NEEDHAM Market will be flying the flag for Suffolk in a National Final on Saturday.
The club’s Under-15 Junior Premier League (JPL) team beat Lancashire side Junior Hoops FC 6-4 in their JPL National Cup competition semi-final at Bloomfields last Saturday to reach the final.
They will now face Henley Lions FC Blues in the final at Gloucester City AFC, kick-off at 12 noon, at the end of the first season of the JPL in the county.
Jason Curtis, Needham Market FC JPL U15 Manager, said: “I am immensely proud to reach the JPL National Cup Final and really looking forward to the challenge against Henley Lions.
“The players have been fantastic throughout this journey with the whole squad playing their part which in turn has created real solidarity amongst the group.
“We have been overwhelmed by the support by our club Needham Market FC, the supporters and local community with some brilliant atmospheres at the games along the way.
Needham Market’s Alex Oakley scores the first of his two goals in last Saturday’s JPL National Cup competition semi-final at Bloomfields. Main photograph: Needham Market's Ashton Dozier (red shirt) goes up for a header against Junior Hoops (green shirts) last Saturday. Photographs: Mecha Morton SuffolkNews
“The final hurdle is closing in and we will treat it as any other game, looking to impose our qualities on Henley who I'm sure will be looking to do the same as we do not know each other.
“The players deserve all the plaudits for making history, becoming the first Needham Market team to reach a National Final. There's some serious talent there and I am excited to see them take the field on Saturday at Gloucester City and their continued progression over the coming months and years.”
Robert Peace, Needham Market FC Academy Director, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the club, with this being the first time in the club’s history to reach a national final.
“In the last few years, our youth teams have represented the club very well with success on the pitch and this is a further landmark to show our progression as a club.
“The players should be immensely proud of their success within this competition and savour the moment of competing in a national final.”