The Final of the Sussex John Davey Cup (Under-16s) is due to take place on Sunday 6 March 2022 between Eastbourne Borough and AS Eastbourne.
Eastbourne Borough vs. AS Eastbourne
Sussex John Davey Cup Final (Under-16s)
Date: Sunday 6 March 2022
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
This Sunday presents an all-Eastbourne derby as Eastbourne Borough of the Kent Youth League, take on AS Eastbourne from the Mid-Sussex Youth League.
Eastbourne Borough manager, Mostyn Price, speaks of his players excitement to play in a County Cup Final.
“We're pretty confident and the boys are buzzing. We've not played any Sussex teams for the last two years other than cup games after our move to the Kent league.
“We pulled away from Sussex because we just felt for their last two years in youth football we'd like to play some brand-new teams after 10 years of the same ones.
“The players are actually proper buzzing, I spoke to one of them the other day and he said he's had trouble sleeping! It's exciting times for them.
“Me and Steve [Prodger] have coached at least five or six of these players for over 10 years now so the bulk of the team we've had a long time.”
In terms of playing the occasion, Mostyn believes the conditions at Culver Road will be no different to their usual routine.
“I think they'll relish the occasion, we play our games at Priory Lane (Eastbourne Borough) anyway so they're used to the surface and stadium conditions.
“We play on a lot of stadium pitches in the Kent league, and most are 3G. When we play on grass now it's a game-changer! The players forget how to deal with a bobble.
“We do train on grass occasionally to get them back used to it but no the stadium and the conditions will just be like a normal home game for them.”
Mostyn gives us an insight in Borough playing in the Kent Youth League and how it’s developed his players.
“The players have developed really well to be honest. They went in very blind, didn't have a clue about any of the players or teams.
“It is a slightly different culture, they are very, very physical. I don't know what they feed the boys in Kent, but they are taller, bigger, stronger, very physical league.
“It's built them up mentality and made them stronger, so it's been a good change and gave them more to think about instead of the same teams we'd played for years.”
Lastly, he spoke of his team’s opponents at the weekend: “We've played AS Eastbourne in and out in the past, we've had players come and go between the teams.
“It's great for Eastbourne to have two Eastbourne sides in the County Cup Final and I think all the players know each other.”
It’s been a similar journey for AS Eastbourne manager, Dom Creese, who has also been on a long journey with this team.
“I've been very fortunate to have been part of a journey with this group from under-6 with these players. Some players are still with us, some have come and gone, but a lot of the original group are currently playing up a year so it's been very successful.
“We've been very fortunate to win the County Cup in previous age groups. We were unlucky to not retain it last year due to the competition being curtailed.
“It's a special day for this group and it would be lovely for them to win it at this age because obviously a lot of them will probably go into senior football next year.”
Dom is aware that Borough will provide them with a stern test and identifies their strengths.
“There's a few players at Borough that have played for us previously - I think they will be a physical test for us.
“We are a very young group with two thirds probably under 15, so physically it will be a big test. Lincoln [Shearing] out wide will always be a threat for them.
“I personally believe in my players, I believe we have enough to beat anybody on our day. We have a special group of players.
“Borough are now in the Kent league so we haven't played them in a while but as I say, I know a few of their players, I expect them to be a good, solid, strong side. It should make for a competitive final.”
He is extremely confident, however, that his players will rise to the Cup Final mentality.
“I don't worry at all about my players being fazed by the occasion, we won the Aces National Tournament before, and they're a very strong group individually.
“A winning mentality though for me isn't necessarily about winning the game, it's winning your battles, winning your first balls, second balls, winning individual battles which is what the game is.
“If you get on top of your opposition early, and you have one or two better players than them, the result will take care of itself.
“I believe we should get the ball down and play, I'm not a fan of hitting it long and getting a result at the expense of their development. That's not what we're about, and I wouldn't want to win a game of football to sacrifice their long-term development.”
Entry prices for the final 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 John Davey Cup (Under-16s) please contact Competitions:
T: 01903 753547