Smith targets promotion as priority

WALSHAM-le-Willows are hoping to make it a hat-trick of Touchline Sports Suffolk Senior Cup final appearances.But manager Paul Smith confirmed today that gaining promotion to the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League is his main priority this season.

By Elvin King

WALSHAM-le-Willows are hoping to make it a hat-trick of Touchline Sports Suffolk Senior Cup final appearances.

But manager Paul Smith confirmed today that gaining promotion to the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League is his main priority this season.

“Having just missed out on promotion for the last two seasons now is the time to move up,” said Smith.


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“We have had brand new dressing rooms built and the club is ready.

“Finishing in the top three is my main objective and we are currently in third place. In the last couple of seasons we have fallen away in the last quarter of the campaign, and we must ensure we do not do the same again.

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“If I feel the need to bring in new players after Christmas I will not hesitate to do so.”

Walsham were beaten by Needham Market in the 2005 Senior Cup final before pipping Capel Plough after extra time in last season's final.

They meet Metaltec SIL Senior Division Capel tomorrow in the one remaining second round tie.

The game was due to be played last Saturday, but was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

Smith is under no illusions that his side faces a stiff test. He said: “Capel are at home, and they will be seeking revenge.

“And having arrived at the ground an hour before the scheduled start time last weekend it was an eye opener to see them warming up.

“If we needed any reminding about the stiff task we face then that was it. There is no danger now of us being complacent in a game where we have everything to lose.

“If we are beaten we will be the laughing stock of the Green'Un tomorrow.”

The winner of tomorrow's game will be at home to Grundisburgh in the quarter-final, with Smith saying: “We could not ask for anything else in the next round than being at home to an SIL side.

“But we know that it will be tough. First of all we have to get beyond Capel, and they beat Ridgeons League sides on the way to last season's final and pushed us close at Portman Road.”

Walsham have lost Stuart Crawford (Whitton United) and Lee Sim (Needham Market) from last season's side, while Danny Hazelton and Gary Ross have both arrived from Stanton.

Paul Nozedar scored the winning goal in the final and revealed that he would retire from playing after hanging his boots up in the Portman Road dressing room.

He has featured occasionally for Walsham midweek, but will not be involved tomorrow.

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