The final of the Sussex Dennis Probee Youth Cup (Under-18s) is due to take place on Thursday 7 April 2022 between Eastbourne Borough and Worthing.
Eastbourne Borough vs. Worthing
Sussex Dennis Probee Youth Cup Final (Under-18s)
Date: Thursday 7 April 2022
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
Next week’s final is going to be a cracker between two sides from the Isthmian Youth South as Eastbourne Borough face Worthing.
Worthing were recently crowned champions in the league, and Borough manager, Matt Grainger, is happy to face them in the final.
“We're excited to be playing Worthing in the final because they've shown over the course of this season that they are the best Under-18s side.
“They're very well organised and we have a lot of respect for them, a lot of talent in their team. It's important to challenge yourself against the best so we're looking forward to it!
“We played them first game of the season but didn't do ourselves justice in that game. Worthing, as I said, are a well-organised team and they use their game-plans well.”
Results aren’t the main priority for Matt at Borough, who plays a key role in developing young players for first team football. The final, he believes, gives them a great opportunity.
“It's a great opportunity for the lads to showcase themselves - playing in front of a big crowd. We have about five players training with the first team which is credit to their ability and attitude.
“Especially when you consider how well Danny [Bloor] and his coaching team are doing in the National League South, it's hugely attractive to young players.
“They all watch our lads and ask me about players - Danny will talk to the players from time to time and he's really good like that.
“It's brilliant for the young boys to have this pathway - you just need to have the right attitude and if you have the ability with that, Danny is going to notice you.
“We have a first team group of players that ultimately are earning money from playing football, semi-professionally, it's not a bad life really is it, and all our young players want that.
“I'll be telling them that it's an opportunity to not just showcase your ability but also enjoy it and make sure you do yourselves justice.”
For Worthing boss, Adam Kipling, the final caps off a great season for his side.
“Really excited for the night and it's an honour to be a part of it; it's a big occasion to be part of the County Cup Final in Sussex and really proud the boys have got there.
“The boys are buzzing for every game; we have to restrain them! Our boys will be playing day and night if you give them half a chance. They understand the significance of it and everyone wants to be involved.
“Because of the season they've had, there have been a lot of high-pressure games, it might not always seem that way but every week, the pressure is ramped up a bit more.”
Similarly, for Adam, he has the pressure of building players for first team football. This, he believes, is a big challenge.
“As ambitious as they are, it will be difficult for them all to get in the first team at Worthing so for some of them it could be their last under-18 game.
“There's been a lot of hard-work going on behind the scenes. Obviously Nathan Bowen and Adam Hinshelwood have implemented a system and structure that the whole club tries to follow and this is the result of four or five year's work.
“We all kind of train together on a Thursday and a few players train with the first team which is great. Adam is ever-present, always watching, he might not get involved in the sessions but he's always watching.
“Nathan has a difficult job, balancing the academy as well as first team duties so it's a challenge but things look good for us.”
Despite being champions this season, he’s under no illusion that Borough will pose a big threat on the night.
“We know quite a bit about Borough, had two tough games against them this year and the score-lines don't reflect how close they were at times. They're strong opponents and they've earnt the right to be there.
“The lads have had an incredible season - they just need to relax and let their football do the talking, not get caught up in the occasion.”
Lastly, he wanted to thank those that the club that have got them to this stage: “It's not all down to me this season - we've had a lot of help from Vic, Gareth, Andy, Stuart and Malcom.
“I also want to give a mention to Steve Hoare who sadly passed away, he gave a lot of time to this club and the youth sides and I genuinely believe the boys have put the extra yard in for Steve this year, they've been magnificent with that.”
Entry prices are as follows (Cash and Card accepted):
£4.00 Adult (17+)
£2.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
FREE Child (16 and under)
£1.50 Official Match Day Programme
For further details about the Sussex Dennis Probee Youth Cup (Under-18s) please contact:
T: 01903 753547