Scott Rogers says that winning the Les Phillips Cup would be the perfect way to cap off a good season for Willand Rovers.
Rovers have had multiple cup runs this season, reaching the semi-final of the Devon St Luke’s Bowl and the FA Cup fourth qualifying round to go alongside Sunday’s Les Phillips Cup final against Barnstaple.
While this success caused a big fixture pile-up that ultimately put paid to their league ambitions and caused them to finish sixth in the Western League Premier Division, player-manager Rogers feels it has been a successful season for his side and now he wants something to show for it.
The Silver Street boss said: “A win will top off what’s been a successful season.
“All the lads have been brilliant all season and I’m not going to criticise any of them – they’ve been superb, so I’m hoping we can get the result on Sunday.
“To pick up a trophy would be great. We’ve done brilliantly in the cups this year so to be able to take one back to Silver Street will give us something to show for it.
“Whilst we’ve gone far in competitions and won prize money, we’ve not won any silverware yet, so that’s what we’ll be aiming for.
“We know a fair bit about Barnstaple as they’ve got a lot of players that have played locally for a long period of time. They’ve got some experienced players and we know it’s going to be a tough game but we’re just going to treat it as a normal game against a team that are near the top of our league, as they’ve been promoted from the first division and they’ll do well next year.”
Rogers now has the luxury of a full squad to choose from after missing numerous players through injuries in recent weeks.
“It’s obviously a cup final so league position goes completely out of the window and it all comes down to who plays better on the day,” Rogers said.
“I don’t think there are favourites in a game like this, at all.
“It’s all about what happens on the day and who turns up.
“They’ve got as much chance of winning the game as us and it’s all about whichever team goes out there and does their best to win the game. Look at the FA Cup semi-final the other week – Aston Villa turned up, totally outplayed Liverpool and deserved to win, so it’s just about what happens on the day.
“Our squad is not looking too bad. Funnily enough, everyone seems to manage to make themselves available and fully fit for a cup final!
“So we’ve got a full squad to choose from and there’ll be some disappointed lads come Sunday, but I need to pick a team that’s going to win a game.”
Despite this, Willand go into the game on the back of two defeats, having lost 2-1 to league champions Melksham Town and 5-0 to Slimbridge over the bank holiday weekend.
Rogers is not too concerned with the two losses that ended their league season as he feels the side can put things right on Sunday.
He said: “We’ve had two disappointments at the weekend, losing to Melksham on Saturday and Slimbridge on Monday.
“On Monday, in the first half, there wasn’t much in it to be honest.
“We were a bit unlucky as we had two or three great chances and didn’t take them and then they scored a great goal.
“We were full of confidence going into the second half and were ready to give them a game but the decisive goal came when the assistant referee gave a goal that he said went over the line, when we felt it wasn’t.
“That knocked the stuffing out of us and, to be honest, from then the writing was on the wall as we were penned in a little.
“It’s disappointing but, like I’ve said, the lads have given it their all this season, so I’m not going to criticise them too much.”