Needham happy to say goodbye to the Vase

NEEDHAM Market chairman David Bugg loves the FA Vase. But he can't wait to ditch it.His side take on fellow Ridgeons League Premier League Wroxham at Bloomfields on Saturday hoping to reach the semi-final and move within touching distance of the final at Wembley Stadium.

Elvin King

NEEDHAM Market chairman David Bugg loves the FA Vase. But he can't wait to ditch it.

His side take on fellow Ridgeons League Premier League Wroxham at Bloomfields on Saturday hoping to reach the semi-final and move within touching distance of the final at Wembley Stadium.

Having been knocked out after penalties in last season's quarter-final and losing in the semi-final the previous year, Needham have the pedigree to earn what would be an unforgettable day out in north London.

“Yes we love the FA Vase,” said Bugg. “But hopefully we won't be playing in it next season.”

Needham have ambitions to move up the football ladder and if they gain promotion to the Ryman or Zamaretto League all step four clubs play in the FA Trophy where they have competition from clubs up to Blue Square Premier status.

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“In an ideal world we could go up having won the Vase.

“But although we love the romance, the drama and the tension of the Vase its loss does not diminish our desire to wave it goodbye.”

Diss Town are the only Ridgeons League side to have won the Vase - in 1994 with an extra time win over Taunton. But the league has supplied a number of finalists, and Bugg went on:

“I'd rather not play another side from our league as it is strong enough to provide the winner every year.

“We've beaten CRC and Kirkley in the Vase to get this far, and know that Wroxham will be another very tough game.”

Bugg joined Needham at the same time as Danny Laws three and a half years ago, and he puts the reason for the club's subsequent success down to the manager.

“It's all down to Danny and he's just getting better and better,” said Bugg. “His tactics are spot on, which was proved in the last round when Daventry were looking to get back in the game when Danny bravely put on an extra forward.

“This worked out a treat as did his tactical awareness in wins over CRC and Kirkley.”

Is Bugg concerned that he might lose a manager of Laws' undoubted quality?

“No I'm not although it would be a major blow if he went. He's got a year to go on his contract and he'll certainly be offered a new one.”

Bugg sees a positive from the heartbreak of the two previous years' painful exits.

“Ten of the 16-strong squad suffered along with the rest of us. They will want to do all they can to avoid that feeling yet again.”

A big crowd is expected to watch what should be a gripping game with Laws having strengthened his squad this campaign with the signing of Danny Gay, Angelo Harrop, Darren Bethell and Damien Hilton.

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