Riversiders just one step away from making history
Garstang boss Lee Baker is keen to cement his place in club history on Wednesday when his team bids for cup glory.
The Riversiders face Charnock Richard in the final of the Richardson Cup at the County Ground, in Leyland, tonight. (kick-off 7-30pm)
By guiding his men through to the final, Baker has achieved a feat no other Garstang manager has been able to do in the past.
It is a remarkable story especially as Baker only took charge of first team affairs at the start of last month after previous boss Neil Crossley’s resignation.
He has faced several challenges including having to contend with a host of player departures along with a huge backlog of fixtures due to the heavy floods which devastated the club’s pitch over the winter.
Despite the achievement of reaching the final, Baker is determined to break new ground again for the Riversiders by lifting the cup for the very first time.
“It’s the first time we have been in the final of this one,” said Baker.
“We have been in the final of other competitions and won the league.
“In some regards we have already made history, but nobody remembers the runner-up so hopefully we can win it.”
Baker is under no illusions as to how difficult their task is.
Charnock have won the WLL Premier Division title for the past four years and are still hoping to make it five on the spin this year. They are also the current Richardson Cup holders.
“I would say there’s excitement, but also nerves,” Baker revealed.
“But it’s great – the club has not been in this position for a long time.
“With all that’s gone on this season with five players leaving when I took over and the floods, nobody would have dreamt that we would get to the final. We are up against it – Charnock are what I think we need to get to in terms of the way they play and the way they go about things.
“Just the strength of their team, they’ve got characters, spirit and are always dead professional.
“I remember when I played in the Garstang team which won the league, Charnock were the team we were competing for the title with.
“They are going up to the North West Counties next season and I am sure they will want to go out with a league and cup double.”
The former reserve team boss – who watched an under-strength team lose to Blackpool Wren Rovers 6-2 at the weekend – knows his young team will be very much the underdogs.
“We have been the underdogs in every round we have played, but I think that suits us better,” he said.
“We like being the smaller club. The lads won’t be afraid – they will go out there and have a good go.”