Manager Gould so proud of his players

SUFFOLK will try to emulate the Class of 2005 when they face Cambridgeshire in the FA County Youth Cup final at Portman Road tomorrow.Three years ago a late Bradley Hough goal gave Suffolk a 2-1 victory over Hampshire at Ipswich Town's ground to record the county's sole success in this prestigious national competition.

Nick Garnham

SUFFOLK will try to emulate the Class of 2005 when they face Cambridgeshire in the FA County Youth Cup final at Portman Road tomorrow.

Three years ago a late Bradley Hough goal gave Suffolk a 2-1 victory over Hampshire at Ipswich Town's ground to record the county's sole success in this prestigious national competition.

That win saw the start of Suffolk's emergence as a force to be reckoned with as they have now reached three finals in four seasons, only losing on penalties to West Riding at Bradford City's ground in last year's final.

Suffolk enter tomorrow's final undefeated, with seven wins and two draws in nine matches and having retained their East Anglian Counties Championship following last week's 4-4 draw with Bedfordshire.

Andy Gould, the Suffolk manager, said: “Other than when we played Cambridgeshire earlier in the season, we have not seen them as a county side but have been to watch CRC and Histon play. Their players are predominantly from these two clubs and their line-up is likely to comprise a large percentage of CRC players.

Most Read

“I have seen them come through the youth set-up and a number of pro clubs in the region over the last three or four years and I anticipate the system they are likely to play and the personnel they will use on the day.”

Mindful of the fact that Cambridgeshire have scored 23 times in five matches to reach the final, Gould said: “I would anticipate they would consider themselves favourites and I have no problem with that.

“However, it is a one-off and I would like to think both sets of players will thrive in the environment. If you can't raise yourself to play on this occasion and in this environment then you should perhaps not be playing the game.”

Gould will not announce his starting line-up until tomorrow. The only player to miss out in his original

17-strong squad will be Nick Middlebrook, whose sending off in the penultimate East Anglian Counties Championship match at Hertfordshire earned him a two-match ban.

Gould said: “I would have been in the position to disappoint one player if it was not for Nick Middlebrook's suspension. We took 18 players to Durham earlier in the competition for an overnight stay and only 16 could be named, but that is one of those decisions you have to make.

“I would like to think our preparation has been good. They are all good players and everyone is looking forward to the occasion and the game. We are going there to win and I think we are capable of winning it.

“We will have to display the quality we have shown during the course of the season, but the players believe they can do it.”

Whatever the outcome of tomorrow's match, Gould is proud of his players' achievements this season.

“I would like to say these players as a group have been a credit to themselves, their families and their clubs. It has been a privilege to be involved with them from day one.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter