieved as a manager, but I would say that I have this group of players and their determination to thank for my achievements as manager so far.”
AFC Sudbury A Assistant Manager Jamie Souza said reaching the final as well as the Suffolk Boys’ Under-18 Midweek Cup Final, in which AFC Sudbury defeated Walsham-le-Willows 4-1, means a lot to the club’s Academy and they will be well prepared for the final.
“These finals mean a lot to us as an Academy to allow our players to develop, it fosters a winning mentality and it allows our players to play under the pressure of big games so that they are not fazed as they transition to first-team football.
“Our players will be prepared prior to the event, we have a certain method and ethos to the way we play and we will be asking our lads to execute that on another big stage. They will just need to trust our processes, stick together and focus for long periods,” he said.
AFC Sudbury A. Back row (left to right): Jack Renwick, Jake Horlock, Reece Langridge, Fred King, Lewis O'Malley, Sam Wright, Josh Hughes, Ethan Mayhew. Front row: Josh Tysoe, Ethan Mills, Matt Wooldridge, Jamie Souza (Assistant Manager), Craig Power (Manager), Harry Critchley, Ellis Girling, Joe Osborn. Missing from the photograph: Sam Girling, Rauf Kabangu, Miles Sargent.
Souza believes Sudbury’s Youth will be an advantage, rather than a disadvantage, in the final.
“I believe it is an advantage, our fitness levels are good and the lads have been moulded into a really strong side, mentally, physically and technically. Our lads are mature beyond their years – apart from their choice of music in the dressing room!” – and will look to apply themselves at Portman Road,” he said.
Souza is expecting the final to be a ‘fantastic spectacle of football’ against opponents who will try to play the right way.
He added: “Old Newton are a great, well-run football club. We know their first team have had success in Division One so a massive congratulations are in order to them and the Reserves have had some very strong results in their division.
“Having played a bit of SIL myself, I know the pitches over there are some of the best around locally and they will try to play the right way. This will lend itself to a fantastic spectacle of football.”
Admission to the final will be £5 for adults, £3 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.