Suffolk bidding to repeat cup success

SUFFOLK stunned the football world by winning the FA County Youth Cup at Portman Road two seasons ago.This is the first time the young talent produced in the county over the years has culminated in success in this major competition.

By Elvin King

SUFFOLK stunned the football world by winning the FA County Youth Cup at Portman Road two seasons ago.

This is the first time the young talent produced in the county over the years has culminated in success in this major competition. Amazingly, Suffolk are now just two wins away from repeating the feat.

They beat Sussex 1-0 at Lancing in a quarter-final tie on Saturday, which is a feather in the cap for the players - and also manager Andy Gould.

Gould was assistant to current Needham Market manager Danny Laws when Suffolk lifted the trophy at the end of the 2004/5 campaign.

He had no second thoughts about taking the job after Laws left to originally work full-time as a coach with Norwich City.

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“I wanted the job,” said Gould.

“It was obviously always going to be a hard act to follow because of the deserved success that Danny enjoyed.

“But I have been aware of this current crop of players for some while and knew they would be a difficult team to beat this season.

“I compare them with the players we won the trophy with - but nobody will remember this side if it does not go on and win the trophy.”

Nine of the squad are involved with Bury Town and part of the West Suffolk College Football School. The Bury-based college provided the majority of the 2004/5 team.

“If this squad performs well it will take a very good side to beat them,” added Gould.

“And even if they don't - like they did when they scraped home 4-3 against Oxfordshire in an earlier round - they have the mental strength and unity to come out on top.

“They trust each other, and the majority have been taught the right habits at the right time after being involved with professional clubs.”

Gould has special praise for skipper Sam Nunn and his central defensive partner Tom Jeal after their displays at Lancing when he said that every player deserved a mark of at least seven out of ten.

Suffolk are set to play Surrey at Woking on Saturday, February 24 for a place in the final.

In the other semi-final, Worcester meet West Riding with the winners set to host the final.

Suffolk squad: Carl Goody, Luke Catchpole, Ryan Foster, Sam Nunn, Tom Jeal, Scott Chaplin, Stuart Walker, Shaun Bammant, Ashley Sloots (all Bury Town), Grant Monaghan, Ben Seaman, Luke Read, Tom Ross (all Woodbridge Town), Richard Gammon (Newmarket Town), Nathan Szsyzlyk (Achilles).

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