Reffley and UEA target a league and cup double
The University of East Anglia take on Reffley Royals in the Norfolk Junior Cup final at Carrow Road tonight (7.30pm).
Reffley have enjoyed nearly unparalleled success since their formation in 2007, with the North West Norfolk League side clinching the Division One title this season. This followed a superb 2009-2010 campaign which saw them clinch a league and cup double, as well as reaching the last 16 of the Norfolk Junior Cup.
UEA will be looking to lift the trophy for the first time since their last appearance in the final in 2004 – when they beat Gayton United 4-1.
Royals' joint manager Robbie Back believes victory over a UEA side from three levels above them would be just reward for the effort the club has put into the competition this season.
'Having the chance to be part of this final in an incredible achievement for the players and the coaches involved with the club,' he said. 'These players deserve to be in the final for the amount of effort they have put in throughout the competition.
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'To win would be fantastic for Reffley. I've played in Senior Cup finals but this would far eclipse that. When I took over, Reffley were – without being disrespectful – pretty much a pub team, so what we have achieved is incredible.'
The King's Lynn-based side may have to do without their goalscoring talisman Timmy Childs, while Tommy Anderson is also struggling through injury.
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Back said: 'We will see how they are on the day. Tommy has been out for five weeks, but we gave him a run-out on Saturday and he seemed fine, so we're hopeful he will make it.
Gary Butcher's UEA side contains several players who won't be eligible to play for the university next season and they want to go out on a high.
'We've done pretty well this season, winning the Anglian Combination Division Four, as well as getting to the quarter-finals of the National University Cup. For five of our players this will be their last match for UEA, and they want to go out with a trophy.'
UEA's preparations have been hampered by their season finishing at the end of March but Butcher said the squad have managed to keep up their fitness levels.
Butcher said: 'I don't know much about Reffley other than what I have been told but I would imagine us to be considered underdogs,' he said.
'We are quite a technical side, and they are supposedly quite physical, so it will be interesting to see whether brain or brawn comes out on top.'
Tickets for the match will be available on the gate, priced at �5 for adults and �3 for concessions, with a maximum of two children under the age of 12 gaining entry free of charge when accompanied by a full paying adult.