Ricci Butler confident Great Yarmouth Town can push for honours next season

Great Yarmouth Town (in white) playing AFC Sudbury Res. Squad, in the Thurlow Nunn Div one cup match

Great Yarmouth Town (in white) playing AFC Sudbury Res. Squad, in the Thurlow Nunn Div one cup match at Woodbridge. - Credit: Archant

Cup final defeat may have been a disappointing way to end the season for Great Yarmouth Town, but manager Ricci Butler is confident about his side's future.

Narrowly missing out on promotion was followed by a 1-0 loss to AFC Sudbury Reserves in the final of the Thurlow Nunn First Division Knockout Cup.

That defeat came despite the Bloaters having beaten Sudbury twice in the league this season, to finish 10 places and a huge 40 points better off in the table.

Butler remained honourable in defeat though, after watching the Yellows lift the trophy at Woodbridge Town's Notcutts Park on Friday night.

'To be fair, after every game the boys come to me and we have a chat on the pitch and I said we can't be bitter about it. For me, I think the best side won,' the 28-year-old Yarmouth boss said. 'I think they were sharper than us, were fitter than us, quicker than us, first to react, second to react and we rode our luck in the first half.

'My boys gave a good account of ourselves, we tried to play football, at times we made some vital errors, but to come away only losing 1-0, I'm really proud of my boys, because at the end of the day the best side won.'

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The former Norwich United and Gorleston striker took up the reins at The Wellesley last summer after a knee injury cut short his playing days.

The Bloaters finished eighth in the First Division last season but improved this season under their new manager to finish fourth, just two points adrift of the promotion places.

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Butler continued: 'I spoke to our club president (Arthur Fisk) just before the game and said, 'the way to look at it is, would you have taken fourth place – and clear fourth place ahead of fifth, two points off promotion – would you have taken that and a cup final at the start of the season?' And he said 'yeah, absolutely'.

'And to be fair, I'm really proud of what the boys have achieved. To finish fourth by such a margin and to get yourselves in a cup final; we had a good FA Vase run and if you look at the FA Cup run when we lost 4-1 to Wroxham but it was a day where we probably could have held out for a draw.

'But it was a season of nearlys. We nearly got promotion, we were nearly cup winners, but it's something the boys need to take away that when it comes to the important part of the season, who are the ones who have got the attitude and desire to push on and who are the ones who shy away from it and get a bit nervous?'

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