Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy - sponsored by Luke & Luke Construction

Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy preview

The final of the Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy - sponsored by Luke & Luke Construction is due to take place on Sunday 7th May 2017 between Romans...

Romans Old Boys vs. Ifield Galaxy Sunday
Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy Final - sponsored by Luke & Luke Construction
Date: Sunday 7th May 2017
Kick-off: 2.30pm
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX

It has been an amazing season for The Romans Old Boys and the highlight will come when they take on Ifield Galaxy Sunday in the Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy Final at Culver Road.

Romans sealed the Sussex Sunday Football League Division 1 title with four games to spare and have been unbeaten in nineteen league matches, drawing just one.

Manager James McKechnie could not be happier although their first defeat came on what was an awful weekend for everyone connected with the club.

Long-time manager and faithful supporter Brian Fry died unexpectedly on the Friday morning and then two days later Romans were beaten in the George Millyard Senior Cup despite having plenty of possession and chances against premier division Real Rosehill, who defend the Sussex Sunday Challenge Cup on the same day as the Trophy final.

"It was a huge shock to lose Brian, who managed the team for ten years and still came to watch regularly," said McKechnie, who took over the reins in December 2015.

This season's success, winning the title and reaching two cup finals, made up for last year's disappointment when they were pipped for the league championship on goal difference and went out in two semi-finals.

Romans have claimed several Sussex Sunday Football League premier division scalps this season and the manager will have a tough selection job for the county final as he will have around nineteen to choose from.

Leading the squad as captain is Mile Oak legend Jamie Ash of whom McKechnie says: "At 44 he's still a big influence on the team and a great character."

McKechnie and his opposite number at Worthing & Horsham District Sunday Football League club Ifield Galaxy Sunday have been tweeting each other regularly since both clinched their cup final place and the Romans boss said: "He seems a nice guy and hopefully it will be a good game."

For Galaxy boss Mark Butcher it will be his last game in charge, as family commitments have left him little choice, even though it has not been an easy decision. He was player-manager but has been out all season with a cruciate ligament injury to the same knee he first damaged when aged 24.

"I'm now 33 and as its revision surgery that means a longer recovery time but I'm determined to get in a few more seasons playing and hope to turn out for our Saturday side next season," he said.

Butcher captained the Sunday side from 2011 and took over as manager two years later.

This season he has more often than not been joined in the dugout by four children aged from 20 months to 12 years and it's the difficulty of that has prompted his decision.

 "My girlfriend works on Sundays and so managing the team has been a bit of a strain," he admitted.

In the latter stages of this season Galaxy were pushing for four trophies but Butcher admits: "We've let it slip a little lately and now the County Cup is our last chance.

“It would certainly be a nice way to bow out, but whatever happens, it's good to end with what should be a competitive but friendly match. The players are certainly looking forward to it and will be lifted by playing at Lancing.

“When you walk out the pitch looks stunning and as it's an afternoon kick-off there should be quite a few people there to support us after playing themselves in the morning."

Entry prices for the final are as follows:
£5.00 Adult (17+)
£3.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
FREE Child (16 and under)

For further details about the Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy - sponsored by Luke & Luke Construction, please contact Competitions’:

T: 01903 753547

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