AFC Kesgrave May 2023

Underdog mentality has helped SIL side

ADOPTING an underdog mentality has helped AFC Kesgrave reach the Suffolk Junior Cup Final.

AFC Kesgrave manager Frazer Lord said his side have benefited from adopting an underdog mentality in their run to the Parkers Pitches Suffolk Junior Cup Final.

The Macron SIL Division One side meet North Suffolk opponents Mutford & Wrentham in the final at Colchester United FC on Monday, kick-off 7.30pm.

None of the side that won this competition in the 2017-18 when AFC Kesgrave defeated Trimley Red Devils 3-2 in the final at Portman Road will feature on Monday.

Joe Brett has had a string of bad injuries this season and is unavailable, while Nathaniel Coldwell now plays for the Reserves. However, Rob Juby is still part of the management team. 

Lord admitted: “This season has been a tough one, we’ve had a lot of injuries and unavailability which has led to inconsistency within the squad.

“However, we’ve hit form at the right time and the cup has given us a different focus this season. It was always our goal this year to improve our league performances but have a good cup run.

“We’ve also benefited from the underdog mentality of playing against teams that have been above us in the league during our cup run.”

Lord said he felt Mutford & Wrentham’s experience of reaching the last two finals may give them a slight advantage going into Monday’s showpiece occasion.

He said: “Yes, I think they could have a slight advantage. They’ve been here before, but unfortunately for them they haven’t been able to finish the job and I’m sure they will be using that emotion and feeling from the previous finals to try and finish the job this season. 

“I know a bit about them, we’ve been to watch a couple of their games this season to try and understand how they play.

“We’ve also had chats with other managers that have played them too. We’re hoping our homework pays off.

“They have scored a lot in their run up to the final, but they’ve also conceded six in the last two cup games, so we’re hoping we can put a few past them in the final.”

Lord added that he is hoping the occasion will enhance the name of AFC Kesgrave as a club.

“For myself, I’m looking forward to the experience this game will bring, it’s going to be an enjoyable evening in which I’m looking forward to testing my coaching skills.

“I know myself and the players are all looking forward to playing at a professional ground and sharing the experience with friends and family.

“As a club we are hoping this will help enhance our name as a club and help us keep pushing on and making progress on and off the field.”


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