Jamie Stannard aims to go out on a high in Suffolk Senior Cup final
- Credit: Archant
JAMIE Stannard will bid to bring the curtain down on his career with a winner’s medal at Portman Road in tomorrow night’s LB Group Suffolk FA Senior Cup final.
The final against holders and great rivals Whitton United will be Stannard’s final appearance before the Ipswich Wanderers goalkeeper retires.
Stannard, who will be 34 next month, said: “I have had trouble with my knees all season and have had to manage the situation.
“I have lost a bit of desire and so this is a good time to finish.
“I was going to do it last year, but I was released by Leiston half-way through last season and didn’t want my career to end like that.
“Although I had offers from other clubs to play this season, Wanderers manger Glenn Read and his assistant Stevie Jay persuaded me to return here and it has proved to be a good season, so this will be a good way to end.”
Stannard, who spent five years with Wanderers before joining Leiston, who he helped achieve back-to-back promotions, revealed how his team-mates had set their sights on him having a send-off in the Portman Road showpiece.
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“All the way through the season the boys have been trying to get me to Portman Road and there has been some good banter in the changing room. It has put extra pressure on us, because of trying to ensure I finish on a high,” he said.
“I will be too pumped up and focussed on the game beforehand, but at the end I guess it will hit me that my career is over, so it will be nice to stand back and look around Portman Road and think this is where it ends.”
It will be Stannard’s second appearance in a cup final at Portman Road – he was in the Leiston side that lost 5-4 on penalties to Needham Market after a goalless draw in the Suffolk Premier Cup final in 2008.
“We should have won it. We played really well and I had a good game.
“We seemed set to win it but missed our penalty, they scored and we missed again and all of a sudden we had lost, which was difficult to take.”
Stannard is expecting a close match in the final, kick-off 7pm, against a Whitton side bidding to make it a hat-trick of wins in the final.
“It is going to be a tight game. We are both decent sides who have had a good season and it will be a case of who takes their chances,” he added.
For updates on tomorrow night’s final follow @Nick_Garnham on Twitter from 6.30pm onwards