Boss Hill targets cup success to cap season
FC Stratford go hunting for silverware this evening (Thursday) with boss Jon Hill admitting that victory would cap an impressive season for the side.
The Hellenic Division One outfit take on Wednesfield in the final of the Midweek Challenge Cup at Walsall’s Bescot Stadium, nearly two weeks after losing their play-off match at Hartpury University.
Hill said: “Our season finished about ten days ago but has actually worked out really nice for us in terms of giving the lads a bit of a breather to get them recharged and refreshed to go again, particularly after the disappointment of the play-offs when they gave us everything.
“The game against Hartpury was a lot of physical energy but also a lot of mental energy from the number of fixtures in the week before, when you are asking lads to play every day and then have just two days off ahead of what was the biggest game in their careers.
“We’ve had two sessions which is perfect ahead of the final. We feel like we are in a really good place to make sure they are ready to go again. We have a couple back from injury and others who were just fatigued so most players are available which will allow us to give it our best shot to finish the season off on a high.”
Wednesfield finished their season 15th in Division One of the Midland Football League and were last in action on 2nd May when they lost the final of the JW Hunt Cup to Tividale on penalties. They beat fellow MFL sides Cradley Town, Gornal Athletic and Dudley Town to book their place in tonight’s final.
Hill said: “We have watched them twice and we know they are a very experienced team and won the cup last year. They are a physical, experienced outfit and it will be tough for our lads to play but then it will be no different from previous rounds when we beat Coton Green and Chelmsley, two other experienced teams.
“The Midland Football League is a very competitive league. In the Hellenic, you can pretty much predict what you are going to come up against but in that league, it is much more about strength and power rather than technical ability. It is good experience for us to measure ourselves against to see where we are at as a team. It can be brutally effective with sides not needing a lot of goals to win games.
“This is going to be a challenge that we are excited about. I truly believe that this group is going to go far. You don’t play many cup finals as a player so it is something these lads will always remember. They are representing the town and must go out and put on a really good performance.
“There are only a couple who will have played in a cup final but for most it will be a new experience, so you are depending on some of the more experienced players to keep everything as normal as possible.
“The supporters have been with us all season and it would be really good to give something back to those who have backed us and contributed to the growth of the team”.