Achilles manager thinks Benhall St Mary are one of best five teams in entire SIL

Achilles are out to defend the Bob Coleman Cup trophy they won last year.

Achilles are out to defend the Bob Coleman Cup trophy they won last year. - Credit: James Ager

Achilles manager Luke Hillyard has labelled Benhall St Mary as one of the best teams in the whole SIL structure, never mind Division One, ahead of tomorrow night’s Bob Coleman Cup final between the duo at Woodbridge Town.

Achilles have finished runners-up in the Senior Division and won the Suffolk Senior Cup in the last fortnight, while the Badgers were recently crowned Division One champions and will play top flight football next term.

Hillyard is going for a third straight Bob Coleman Cup win, having guided Achilles to the crown last year, 12 months after lifting the trophy with Ipswich Athletic.

Achilles will start the game, which kicks-off at 7.15pm, as favourites too, given their loftier status, but the young managerial talent is all too aware of the threat Benhall cause.

“I know a lot about Benhall from my (Ipswich) Athletic days,” said Hillyard, who is sweating on the fitness of is brother – star striker Liam – and is definitely without centre-back Sean Benneworth and goalkeeper Shaun Chaplin, Jack Foster coming in for the latter.

“They beat us twice in the league but we beat them in the Junior Cup final.

“They are one of the in-form teams in the SIL, along with ourselves and Henley.

Most Read

“We go into the game knowing we face a very tough night. We are not facing a Division One team, we are coming up against a side that is a top-five Senior Division side in our eyes.

“Benhall is never a nice place to go and play and I believe they can finish in the top five or six next season.”

Hillyard highlighted the finishing prowess of 48-goal top-scorer Kelsey Trotter, but thinks Carl Wilkins’ side have other dangermen too.

“He (Trotter) is a very good player and will be a massive threat to us in Friday,” Hillyard added.

“They have some other threats too. (Chris) Sillett is difficult to play against and they have also got Shane Hambling, who is a good player too.

“The way that our boys are playing at the moment though, we don’t fear anybody.

“For me personally, I think to win the competition three years on the trot would be a record, so that is a big motivation for me.”