The final of the Sussex Bluefin Junior Challenge Cup is due to take place on Wednesday 4 April 2018 between Whyke United and Sovereign Saints.
Whyke United vs. Sovereign Saints
Sussex Bluefin Junior Challenge Cup Final
Date: Wednesday 4 April 2018
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
Chichester based club, Whyke United was founded in 1971 for a group of youngsters from the local estate who wanted to play football in a fun team environment and since then the club has expanded and grown now with eight affiliated youth teams and a men’s team.
Although the club has been established for close to fifty years, the men’s first team is a newly revised squad after a transitional period took place, including a change of manager and a new group of players coming together for the start of the season.
Manager, Jamie Tucker has been a part of the club for seven years and was once a player for The Tangerines before hanging his boots to move into a managerial role. Prior to his role as first team manager, he ran the reserves team, but sadly due to a number of players departing, the team had no choice but to fold.
Tucker’s team play in the West Sussex Football League Division Three and currently sit fourth with high hopes of staying up there: “We are fourth in the table at the minute and to say we have thrown games away is an understatement.
“It could be going better but we are now going strong, which is important for us.”
With Wednesday evening being their first opportunity of lifting a County Cup, Tucker said: “Getting to this final is such an achievement; we have never done it as a club and to get there as a new group of players is incredible really.
“All the players are buzzing, they just can’t wait – The evening can’t come quick enough!
Fortunately for Tucker, none of his players are suffering from any injuries and so he has a choice to select a team from his full squad: “Luckily we have no injuries so I will be bringing my strongest squad; I am not taking this final lightly.
“They look like a tasteful team, they look strong and I think who ever puts in a better performance on the night will win the game.”
Also relishing the prospect of their first county final since forming in 2003 is Sovereign Saints who compete in Division 2 of the East Sussex Football League. Their manager Alan Dale took on the task of running the first team five years ago and said: “This is the final I have been waiting for. It’s the biggest final we can play in and it means everything to us.”
The Saints sit third in their league and have their eyes set on gaining promotion. Due to their cup fixtures, they have a number of games in hand over the two teams above them and so it is looking likely after losing just two matches since the beginning of last season that they will make the step up.
Despite playing technically a league above Whyke United, manager Alan Dale will not be taking their opponents for granted: “I know they are a division below but you don’t get to a final if you aren’t good, so we won’t be taking them lightly.
“Looking at their league form and who they beat to get to the final, we’re not expecting an easy game.”
The Saints will be missing their centre-half who sadly ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in their semi-final 5-1 win against Bexhill Amateur Athletic Club.
Wednesday evening will certainly be a proud moment for The Saints gaffer as his eighteen-year-old son, who was the reason behind his first involvement in coaching at the club eight years ago will be part of the cup final squad.
“I am personally really looking forward to it. As a team and as a club we are excited for this one, it’s the biggest cup we can have and we are very much up for it,” he said.
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 Bluefin Junior Challenge Cup, please contact Competitions:
T: 01903 753547