PASSION and togetherness has been key to Stowupland Falcons reaching this season’s Total Football Suffolk Junior Cup Final.
It will be the club’s first appearance in the final as it will be for opponents Mutford & Wrentham, who they face at The New Croft in Haverhill on Bank Holiday Monday, kick-off 3pm.
Stowupland Falcons manager Mark Dye, whose side play in Division One of the Macron SIL, said: “I’ve never seen so much passion and togetherness to reach the final for the first time.
“It’s been unbelievable with the amount of kind messages of support. This has been a huge lift to players, management committee members and supporters.
“It’s such a dream for everyone to be involved in one of, if not the biggest prize in junior football. The buzz around the team has been unreal.”
Dye, not surprisingly, is expecting a tough final against opponents who won their semi-final 3-2 versus Brandon Town, who play in Division Two of the Anglian Combination – two divisions higher than Mutford & Wrentham.
“We played Mutford & Wrentham a couple of seasons ago in the same competition and went out on penalties, but I’d imagine a lot has changed since then.
“They have beaten some big teams on the way to the final, so it’ll be a very tough game,” added Dye, who is expecting a ‘quite large’ number of supporters go attend.
Mutford & Wrentham manager Paul Rose said it was ‘particularly satisfying’ to reach the final as the club felt they had not done themselves justice in county cup competitions in recent seasons.
He said: “We are absolutely delighted to reach our first Suffolk Junior Cup Final. At the start of the season, we prioritised this competition so to get to the final is particularly satisfying.
“We felt that despite a lot of success in league competitions in the last five or six years, we hadn’t really done ourselves justice in the county cups.
“We have previously progressed to two quarter-finals in the last few years, losing to Hoxne in extra time, and Sporting 87 with a last-minute header, but still not really feeling that was enough.
“Part of the reason for that is the strength of the SIL sides who have traditionally done so well. As a group we’ve matured and also strengthened the squad as a whole and have been rewarded by competing in the final tie.
Rose said it was no surprise their opponents are from the SIL Division One.
“It’s no surprise our opponents are from the SIL Division One. We met Stowupland in an early round of the competition a few years ago and after a very tight 2-2 all draw managed to progress through a penalty shoot-out.
“They will feel confident after overcoming Sporting 87, who we know are a very strong side. We can also feel some level of confidence ourselves; our route has included an away victory against Wickham Market and our own semi-final win over an excellent Brandon side.
“They were tough games that we can look back on and know we’re capable of winning hard games against top opponents at this level.
“The buzz around the squad is fantastic and we hope we can repeat the celebrations following our semi-final win. Everyone got themselves to the Uplands Community Centre in Lowestoft and a great evening was had by all!”
To purchase tickets for the final please click here
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