Stan Beattie Memorial Trophy HERO

Sussex Stan Beattie Memorial Trophy (Under-15s) Preview

Eastbourne United vs. West Hove Dynamos

The final of the Sussex Stan Beattie Memorial Trophy (Under-15s) is set to be played on Sunday 24 March 2024 between Eastbourne United and West Hove Dynamos.

Eastbourne United vs. West Hove Dynamos
Sussex Stan Beattie Memorial Trophy Final (Under-15s)
Date: Sunday 24 March 2024
Kick-off: 6:30pm
Venue: Sussex County FA, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX

It's been a cup run to be proud of for Mark Reeve’s Eastbourne United, with his side netting 29 times in the three games they played on their way to the Final this Sunday.

“These boys have worked really hard this season, and having been together so long, it’s almost like everything has finally kicked into place for us,” said Reeve.

“It all culminated with this great cup run, which, considering we missed out on the chance to defend our title last season, is even more rewarding for the boys.”

Having started as an Under-7s team, at around the same time as opponents West Hove formed their team, Reeve has still got half a dozen players who’ve been with the team since the very beginning.

“They all play together in various teams, and the fact that we play together on both Saturday and Sunday, just gives them more opportunities to get to know each other on the pitch even more,” said Reeve.

“I’m very lucky with the group of boys I’ve got, and I know they’ll always give everything for this team.”

Of course, such a free scoring season can only be a collective effort, but Reeve is keen to highlight the role of star striker, Max Hammond.

“Out off all our players, he’s the one I’d say could make a real difference on Sunday,” said Reeve, “he’s got over 50 goals this season, and we’ve always been quite an attacking side, and he, along with the rest of side, have become a lot more clinical,” said Reeve.

“We’ve also got a great midfield three of Tarik Kadric, Theo Coombs and Aaron Mott, who’ve also got a great mix of grit and steel, along with creativity.

“We like to give our players the freedom to do what they need to do, and the players know that I’d rather win a game 8-4 than 1-0, and that rather sums up our philosophy.”

Away from their cup run, it’s been just an impressive season in their leagues for the one star England Football Accredited club, with Reeve’s side currently on course to win both their Junior Premier League (JPL) and Mid Sussex Youth League, with his team currently unbeaten in the latter.

Yet, it’s Sunday’s opponents, West Hove Dynamos who pose the greatest threat to them completing a league, County Cup and League Cup treble.

“This season will come down to those three defining games, all against West Hove, and I’m pleased it comes down to games against them, because, with us, they’re probably the best side in the area,” said Reeve.

“We set ourselves some goals at the start of the season, so to still be in with a chance of achieving them is great, and regardless of how they turn out, it’s still been a great campaign for the boys.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s Final, with many of Reeve’s squad having already enjoyed County Cup success, could that give them something of an advantage when it comes to dealing with the pressure of the occasion?

“You’d like to think so, but this is a cup final, so you just never know,” said Reeve, “the occasion will always play a part, and with it being an evening game that adds to the motivation for the game and helps make it even more of an event for the lads.

“I think West Hove will push us all the way, and I reckon it’ll be one of those games that’ll just be decided by the odd goal, because they’ve got such a strong squad and have so many players who can score for them.

“There’s normally lots of good examples of exceptional football whenever we play, so it’ll be a great watch for the neutral that’s for sure!”

In the opposing dugout, John Byrne's West Hove Dynamos put in an equally impressive run to the final, with a tough 1-0 win over Worthing United being the ticket to Sunday’s Final.

“Worthing was a really tough game, and that’s how cup runs go, you can get an easier run and then come up against a good side like Worthing who can really cause you problems,” said Byrne.

“So that was a good result for us, and those kinds of tests are always the ones that are the most rewarding to come through for the team.”

For Byrne, what he sees as setting his side apart from their competitors this season is their defensive solidity.

“We’ve got a really strong backline and goalkeeper,” said Byrne, “Tom Galloway between the sticks is one of the best in Sussex in my opinion, and we’ve got a really strong defence in front of him.

“The fact that they’ve all been playing together as a defence unit since they were seven years old shows, because they all work so well collectively to help us make us a really tough side to score against.”

Such solidity is going to be essential as Byrne's side look to go one better than the last time his team were in this position, with Eastbourne United getting the better of them on that occasion.

“Look back, that was a disappointing day for all of us, because we just didn’t really turn up and do ourselves justice, so hopefully we’ll give a better account of ourselves on Sunday,” said Byrne.

In the league, West Hove’s impressive cup runs have meant that they sit in fourth in the Mid Sussex Youth League, yet at the time of writing they have six games in hand on leaders Eastbourne United.

“Overall, it’s been a good season for us, but of course with us so far behind on games with the likes of Eastbourne, it could be a tough ask for us to finish as high as we should after our hard work,” said Byrne.

“Of course, we could win all our games in hand, and then we’d finish above them, but that’s a big ask with such little time left in the season.

“But I’m pleased with how we’ve played, and the boys have all enjoyed themselves, which is the main thing.”

With all eyes now on the Final this weekend, just what is Byrne expecting from familiar foes Eastbourne United?

“They’re the benchmark to beat in our age group, so I’m expecting a tough game that’s for sure,” said Byrne, “we’ve been playing them since the boys were young, so we know them all really well.

“But it’s all about us on the day, we need to turn up and put a shift in, because Mark has coached a really good side.

“The boys know what it takes to win these kinds of games, and after what happened in the last cup final against them, I hope they’ll be able to draw on that experience and look to make amends for it.

“As I say though, they’ll need to put a shift in and win their individual battles, but before they walk out I’ll just be reminding them to enjoy it and at the end of it, if they’ve given everything out there, then they’ve done us all proud.”

Entry prices are as follows (Cash and Card accepted):

£5.00 Adult (17+)
£3.00 Concession (66+ and students with valid student ID card)
£1.00 Child (16 and under)
Official Match Day Programme will be available online

For further details about the Sussex Stan Beattie Memorial Trophy (Under-15s) please contact:

T: 01903 753547

Related News

View All