The final of the Sussex Bluefin Dennis Probee Youth Cup (Under-18s) is due to take place on Thursday 11 April 2019 between Burgess Hill Town and Lewes.
Burgess Hill Town vs. Lewes
Sussex Bluefin Dennis Probee Youth Cup Final (Under-18s)
Date: Thursday 11 April 2019
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
Lewes are excited about the group of youngsters at their disposal as they prepare to defend the Sussex Bluefin Dennis Probee Youth Cup against Burgess Hill Town.
The Rooks have a rich history in recent years of developing young talent. Brighton & Hove Albion’s Solly March played for Lewes as a youngster before joining the Seagulls, Millwall’s Jed Wallace was also at the Dripping Pan while David Wheeler and Grant Hall (both QPR) plus Leon Legge (Port Vale) are others who have gone on to the professional game.
Youth team manager Dale Hurley is focused on producing players for Darren Freeman’s first team at Lewes and the signs are good with current under-18s Ross Barclay, Dylan Gifford and James Waters recently agreeing first team contracts for next season.
Hurley said: “I have a lot of contacts around Sussex. We bring in players of a very high standard and we give them a platform to develop in the under-18s and progress to the under-23s and the first team. We have four or five training regularly with the first team now and three of them have just signed first team forms for next season so the pathway is really good.
“We have a lot of good young players in the squad. The strength in depth this season is ridiculous and we have quite a few in mind for next season so it is exciting.”
Lewes are currently competing with Worthing for the Bostik League Youth South title and would love to win the County Cup again, having beaten Whitehawk on penalties in last year’s final.
However, Hurley knows his side will have to be at their best to beat a Burgess Hill team who have enjoyed a good season, finishing fifth out of nine in the same league as Lewes.
Hurley said: “I am very happy to reach the final. We got there last year and won it so it will be great to defend it. We have beaten them twice but neither game was easy or comfortable. They are a good side, well organised, quite big physically and quite direct and it will be a tough game. A cup final is a one-off so we will be approaching it with caution as we do every game.”
This is one of three County Cup finals for Burgess Hill this season with the first team reaching the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup Final and the women getting through to the Sussex Women’s Challenge Trophy Final.
For Paul Fowler’s under-18s it is a fabulous achievement and the final will be an extra special occasion for a lot of his players.
He said: “To get to the final is a great achievement with the teams that are in the competition - top teams like Whitehawk, Lewes, Worthing. For about eight of our players, it will be their last game for the under-18s as they are stepping up to the under-23s so it is brilliant for them. The County Cup is a massive competition.
“We had an under-23 game last week and we had seven or eight under-18s playing, so it is good for the club. Two of the boys on the bench were 16-year-olds who have just come over. It shows it is working from getting players to the club and producing them for the under-23s. It is a good set-up. We are giving young players opportunities and it shows as there is a young lad, aged 19, who has just got into the first team. It shows if you work hard you will get a chance.”
Fowler, who took over in November, knows his side will have to work hard to beat Lewes. He added: “I have known Dale [Hurley] for many years and I have boys who have played for me who are playing for Lewes. We know we will be big underdogs as Lewes are a very good side, but you never know, it is a one-off game. We will just go there, give it our all and see what happens.”
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 Bluefin Dennis Probee Youth Cup (under-18s) please contact Competitions:
T: 01903 753547