Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior Division champions Achilles eager to retain their title

Achilles boss Lee Osborn, who is keen to retain his side's title-winning exploits again this season

Achilles boss Lee Osborn, who is keen to retain his side's title-winning exploits again this season

Last season’s Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior Division champions Achilles are eager to retain their title this campaign.

So says Achilles boss Lee Osborn, whose side sit in third position before tomorrow’s home encounter against 12th-placed Stanton.

Surprising 4-0 losers last week against Bramford United, tomorrow’s game is a crucial one for Osborn and his side as he explains.

“I don’t know what happened last week, but it wasn’t very good,” said the boss, who led Achilles to their first SIL Senior title in 26 years last season.

“I think we were a bit off the pace as we had not played since Capel (on the weekend before Christmas).

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“We got a bye in the Bob Coleman Cup and had a game postponed a week later, so maybe they caught us on the hop.

“Fair play to them (Bramford), they outplayed us and out-battled us, which doesn’t normally happen, but we’ll look to make up for that this weekend.”

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Osborn continued: “We may have to make a few changes and freshen things up this week.

“We had been on a really good run before last week (Achilles had won six league games in a row), but obviously you get the odd game here and there which you slip up in.

“Everyone has a blip at some stage, and I hope that ours was last week.

“We need to jump back on the saddle, and it’ll be interesting to see how the boys react.

“We have a big squad, and every week I know we can play 15,16,18 players who would be good enough to start in every SIL Senior side.”

Osborn will hope three points on Saturday will push his side closer to the top-two placed sides of the division, Crane Sports and East Bergholt, who meet in a high-stakes game tomorrow.

Achilles currently sit just three points adrift of top spot, something Osborn is still aiming for come the end of the season, although he admits his carpentry business partner Iain Radnor, in charge of Crane Sports, may get in the way.

“We are going for the league again,” claimed Osborn.

“We don’t want to accept being second best so to speak, and we’re also looking to do well in the Suffolk Senior Cup and the Bob Coleman Cup.

“We want to do as well as we can in all three competitions.”

Of second-placed Crane Sports and partner in business Radnor, whose side have games on hand over their rivals in the league, Osborn added: “Radders is doing a fantastic job.

“He got some new players in the summer, and in my opinion, anyone that finishes above Cranes will win the league.”

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