Achilles manager wants to win final for Dave
Achilles manager Luke Hillyard wants to win the Suffolk Senior Cup for the club’s long-serving chairman, Dave Morgan, on Sunday.
The SIL Senior Division side have never reached the Senior Cup final before and face Crane Sports in the showpiece final at Portman Road, in what will be the first all-SIL final for 19 years (2.30pm KO).
“The league is a big achievement but to play at Portman Road in the Senior Cup final is massive for us,” said Hillyard, whose team defend the Bob Coleman Cup against Benhall St Mary, in the final at Woodbridge Town, on May 12.
“Achilles have never been there (Senior Cup final) before and it would be fantastic for our chairman who has been at the club for 50 years now.
“There are a lot of special people like him at the club and to be involved in a game like this will be a massive occasion for them.
“I could see there was a tear in Dave’s eye when we reached the final.”
In contrast to Achilles, Cranes have won the Senior Cup four times, their last success coming 33 years ago.
The SIL champions are currently third in the Senior Division, but out of the title race with two games to go.
Achilles can still win the title, but only if leaders Henley fail to pick up maximum points at home to Bramford this weekend.
Despite the title slipping from their grasp, Hillyard is in a positive frame of mind.
“We are very positive, we won at Cranes and it should have been more than 1-0,”Hillyard explained.
“I know what my boys can do on their day and we will be OK as long as we don’t get wrapped up in the occasion.”
He added: “There is a mutual respect between the clubs.
“We wanted to reach two cup finals this season and finish above Cranes.
“We have hit our targets, but fair play to Henley, they have run away with the league and should win the title now.”
Hillyard began playing football as a 12-year-old with Achilles, under the management of his dad, Jeff, and said victory on Sunday would be a special moment for several of his players.
“There is a good chunk of our lads from Chantry and there were four or five of us, the likes of myself, Kieron Donovan, David Grimwood who started when we were 12-years-old,” he said.
“We also have the younger players coming through now, the Sean Hanleys and Gavin Van Oenes, and things are looking good.”