Whitton United’s Robbie Knott seeking a Senior Cup hat-trick

Whitton United captain Robbie Knott, left, receives the Suffolk Senior Cup from Suffolk FA president

Whitton United captain Robbie Knott, left, receives the Suffolk Senior Cup from Suffolk FA president Gordon Blake after last season's 2-1 victory over Long Melford at Portman Road - Credit: Archant

ROBBIE Knott has had the honour of lifting the Suffolk Senior Cup as captain of Whitton United in each of the last two seasons, but he is hoping this season’s final will be special for a different reason.

Knott, who lost the captaincy to Kevin Inglis at the start of the season, is keeping his fingers crossed that he will line-up alongside his younger brother, Ashley, in the Whitton team to face fellow Thurlow Nunn League Division One side Ipswich Wanderers at Portman Road on Wednesday, May 8.

Knott started his career as a 16-year-old at Ipswich United in Division Five of the SIL. After winning two promotions to Division Three, he joined Ipswich Exiles, where Glenn Driver was then the manager.

He is now in his fourth season back at Whitton, who he joined before dropping down again to the SIL with Achilles, before switching to then-Ridgeons League Division One side Hadleigh United.

He skippered them to promotion to the Premier Division, but left half-way through his third season at Millfield and returned to Whitton, who he skippered to back-to-back Senior Cup successes, against Lakenheath and Long Melford.

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But following the departure of manager Ian Brown in the summer and the arrival in his place of Paul Bugg, 29-year-old Knott lost the captaincy.

He said: “A new manager with new ideas took over, and although I was not very pleased I didn’t argue the toss because at the end of the day I am a Whitton player and regardless of whether I am captain or not I will still lead the team in my own way.”

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He admitted it would have been nice to lead the side out again at Portman Road, but added: “It is all about the team. My personal preference doesn’t come into it – I just want to see Whitton win it for a third time.

“But this year will be even more special for me because I will hopefully have the chance to play alongside my brother Ashley. It is his first season at this level, after previously playing for Coddenham in Division Three of the SIL.

“It would be great for me personally and for our family if we do play together in the final. He is also a centre-half, so hopefully we will be paired together.”

The prospect of an all-Ipswich derby is a mouth-watering one and Knott said: “It has added spice because it is a derby and a lot of their players are familiar to us, and from a personal point of view Steve Jay (Wanderers’ assistant manager) was my manager at Hadleigh, which will add a bit extra to the occasion.

“I don’t know the history of the Suffolk Senior Cup, but it would be special to win it three years in a row, but we are under no illusions that it will be a very tough final.

“I would not like to say who will be favourites, but the fact we have won it twice in a row may make us favourites in the eyes of some people.”

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