Underdogs AFC Kesgrave face formidable Bob Coleman Cup challenge against Achilles

The winning Achilles squad that beat Haughley United 4-2 to win the 2016 Bob Coleman Cup

The winning Achilles squad that beat Haughley United 4-2 to win the 2016 Bob Coleman Cup - Credit: James Ager

AFC Kesgrave joint-manager Rob Juby is relishing the Division One side’s clash with Senior Division high-flyers Achilles, in the Bob Coleman Cup semi-final on Saturday.

Kesgrave are mid-table in Division One, following two successive seasons, but face a huge challenge, against the current holders, if they are to ensure an all-Division One final at Woodbridge Town, later in the season.

Second-tier sides Benhall St Mary and Claydon will battle it out in the other semi-final and Juby said: “Achilles are a great football club and I always enjoyed playing against them when I was involved (on the coaching staff) at Grundisburgh.

“They are a hard-working team that play good football and they are winners, you can’t take anything away from them and what they have achieved.

“But I used to love the games against them, they brought out the best in me and our players tend to raise their levels in the big games.

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“We have a cracking bunch of lads and we are looking forward to the game, but we are not silly and we understand we are seen as underdogs.”

Kesgrave have already seen off Senior Division opposition in the form of Capel Plough and Coplestonians, although the game against the former was a bittersweet victory.

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“We were fortunate and unfortunate at the same time in the Capel game as we were 2-0 down with 12 minutes to go when Sam Bennett broke his tibula and fibula and the game was abandoned,” Juby recalled.

“In the replay I think we showed we were determined to win the game for Sam and we carried that form on into the Coplestonians game which was a massive one for us.”

Kesgrave have proved their worth against higher opposition but they are set for another campaign in Division One, next season.

“There have been a couple of games where we have been disappointing and had they gone the right way, we would have been right up there,” Juby, who works alongside Brendan Tuck and Carl Shemmings at the club, added.

“But we have had two promotions in two years and we want to make progress throughout the club, from the reserves and vets through to the youth teams.”

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