The final of the Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy is due to take place on Thursday 10 March 2022 between Hassocks Fatboys and FC Grinstead.
Hassocks Fatboys vs. FC Grinstead
Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy Final
Date: Thursday 10 March 2022
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
The Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy returns with Sussex Sunday Football League (SSFL) Division 2 side, Hassocks Fatboys, and SSFL Division 7 side FC Grinstead.
Despite the difference in divisions for these sides, FC Grinstead have beaten top sides on their route to the final, and for that reason, Hassocks Fatboys manager, Reece Wickwar, is under no illusions it could be a tough game.
“We know one or two players at FC Grinstead, but I think it shows the strength of the league, the fact they're a number of divisions below us, and they've beaten some good sides to get here.
“But I won't be saying anything too inspirational to them I don't think, they never listen to me anyway! We're getting on a bit a few of us, and you don't get many chances to win a trophy.
“Whether it's the Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy or whatever it may be, I think it's about leaving everything you've got out there and not letting your teammates down.
“I think the boys will be fine and I have no doubts about them shying away from anything, we're all in it together and we're very supportive. We tend to do better against better teams and struggle sometimes against teams that aren't as good.
“We beat Atletico Snus Crawley in the Semi and we've never actually lost to them who are a very good side.”
Hassocks Fatboys were finalists in our last Sussex Sunday Challenge Trophy Final which they lost to Unicorn FC and Reece is happy to have another chance.
“It's the big one this and we're just quite happy to be there to be honest. We used to have two sides but slimmed down to one, it's just about having fun for us now.
“It would be nice to win something, we've quite often been the bridesmaid so looking forward to it, it'll be a nice occasion.
“I was running the reserves when we got to the final in 2019, but I was there on that occasion. There's a handful of the boys here that played in that final, so it'll be nice to have another crack at it.
“We're feeling really good about it, but you don't want to feel too confident like anything with football, but I think we're quietly confident.
“It'll be good to play in a good facility with a 3G pitch and genuine railings around the side, and it'll be nice not having to chase the ball down the big hill at Clayton Rec. for once! Although it's massive the Culver Road pitch so it won't do our legs any good.”
FC Grinstead are no strangers to a cup final having got to the Kent County Cup Final on two occasions before winning one and losing one.
Manager, Joe Moulding, is happy with the progress his side have made since moving to the SSFL and is confident having beaten good sides on their way to the final.
“A couple of the players know some of theirs, and apparently they've scored a lot of goals this season, so I'm sure it will be entertaining.
“I think I'll definitely be playing the underdog story a bit. We're a Division 7 side, and we've beat a Div 2 team and a Div 1 team on our way here, so we seem to rise to everything.
“We're quite classic Sunday League really, one week we look unbelievable and the next week we look a bit shaky!
“One of the games on the route to the final we went 2-0 down, and ended up coming back to 2-2, then we ended up winning on penalties, so there's definitely a never say die attitude in this team.”
Lastly, Joe spoke of the feeling amongst his players ahead of the final: “The lads are proper buzzing - in our group chat we were talking about the 16 we're taking, and I think a couple were upset they missed out! I don't know a lot about Hassocks, but we'll just concentrate on how we play and hopefully that will be enough.
“I do play but I've only had a couple of appearances this season, I've been injured for about two years. I haven't put myself in the 16, not sure I'd be forgiven!”
Entry prices for the final are as follows (cash and card accepted):
£6.00 Adult (17+)
£4.00 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 Sunday Challenge Trophy please contact Competitions:
T: 01903 753547