Players, management and Chairman look ahead to League Cup final

We spoke to a number of people involved with the club ahead of tonight’s Polymac Packaging League Cup final to gather their thoughts on our third cup final in three years. Here’s what they had to say…

Steve Jelfs                                                      

Steve Jelfs“Naturally, we’d like to have got there by winning the semi-final but it wasn’t to be. St Andrews fielded an ineligible player, not only fielded him but gave him a false name, so it’s now something that we can look forward to. It’s a fitting finale to the season. For the supporters to be able to go to a Football League ground is great. I’m very much looking forward to it and I’m sure everybody else is too.”

Carl Abbott

Carl Abbott“It’s a bit strange really. We’re not jumping around that we’re in the final as it’s a very strange journey to get there but that’s not our fault. The run’s maybe been tarnished a little but we’ll take what we’re given. St Andrews made a serious breach of the rules and the League have deemed that as punishment they need to come out of the competition. What a great opportunity for us. It’s a one-off game against the champions of the league above at a professional ground for a trophy. We’ll go there and grasp the opportunity with both hands, playing against a side who I really respect.”

Paul Tomlinson                                                     

Paul Tomlinson“What’s happened has happened. We’ve been invited back into the competition and we’ll take up that invite to go into the final. There’s no pressure on us now. We know we got well and truly beaten in the semi-final second leg but over the two games the 8-4 aggregate scoreline was probably a little bit harsh on us. This gives us a chance to test ourselves under no real pressure, The lads are fresh, we had a great training session on Thursday and we go into the game full on confidence because we’ve got nothing to lose in a game against the best team in the Premier Division.”

Simon Mellor                                                  

Simon Mellor“It’ll be a really tough game. They’re a top team. Longy (Alvechurch manager Ian Long) has been in the game a long time. He knows how to put good teams together who are powerful but can also play, and they’ve had two tremendous seasons. They just missed out last year to Hereford. Yes, they were one of the favourites to win it this year but that added its own pressure and they’ve dealt with it tremendously. But it’s 11 v 11 and if we have a good day we’re more than capable of playing anybody. It’ll be tough but we’re not going there thinking that we can’t win it. It’s a one-off game and in a cup final you just never know.”

Ryan Seal                                                    

Ryan Seal“It’s a bonus game for us. It’s a little bit weird, because everyone thought we were out and now we’re back in again. But as I’ve said to the lads, we’re there now. We’ve got to play it like we’ve got there on merit, not them (St Andrews) cheating or however else we might have got there. We’ve got a real chance to create history for this club. We’ll all be at it and hopefully we get the win.”

Lee Butler

Lee Butler“It’s come as a bit of a shock to get there but we’ve got to go there and try to win the game and come back with the trophy. It does make it more difficult in terms of preparation (that AFC only found out about the game last week) but that’s the nature of football. These things happen. They’ve cheated, they’ve done something they should have done and we’ve got a second chance.”

James Williams

james-williams1“I was buzzing when I heard about it. It’s a great opportunity for us and if we could win it, it would be great for the whole club. What St Andrews did is down to them, we can only look at it as a positive for Hinckley and we’ll be doing everything to win.”

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