Leiston on course to make history but Ipswich Town U18s stand in their way
Leiston manager Stuart Boardley is looking forward to taking on his former team-mate and temporary lodger Adem Atay in the semi-finals of this season's KBB NEFF Suffolk Premier Cup, writes Nick Garnham.
Boardley was playing for Torquay when Atay went on trial at the former Football League club after leaving Ipswich Town, where they had played together.
The pair will be in opposing dugouts when Leiston face Ipswich Town Under-18s in the semi-final tie at the Goldstar Ground, home of Felixstowe & Walton United, tomorrow night, kick-off 7.45pm.
Boardley said it would be a ‘very special’ occasion for him managing against his former team-mate and the club where he started his career at the ground where he ended his playing days before taking over the Leiston hot seat this season.
He said: “Adem came and lodged with me in Torquay for a couple of weeks while he was on trial there. We were good mates at the time, although we don’t see each other much now. He is a year below me, but we came through the under-17 and under-19 teams at the same time and were in the Youth set up together for three years at Ipswich.
“I am also looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends and faces who I see now and again.”
However, there will be no room for sentiment as Boardley wants his Leiston side to create their own slice of history.
He said: “I challenged the players after the game on Saturday to try to beat Ipswich and get to the final and then become the first Leiston team to retain the trophy and create some history for us, which is something they want to achieve.
“It would be great for everyone at the club now that the play-offs are out of reach – it is our main focus for the rest of the season.
“The defeat at Stourbridge and then drawing with Bedworth United on Saturday makes it extremely difficult – we would have to win every game between now and the end of the season.
“We have personal pride and contracts to play for ahead of next season, but this is realistically the only silverware we can now win.”