SIL Senior Division team Grundisburgh in Suffolk Senior Cup action at Lakenheath
Grundisburgh vice-captain James Carr knows all about the Suffolk Senior Cup after winning the prestigious competition back in 2007, and is hoping to help his side to Portman Road in May.
The SIL Senior side travel to Lakenheath this weekend in the quarter-finals of the competition but Carr and Grundisburgh have already set their sights one step further.
“The aim at the beginning of the season was to win or certainly challenge for the treble,” said Carr.
“We’re plugging along nicely in the league and want to win the Senior Cup.
“It is such a fantastic competition with so much history and pedigree.”
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Ironically, Carr won the Senior Cup with Stowmarket against Grundisburgh in 2007 but the 32-year-old centre-half, who has become one of the most established defenders in the SIL Senior over the years, is looking forward to use his experience in trying to guide his current employers to the glamour of Portman Road.
“Growing up through the ranks as a non-league player in the area, reaching and winning the Senior Cup at Portman Road was definitely the pinnacle of my career,” said Carr, who also won the Junior Cup at Ipswich Town’s home ground with Leiston St Margarets in 2005.
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“Getting there is one thing but winning is it another.
“It’s an unbelievable experience and all the lads are dying to win it.
“I think Alan Mills (a winner with Whitton United) and I are the only two players in the squad to win it so I’m hoping I can certainly help the boys achieve their dream.”
Grundisburgh have won the Senior Cup an impressive seven times but their place in this season’s competition was all but over after being seemingly knocked out to Needham Market reserves last month.
However, an ineligible player fielded by Needham saw the Suffolk FA reinstate Grundisburgh back in the competition.
“It was a massive surprise to us all,” admitted Carr, who is in his fourth season at Grundisbrugh.
“We were obviously disappointed to lose to Needham but we’re all delighted we’ve got a second chance – maybe it could be a sign.”
Current Grundisburgh boss Mickey Squirrel also has a fantastic reputation in the Senior Cup after winning it with three times as a player and once as a manager, with Grundisburgh in 2008.
Paying tribute to his boss, Carr said: “Mickey’s a great gaffer.
“He’s been there and done it is a player and as a manager.
“He’s got so much respect in the game and is easily one of the best managers I’ve worked with, I’m loving my time here.”
Carr knows his side face a tough task this weekend with a trip to league-leaders Lakenheath of the Cambridgeshire-based Kershaw Premier Division but is fully confident of progressing a step closer to the final four of the competition.
“They’re a strong team with an impressive centre-forward in Matthew Hayden (currently scored 23 goals this season) so it’ll be a difficult game for us,” said Carr.
“Their fans love to get involved and it’s always a hostile place to go but it’s up to us to do our best and silence them.”
One man Grundisburgh will be playing for this weekend is legendary club president Bert Grundrill.
“Bert’s in his mid-80’s and is Grundisburgh through and through,” said Carr.
“He’s been quite ill of late and all the lads are determined to not only get a result him for this weekend but to also reach the final.”