HEYBRIDGE Swifts manager Jody Brown is setting his sights on silverware.
The Scraley Road side are preparing for tonight’s Tolleshunt D’Arcy Memorial Cup final, at home to Hullbridge Sports.
And while he admits the competition was not his top priority at the start of the season, he believes it will give his young players an important, valuable experience.
Swifts are the holders of the cup and eliminated neighbours Maldon and Tiptree 4-3 in a thrilling semi-final, following an earlier success at Wivenhoe Town.
“It’s not a massive competition and I’d be lying if I said it was my top priority at the start of the season,” said Brown.
“I certainly wouldn’t want to win it at the expense of going down.
“However, it’s a cup that I believe adds real value for our club and supporters.
“It’s a competition I really respect and it would be great to retain the silverware.
“To win it again would be a great achievement.
“It gives the players a taste of playing in a final, where there’s something special at stake, and it’s a great experience for them.
“It gets them used to trying to win silverware and that’s an important habit to get into.
“Hopefully we can give another good account of ourselves, finish the job and win the cup.
“We certainly enjoyed it last season.
“I could see on the players’ faces how much it meant to them and that’s why I put real value on it, not to mention the fact that all proceeds go to charity.
“It gives me a chance to use my squad and certainly adds to our fixture calendar, in the best possible way. We’re really looking forward to it.”
Hullbridge’s route to the final included a 3-0 success against Burnham Ramblers.
Tonight’s final is a 7.45pm kick-off at Scraley Road.
Swifts have three more league fixtures left, including Easter games at Norwich United and promotion-chasing rivals Maldon, before finishing with a home match against Phoenix Sports on April 22.