Eccles targeting a final flourish
Chipping FC manager Matt Eccles is urging his players to seize the moment in the Guild Hall Cup final on Friday.
The Division One outfit faces Premier Division Bolton United at the County Ground in Leyland at 7.30pm.
Eccles, who has seen his side knock out defending champions Bamber Bridge Band Club, now wants his players to savour the moment.
“Most of all they have to go out and enjoy it,” Eccles said.
“These occasions don’t come around very often so you’ve got to make the most of it and have no regrets when you come off that pitch.”
Chipping shocked Premier Division champions Preston Wanderers in the semi-final with victory on penalties, an experience Eccles’ men can draw upon for the final.
“I think we can take a lot of confidence from that game; we stood firm and battled against one of the best teams in the Premier Division for 120 minutes,” he said.
“We’ve probably been underdogs in three rounds of this cup having played last year’s winners, runners-up and semi-finalists, so maybe it’s an advantage but I don’t tend to look into it like that.
“At the end of the day it’s a one-off game and form, most of the time, goes completely out of the window. The way we’ve played in those games has shown we can compete with the top teams in the Premier Division.”
Eccles has tasted success in the competition as a player with Longridge Town but admits that lifting the trophy as a manager would surpass that achievement.
“It would mean a great deal to me,” he said. “For me to manage a great group of lads in the final and hopefully win would mean probably more to me then winning it as a player.”
Eccles took over at Chipping in 2014, winning promotion in his first season.
“When I came in we were looking to stabilise, so to come this far in our second season is beyond expectations.
“It’s all credit to the lads involved and just goes to show when you work hard, and are given an opportunity to showcase your talent, anything can happen.
“This is a massive achievement for this club and shows the good work behind the scenes from the support of the committee, and the achievements of the junior teams, especially the under 12s who are also in their cup final.”