Woodbridge up for league and cup double
WOODBRIDGE Athletic will surely create a record if they beat Coplestonians tomorrow and reach the final of the Metaltec SIL Omnico Cup.Paul Hadley's side have beaten three Senior Division sides to get this far, and it would be a remarkable achievement to make it four.
WOODBRIDGE Athletic will surely create a record if they beat Coplestonians tomorrow and reach the final of the Metaltec SIL Omnico Cup.
Paul Hadley's side have beaten three Senior Division sides to get this far, and it would be a remarkable achievement to make it four.
Athletic have lost just once all season - in the First Division to second-placed St Johns - and they need one more win to confirm promotion and two to win the championship from their four remaining league matches.
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This proves they are ready for a return to senior football after a number of years in the doldrums, and on paper they will probably start favourites to beat mid-table Coplestonians.
Hadley is anticipating a tough game.
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He said: “The fact that we have beaten BT Trimley, Ransomes and Leiston St Margarets will mean nothing tomorrow. We know that we will have to be at our best.
“I have watched Coplestonians in action and they are a tall side who play to their strengths.
“We are playing on a big pitch at Rushmere Sports Club and will be aiming to keep the ball on the deck and play our usual amount of football.”
Athletic, who lost out in the Suffolk Junior Cup to finalists Cockfield on penalties, have a full squad available - with striker Carl McCarthy looking as though he could be a trump card.
Since his arrival from Bramford United last summer he has banged in 31 goals, and scored in every round of the Omnico Cup.
“Yes, this is the draw that we wanted, and I am sure it is the semi-final that Coplestonians wanted as well,” added Hadley.
“Not in my wildest dreams did I think we would have as good a season as we have, and I put the main reason for our success down to player commitment.
“Plus we have a successful reserve team under the management of Martin Andrews in Intermediate B, and have players who can step up and do a great job.
“I already have players knocking on my door to sign next season, and we have had our ground already passed for senior football.”
Hadley has agreed to carry on and he will be joined in 2008/09 by assistant Barry Parker and coach Paul Tietjen.
In the other semi-final, which also kicks-off at 2pm, Suffolk Senior Cup finalists Grundisburgh will be out to continue their quest for a treble when they take on current Senior Division leaders Melton St Audry's.
In the SIL Senior Division, Brantham Athletic are at home to Crane Sports and can go level on top with St Audry's if they collect three points.
In the First Division, Bildeston have had to switch their home game against Achilles after inclement weather and this will now be played at Gainsborough Sports Centre, Ipswich.
Ironically, this is the third game Achilles have switched to Gainsborough with the reserves' JR Travel Cup match against East Bergholt and the Intermediate B game against Cockfield also moved.
Achilles reserves play their home matches at Gainsborough, but secretary Sue Cook said: “None of the three matches involve our pitch.”