Mitch Hand relishing tough test
The Sussex Community Shield in aid of Chestnut Tree House is due to take place on Wednesday 3 August 2022 between Brighton & Hove Albion and Littlehampton Town.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Littlehampton Town
Sussex Community Shield in aid of Chestnut Tree House
Date: Wednesday 3 August 2022
Venue: Sussex County FA HQ, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
Southern Combination Football League Champions, Littlehampton Town, are back on the big stage as they face Sussex Senior Challenge Cup winners, Brighton & Hove Albion, in the Sussex Community Shield.
The Golds had a tremendously successful season last year as well as winning the league, the reached the final of the FA Vase and also won our Sussex Principal RUR Charity Cup.
Littlehampton manager, Mitchell Hand, knows however that this will be a tough test.
“We can't wait and it's a really good way for us to start the season. Obviously, it's the ultimate test for us but that's a good thing, to play a game of this magnitude so early in the season.
“Considering the big games we had last season, it seems like we're just carrying that on! That's a really nice feeling and I'm looking forward to it.
“The upside to this test is that we probably won't play a better side all season! It's really nice to play in these games, we played in this shield seven years ago and played a tough Whitehawk side that I think got to the first round of the FA Cup that year.
“It was a really good, quality game which we were fortunate enough to win and there was a lot of people watching as well, and we're privileged to be involved in again.”
Despite what they are up against, Mitch believes in his side whilst knowing some adjustments might be necessary.
“Naturally, we try and have a go at anyone we play and always go out to score goals. You've got to be humble and realistic enough to know that what we're playing against is going to be lightyears ahead of what we are, but we'll always do what we do and I think it'll be a really entertaining game. I expect goals.
“We try not to deviate from how we play but obviously Wednesday is slightly different because we've gone into plenty of games concentrating on what we do attacking wise, but we have to realistic in this game.
“There will need to be defensive resilience and a lot of running but the boys are willing to do that, and they have to be because that's the price to pay, playing in these huge games.
“It doesn't take this group a lot to get up for a game, they're very self-motivated which is really nice for a manager going into these games.”
Lastly, Mitch emphasised the importance of this game and how it can’t be treated as a friendly.
“This game is a very competitive game for us in our eyes and a really good opportunity against what is a top-quality side. We're playing for a trophy and after our final pre-season game against Arundel on Friday, this game is where our season begins.
“We have an FA Cup game three days after so we will really be looking to get going on Wednesday night and I know the players feel the same.
“We've always tried to be consistent in what we say to the players, whether it's a normal league game or a big cup game.
“Towards the end of last season it felt like every other game was a semi-final or a final or a league decider so we're conditioned to games that have a lot riding on them.
“So, for us it is about keeping the players calm, trying to push on them that we do what we do in every game and what comes natural.”
Entry prices for the final are as follows (cash and card accepted):
£10.00 Adult (17+)
£5.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
£3.00 Child (16 and under)
£1.00 Official Match Day Programme
For further details about the Sussex Community Shield please contact:
T: 01903 753547