SIL Senior Division side Ipswich Valley Rangers may have to change their priorities this season
Ipswich Valley Rangers joint-boss Paul Tietjen accepts that his side may have to change their priorities this season.
Ahead of tomorrow’s proposed league trip to Felixstowe Harpers United, IVR sit in seventh position in the SIL Senior Division after an indifferent campaign, but remain in both the Suffolk Senior Cup and Bob Coleman Cup – competitions that look to be their best bet of silverware this year.
“Being realistic, the cups are the only things we can play for,” declared Tietjen, whose side will host Westerfield United in Round Four of the Bob Coleman Cup on January 24, and travel to Achilles in the quarter-finals of the Suffolk Senior Cup on March 7.
“From a league point of view, the expectations (at the start of the season) were to hang in and around that top four,” he continued.
“We had a horrendous end to October, and November (IVR won just once in five attempts), and, for me, we know have no expectations of challenging for the title.”
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IVR sit 12 points short of leaders Crane Sports before tomorrow’s games, and nine points off fourth-placed Wenhaston United.
“They’re are some very good sides above us,” conceded Tietjen.
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“For us to challenge, we’d need to go on a hell of a run and need two or three of the top-placed teams to all go through the same blip, which I don’t think they will, they’re too strong.
“Our aim will be to finish as high as we can and see where we end up.
“Maybe this season, we can finally have a good couple of runs in the cups!
“We’ve let ourselves down in the cups in recent years, and always seem to go out in the early rounds.
“We have an awful record and I actually think that this is the furthest (last eight) we have got for quite some time in the Senior Cup.”
IVR were back-to-back SIL Senior Division champions in seasons 2011/12 and 2012/13, with Tietjen admitting that the main objectives have slightly changed this time around.
“I think that in previous seasons, the top elements we were focusing on were the league, and when we played cup games, we had that in the back of our minds,” he continued.
“This season is the other way round for us, we’ve been mediocre in the league and have played well in the cups.
“I’m hoping we can keep that form up as cup competitions are undoubtedly our priorities now this season.”
Valley Rangers will hope Saturday’s encounter against a sixth-placed Felixstowe Harpers United side, who are also perhaps underachieving in the league slightly, goes ahead with bouts of heavy rain expected over the weekend.