The final of the Sussex John Davey Cup (Under-16s) is due to take place on Sunday 17 March 2019 between Seagulls and ASC Strikers.
Seagulls vs. ASC Strikers
Sussex John Davey Cup Final (Under-16s) - sponsored by Premier Sports
Date: Sunday 17 March 2019
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
This year’s Sussex John Davey Cup Final consists of two extremely ambitious Sussex Sunday Youth Football League sides that not only seek County Cup silverware, but also hope to top their league.
The teams have met three times already this season, with the first fixture being the opening game of the season which saw the Seagulls come out on top with a 4-1 win. The other two encounters resulted in ASC Strikers taking home three points after a 3-1 victory, as well as knocking the Seagulls out of the Knock Out (League) Cup with a big score-line.
For Seagulls this is their first County Cup Final they have reached and their manager of ten years, Keith Vipan, said on reaching the final: “It means everything, it’s a combination of ten years work - we’ve got a fair chunk of the squad who have actually been with us for the entire ten years and it would be amazing.
“We’ve won quite a number of summer based competitions but we have never won a league or a cup.
“It would mean everything to the boys, they put a load of effort in over the ten years and it will be the crowning glory for the end of my coaching career.”
This will be the final shot for the Seagulls boys as a collective as they will disperse into various different Under-18 clubs at the end of the season due to this being the oldest age category at the club.
Vipan will also be stepping down to become a spectator on the side-lines, which he is extremely looking forward to after his long-standing service with the club.
He speaks so highly of his players and hopes that those who are already dual signed to clubs such as Whitehawk, Lewes, Worthing and Lancing go on to play at a high standard.
The Seagulls gaffer is a huge fan of the County Cup competition and commented about their route to the final.
”It was great, we had a few tough matches along the way - Hangleton Rangers and Three Bridges in particular gave us some decent opposition, but it’s been really enjoyable.
“I love the cup games, I love playing different teams and going to different locations with the boys.
“We got to the ‘KO’ Cup Final last season but agonisingly lost on penalties to Eastbourne Borough, so I would really like for the boys to go all the way on Sunday,” he said.
Vipan’s team are still very much in with a shout of the league at the moment due to having a few games in hand and although he knows it will be a tough match-up come Sunday, he is very confident about his squad’s talents to compete with ASC Strikers.
“They are a great team; they are very tough and technically good. The games are always closely fought so I think it’s going to be an enthralling competition for the neutral viewer who is going to be treated to some very intense, committed football,” he said.
Over the years the Seagulls boys have been invited on tour to play teams such as Manchester City, Burnley and RCD Espanyol and in the coming months they look to finish their time at the club on a high by jetting off to Germany to play against Bundesliga academy sides Fortuna Düsseldorf and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Vipan commented on the experiences: “We are trying to make the boys nice young men as well as decent sportsmen.
“It’s been a great ten years, I’ve really enjoyed it and we’re hopefully going to go out on a high with a Cup Final win and then a lovely end of season tour to Germany.”
ASC Strikers are finalists in their fourth consecutive County Cup Final having won the Sussex Les Kempster Challenge Trophy (Under-13s) beating Worthing Town 8-1 and receiving a walk over in the final of the Sussex C P Mason Cup (under-14s) against Three Bridges Youth in the 2016/17 season. However, last season they fell short to Hastings United who edged a 3-2 victory in the Sussex Stan Beattie Memorial Trophy (Under-15s).
Jack Tobias, ASC Strikers manager took over at the beginning of this season as part of his coaching development and said: “It’s an opportunity that I didn’t really want to turn down because I know the boys, I like the boys, they are a good group and I wanted to work with them to help them and help develop them going forward.”
Tobias has made it clear that his team 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 they must beat the Seagulls in the County Cup Final on Sunday.
The Strikers manager said: “It means a lot to be honest [reaching the final], when you look at what we’re trying to do, top of Div 1 [Sussex Sunday Youth League] and we’re really going to try win everything, which is what we set out to do at the start of the season.
“But we will also use the whole squad so that everyone plays and feels a part of everything we have done this season.
“To win it would be a great first step, and then hopefully that would push us on to the end of the season and hopefully win the league and Knock Out Cup Final as well.”
The Strikers pathway to the cup final looked reasonably comfortable, but their boss insists it was a valuable test for his boys: “It was really, really good, obviously there were different tests playing against different teams in lower leagues.
“As we got to the latter stages, we played against teams that were willing to take risks, so yeah it was different opponents all the way through which was quite nice.”
Tobias believes that it will be a tight encounter on Sunday, but is confident that his team will pull it off on the day: “It certainly can go either way; I know a few of their players and they can cause us some problems, so it will be an interesting game.
“I am really looking forward to the final and so are the boys, we are all prepping for it and will be ready on the day.”
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