Trimley Red Devils Feb 2024

Red Devils aiming to avoid all the hype

TRIMLEY Red Devils will play in their first Suffolk Senior Cup Semi-Final on Friday.

TRIMLEY Red Devils’ manager Craig Chidlow said he will try to not let the hype and excitement get to his players ahead of their CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Semi-Final.

The club will be appearing in their first-ever Senior Cup semi-final when they take on East Bergholt United at Felixstowe & Walton United FC on Friday, kick-off 7.45pm.




Chidlow, whose side lost to eventual runners-up Bildeston Rangers at the quarter-final stage of the 2020-21 season, acknowledged they have had to overcome some tough opponents to get his far.

He said: “Most definitely. Debenham, as expected, was a very tight game and they equalised in the 90th minute but we promptly went up the other end and scored the winner.

“Beccles was another hard game, winning 4-2 against a team we knew nothing about, and AFC Sudbury Reserves the hardest of the lot that took a penalty shoot-out for us to progress.

“It’s great to get this far, especially after the quarter final heartache against Bildeston a few seasons back. But now, of course, it’s all about making the final and hopefully winning it.”

Chidlow, whose side defeated East Bergholt United 1-0 in the Morrison Freight Cup Quarter-Finals last Saturday, said it was a ‘definite disadvantage’ to face their fellow Macron SIL Senior Division side.

“The games between us have always been extremely tight and close and that’s because we do know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

“Of course, we don't know much about Leiston U23s and Bungay Town (who meet in the other semi-final) but it’s always nice to play teams from different leagues.”

Chidlow said their run to the final four had caught the imagination of people involved with the club.

“There is a really good buzz and feeling around the players and management. We have a great little committee behind the scenes who work hard for the club, so it’s really nice for them to see the hard work both on and off the pitch paying off.

“Both our first team and Reserves have improved greatly and whenever one team doesn't have a game the others are out in force supporting the other, so we really are One Club training together and supporting each other.

“The scenes when we won the quarter-final penalty shoot-out with all the Reserve players sprinting on the pitch to congratulate their colleagues was a joy to watch.

“We’ve also had brilliant support from our Junior sections who have been mascots at all our Senior Cup games, so it would be great to reward everyone at the club with a big cup final day,” he said.

“We are all aware of how big a game this is, but you have to try and normalise it. They need to go out there and play as they have all season. Try not to let all the hype and excitement get to them. Play their normal good, brave football that they've been doing all season and the rewards will hopefully come.”

Ryan Chidlow, Ross Driver, Josh Hewitt, Sam Osborne and Matt West were in the side that finished runners-up to AFC Kesgrave in the Suffolk Junior Cup in the 2017-18 season and are still with the club, with eight of their 16-strong squad having come through the club’s Youth teams.

Chidlow said of the prospect of reaching the final: “Honestly, it would be fantastic! Our first team have progressed from Division Two to the SIL Senior Division over the last 10 years but never managed to pick up a trophy in that time.

“Our Reserves have tasted league and cup success but unfortunately despite being promoted twice, the first team didn't manage to win the league either time! Plus, of course, they lost the Junior Cup Final a few years ago in dramatic fashion.

“So yes, it would mean a lot to this crop of players, management and committee if we could get to the final and win that elusive trophy for the first team.”

Captain Sam Osborne, who has struggled with injuries this season, is a doubt for Friday’s match, but otherwise Chidlow has a full squad to select from.

The Trimley Red Devils' squad are pictured above.




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