The final of the Sussex John Davey Cup is due to take place on Sunday 15 April 2018 between Eastbourne Borough and AFC Vardeanians.
Eastbourne Borough vs. AFC Varndeanians
Sussex John Davey Cup Final – Sponsored by Premier Sports
Date: Sunday 15 April 2018
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
The Sussex Sunday Youth League (under-16s) top two clash at Culver Road on Sunday as Eastbourne Borough and AFC Varndeanians go toe-to-toe in the Sussex John Davey Cup Final sponsored by Premier Sports.
The teams previously met on the first day of the league season when AFC Varndeanians claimed their first three points following promotion to division 1. Other than Sunday’s final, they are due to face each other again on the final day of the season where there is a high possibility that they will be battling it out for the top spot.
For Eastbourne this is their first County Cup Final they have reached and their manager of ten years, Dave Blackmore said: “Getting to the under-16s county cup final means everything, it was our ultimate goal from when we were under-11s and we have managed to get there.”
Eastbourne’s pathway to the cup final has not been easy having faced two of the top teams in their league in ASC Strikers and Loxwood along the way, as well as Three Bridges Colts who won the Kent Youth League last season, and for that reason Blackmore is very proud of how far his boys have come.
“Everyone is very much looking forward to it; we are going to make a day of it for the players because it is a very special occasion.
“They are really excited as it gives them a chance to get the recognition they deserve after the season they are having.”
Blackmore has kept hold of the majority of his players since under-10s, along with Jason Cook who has assisted him for many years. “It’s been a real collective effort that has got us where we are and every player has played their part,” he said.
The manager claims that he knows a lot of the opposition’s players through different areas of football and admits that they are going to be tough to beat. “They are a very talent squad; it’s clearly going to be a very tough game against one of the best teams in the league.”
Like Blackmore, the AFC Varndeanians boss, Darren Barker is a long-standing manager and took charge of the team when they were under-5s. He has been involved in youth football for eighteen years and first got drawn to coaching when he took on his son’s team.
As a collective, AFC Varndeanians have never got to a final and Barker believes this season is all to play for as he hopes to make club history by leading his team to a cup victory on Sunday.
They will be aiming for the treble as they attempt to seal the deal in winning the league and also by getting their hands on the league cup, but first must beat ASC Strikers in the County Cup Final.
Barker said: “It means a lot, we haven’t won a thing yet but we are joint top and in both cup finals so we can’t do more than what we have at the moment.
He believes that is will be a tight encounter on Sunday but is confident that his boys will pull it off on the day. “It’s going to be a close one on Sunday, they are very physical but we are very quick and strong all the way through our squad.
“I don’t think the occasion will faze the boys too much, I think they will treat it as any other game.”
AFC Vardeanians are coached by ex-Albion and Eastbourne Borough player Stuart Tuck, who is also the assistant manager of Burgess Hill Town first team, and Barker said of him: “I would like to say a massive thank you to Stuart for doing the coaching. He has taken the team to another level.”
Sunday will see both teams wearing black armbands, along with carrying out a minute silence prior to kick-off in order to pay respect to Eastbourne Borough’s former CEO and Sussex football stalwart, Mike Spooner, who sadly passed away recently due to ill-health.
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 John Davey Cup - sponsored by Premier Sports please contact Competitions:
T: 01903 753547