The final of the Sussex Les Kempster Challenge Trophy (Under-13s) is due to take place on Sunday 15 April between Rustington Otters and Hove Park Colts.
Rustington Otters vs. Hove Park Colts
Sussex Les Kempster Challenge Trophy Final (Under-13s)
Date: Sunday 15 April 2018
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
This season’s Sussex Les Kempster Challenge Trophy Final consists of two talented sides that play in different leagues but are sitting level at the top having played eleven and won eleven.
For Rustington Otters, big occasions are unfamiliar territory but they are certainly used to playing against challenging sides after spending three seasons playing an age group above before returning to their correct age group for the 2017/18 season.
The Otters managed to beat Worthing Town Red 3-0 in the semi-final and manager Julian Barnes claims that there is no pressure upon his players on Sunday: “The pressure was getting to the final because I don’t think people expected us to, but we are here and we will enjoy the occasion.”
Barnes has been in charge of the team since the beginning and has coached five of the players since the age of four and expressed how much of an achievement it would be for his side to lift the trophy Sunday morning: “I am so proud of the boys and so is everyone who is involved with the club.
“We are all about developing our players but it would mean so much for them to win a trophy.”
Both of the sides met last year in the semi-final of the Sussex W J Jewell Trophy (under-12s) and Hove Park Colts beat Rustington Otters 3-0 to proceed on to the final and Barnes says his players are up to the test: “We have met a couple of times and it is always pretty even, but we are ready.
“We’re looking forward to a really tough game, it’s a toss of a coin this one I think.”
“The boys are really excited and it’s a great occasion to be part of,” he said.
Hove Park Colts on the other hand are used to winning and this time around will be aiming for an identical repeat of last season. Manager Aaron Stenning said: “It’s been unreal really, we won the treble last year and we have already won two titles out of three this year.
“On Sunday if we win it will be like winning the double - treble!”
Stenning used to play for Hove Park Colts until under-16s level and returned after the completion of his university studies. The P.E. teacher originally started coaching the team as a temporary prospect and seven years on has never looked back: “I am good friends with the club secretary and he asked me to coach the boys until they found someone else but I am still here enjoying it years on.
“It’s a big achievement to reach the County Cup Final again and it’s nice because nine of the sixteen boys have been here from the beginning.”
“The boys have always been quite successful, there have been highs and lows on the journey but at the moment more highs which is a bonus.”
Stenning lead his side to a 3-0 victory over Horsham Youth to clench the Sussex W J Jewell Trophy (under-12s) last season and is hoping for another competitive game this season: “I have got a lot of respect for Rustington Otters and Julian; I think they try and play football the right way and it should be a close encounter.”
Entry prices for the final are as follows:
£3.00 Adult (17+)
£2.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
FREE Child (16 and under)
For further details about the Sussex Les Kemspter Challenge Trophy Cup (under-13s), please contact Competitions:
T: 01903 753547