The final of the Sussex Principal RUR Charity Cup is due to take place on Monday 6 May 2019 between Peacehaven & Telscombe and Haywards Heath Town.
Peacehaven & Telscombe vs. Haywards Heath Town
Sussex Principal RUR Charity Cup Final
Date: Monday 6 May 2019
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
Haywards Heath Town manager Shaun Saunders is relishing the prospect of taking on a side he has a great affinity for in Monday’s Sussex Principal RUR Charity Cup final against Peacehaven & Telscombe.
Saunders was in charge of Peacehaven when they won the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup Final against Bognor Regis Town at the Amex Stadium in 2014 and led the club at the highest level they have ever played in what is now the Bostik League Premier.
He said: “I had some really good times there and met some great friends, so I am really looking forward to this game. Of all those years I had at Peacehaven, when I was desperate for us to win every game, now I am desperate for them to lose one! I had some great times there and I am really pleased that they are in a good place now. Credit to Sue Norwood (club chair.), she has done a fantastic job.
“I don’t have too many regrets in life but in hindsight I wish I hadn’t stepped down when I did. We were mid-table Ryman Premier and I stepped down for personal reasons. I regret that but you can’t go back. It was a good time, though. We had a real rollercoaster ride and we accumulated quite a bit of silverware along the way. They are times I cherish and I am proud of.”
Saunders is now enjoying more success at Haywards Heath, who reached the play-offs in their first season in Bostik League South before losing to Horsham. He said: “I have now just completed my fourth season at the club. When I came in they had a five-year plan to make the Bostik League and we did it in four years - and but for a point deduction the year before last we would have done it in three.
“We were tipped to go straight back down this year, so to make the play-offs is testament to the hard work of everyone. It has been quite a journey so far and I have really enjoyed it. We have had a brilliant season, reaching the semi-finals of the Sussex Senior Cup, making the play-offs in Bostik South, albeit we fell short at the end, and to win a trophy to end the season would be the icing on the cake.”
Peacehaven are now playing in the Southern Combination Football League’s Premier Division, having lost their Isthmian League status in 2016. They have become a community club and manager Mark Shutt is delighted with what has been achieved in the last three years.
He said: “As a club we were losing a lot of our best young players. One of the first things I did was to ensure we have stepping stones for every age group, under-16s, under-18s, then a first team, second team, third team, all playing on a Saturday. No matter what your ability is, as long as you want to play for Peacehaven there will be a team there for you to reach whatever maximum your potential is. A huge gap has been bridged and we are very proud of what we are doing.
“In the three years I have been in charge we have used 90 players and 34 of them have played for Peacehaven Youth at some stage of their childhood. We are doing really well and that reflects in the crowds. The community are really buying into what we are trying to do here, which is to create one community club for all.”
Shutt has great respect for what Saunders has done at Haywards Heath. He said: “What they have done, getting through this league and now competing in Bostik South, is ultimately the goal for us. I am very envious of them and that is out of respect.
“I don’t think there is any better feeling than being at a cup final. We know we will have to be at our best, hope they have an off day, and hopefully the gap between the two clubs will be smaller on the day and we can come off the pitch with our heads held high.”
Entry prices for the final are as follows:
£6.00 Adult (17+)
£3.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
£1.00 Child (16 and under)
For further details about the Sussex Principal RUR Charity Cup please contact Competitions:
T: 01903 753547