Rene's aiming for double target

ACE marksman Rene Swann admitted today that he will never lose his thirst for putting the ball into the back of the net.“I love the feeling and am always hungry to score,” said the 26-year-old Ipswich Wanderers striker, who is set for a vital role in tomorrow's FA Carlsberg Vase fifth round game against AFC Totton at Humber Doucy Lane (kick-off 3pm).

By Elvin King

ACE marksman Rene Swann admitted today that he will never lose his thirst for putting the ball into the back of the net.

“I love the feeling and am always hungry to score,” said the 26-year-old Ipswich Wanderers striker, who is set for a vital role in tomorrow's FA Carlsberg Vase fifth round game against AFC Totton at Humber Doucy Lane (kick-off 3pm).

He has set himself two goals this season - to play at Wembley Stadium and in a competitive match at Portman Road.


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“That would be a dream come true,” added the striker, who plans to be a thorn in the side of tomorrow's in-form Wessex League opponents.

Wanderers for Wembley might seem a pipe dream, but the Ridgeons League has provided a succession of Vase finalists - and semi-finalists - in recent seasons.

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And three more wins would see Swann and his team-mates become some of the first footballers to sample the delights of the plush new national stadium.

Already with 28 goals under his belt this season, the striker who led the First Division charts for Whitton United with 41 in 2002-03, added: “To play at Wembley would be wonderful. And if I was to couple that with a Suffolk Premier Cup final appearance at Portman Road, I would be happy to hang up my boots.”

Wanderers are at home to Ipswich Town in the Premier Cup semi-final on March 7, with the final taking place at the headquarters of the Championship club.

“I have played at Portman Road, but it was a bit of a kickabout involving a team made up by Ipswich Town stewards,” said Swann. “I scored, but it did not mean too much.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow, Swann said: “We beat one of the competition favourites in Lowestoft in the last round and this has given our confidence a boost.

“Our manager John Clarkson is hugely ambitious, while his assistant Gary Bennett is very influential on the training ground and has experience of Vase finals with Sudbury.

“We are up for the task.”

Wanderers will be without the suspended Paul Betson and Lee Owen, and the injured Matty Cunningham.

Sean Bell has passed a fitness test, and experienced striker Sam Banya could start after impressing last Saturday. Young central defender Anthony Johnson is likely to be in the squad.

Totton, who beat Bournemouth Poppies 1-0 to strengthen their position at the top of the Wessex League table on Tuesday, are managed by Stuart Richie, who was involved with Aston Villa and Crewe before ending his playing days at Totton.

Richie said: “We know we're going to get a hard game tomorrow, but Wanderers are going to get a hard game too.

“We are flying at the moment and to dig in and beat a decent side like Bournemouth Poppies on Tuesday was really pleasing.

“We have got a few players back and we are a bit more solid and determined. There is all-round serious competition for places.”

Striker Floyd Hamodu has scored four times in the last three games, and forms what is recognised as the best strike partnership in the Wessex League with the speedy Mark Osman.

Totton, who will be travelling overnight with a full-strength squad, have never played a Ridgeons League side before.

They have an interesting character in goal. Iain Brunnschweiler is a former wicket-keeping understudy to Nic Pothas in the Hampshire cricket team.

Central defender Danny Potter previously played for Soham in the Ridgeons League before moving south three years ago.

SUFFOLK'S other representative left in the Vase, Mildenhall, face a trip to Billingham Synthonia, who play in the Northern League Division One.

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