Ipswich Town's youngsters will provide the opposition for Haverhill Rovers Under-18s in the Suffolk FA Boys U18 Midweek Cup
Assistant manager Stuart Cowe is hoping the team spirit that exists within Haverhill Rovers Under-18s’ squad will help to pull off a cup shock tomorrow evening (7.15pm).
The New Croft will be the venue as Rovers’ young guns lock horns with Ipswich Town’s Under-16s – a tie that will see the winners advance through to quarter-finals of the Suffolk FA Boys’ U18 Midweek Cup.
Given that they are part of a professional club, Ipswich are likely to be the favourites to triumph. However, Cowe is hoping a combination of the right attitude and a recent exposure to senior men’s football with Haverhill Borough could prove to be the difference.
“It’s a great tie for all of the players and one we’re all looking forward to,” said Cowe, who is the assistant to Peter Betts, who has been away.
“Obviously it’s going to be a very tough game, Ipswich will have some very good players.
“But we’ve got a very tight group. Pete has done a fantastic job in keeping them together for a while and they’ve improved a lot over the years.
“There is a real tight bond among the group and that will hold them in good stead – and so will playing at Step 6 for Borough. That has helped a lot with their development as players.”
For many in the group, this season will be their last within the junior ranks before they make the permanent switch into adult football.
And they want to bow out in style, both in the cup and the league.
Cowe added: “Their main focus is the Under-18s because for a lot of them they will be moving on after this.
“They’d love to win the league and also the cups. The Suffolk (Boys’ U18 Midweek) Cup is tough because there’s a lot of good sides, even if we get through Ipswich, like Sudbury.
“It is very much one game at a time but it would be great for them to go out on a high.”
Cowe is also hopeful that a decent crowd will come out to support the youngsters tomorrow.
“Our home crowds are usually around 110, which is similar to the first team,” he said.
“The main part of the team are local boys and we’ve got some big personalities in there, so their friends and family are always watching us.
“We’ve also got some young boys coming through the ranks who bring their families to games.
“I also know a few Ipswich fans from the area who are going to come along.
“Hopefully the boys can put on a decent performance for them.”