MUTFORD & Wrentham manager Paul Rose has hailed his side’s ‘fantastic’ achievement in reaching a third successive Parkers Pitches Suffolk Junior Cup Final.
The Fosters Solicitors Anglian Combination Division One side face AFC Kesgrave in Monday’s final at the JobServe Community Stadium, home of Colchester United FC, kick-off 7.30pm.
Mutford & Wrentham lost each of the previous two finals by the odd goal to Stowupland Falcons, and Rose said his side won’t approach the final differently and they won’t have any surprises in store.
He said: “Having lost the last two finals I don’t look back and feel we could do much differently in terms of our approach to the game, particularly last year, when I felt we were really unfortunate not to get the win.
“I know our group, they deal with defeat very well and don’t dwell on things. After any set back I see the look in their faces and see the determination to do better next time.
“The first year in the final we weren’t sure what to expect in terms of the build-up and the match-day protocols. There’s no surprises now, the players can focus on the game and the management team can sort out everything else based on what’s gone before. I don’t know if gives us an advantage or not on the day.”
Rose outlined why the club have been so successful in this competition in the past three seasons.
He explained: “We felt that in the 2018-19 competition, where we were beaten in the quarter finals, we weren’t that far away, but the following year we went out early in September.
“We had players not available on the day and a few other issues and we felt we’d not done ourselves justice at all. Since then, we’ve really prioritised the competition from the get-go.
“It’s the old saying, you can’t win the competition in September, but you can lose it, and we approach every round just as focused as we do the final.
“Any cup final is a special occasion, and the county cup is the principal competition in which we compete. To reach one final is quite an achievement, but three in a row is quite fantastic.
“Despite the defeats I look back on the two days as great football experiences, particularly last year at the Colchester stadium. The anticipation in the tunnel before walking out is something else.”
Rose said that he believes AFC Kesgrave have a very professional management set up and that they will be very organised opponents.
“Everyone we’ve spoken to about AFC Kesgrave talks about how well organised they are which is down to good coaching.
“They compete in the SIL Division One, which I feel generally has the strongest teams in Suffolk Junior football, so they are used to playing at a high level and will be resilient.”
Mutford & Wrentham’s players are pictured above after losing 1-0 to Stowupland Falcons in last season’s final at Colchester United FC.