Heywood captain Bobby Cross expects his team to rise to the occasion in tomorrow’s JW Lees Wood Cup Final at Crimble.
Heywood face reigning league champions Walsden as they bid to win the Wood Cup for the first time since 2007, the end of a period which saw Heywood win four out of the last five finals.
This time, only three of Cross’ team have Wood Cup final experience, and the majority of the side are aged 20 or under.
But Cross believes this will work to Heywood’s advantage and expects the side to perform at their best in front of what should be a partisan crowd.
He said: “As a team we are all excited about the prospect of playing in a Wood Cup Final at Crimble, some players don’t get chance to play in a final at all, let alone on their home ground and it will be a great experience for our players to do so on Sunday.
Despite being at home we are conscious that Walsden will be favourites come Sunday having beaten us twice already this season but this is something the lads are keen to respond to.
“Wood Cup Finals are fantastic days for the players and supporters and this should be a great game between two teams that genuinely play for their respective badges, an unusual occurrence in the current era of league cricket. Both teams boast a great deal of home grown talent and it is a credit to both clubs that they have reached this final.
For a lot of the Heywood players this will be a new experience, myself and Chris Kaye have been fortunate to play in 12 finals between us but other than Danny Pawson the rest of the side will be experiencing something new come Sunday.
“Knowing my players this will be a challenge that they will step up to and with so many young players in the side we will not fear the occasion but go out and enjoy the atmosphere and try our best to replicate some of the very good cricket that we have played so far this season.
“I think this must be one of the youngest teams to reach a final and that bodes well for the future of the club.
Hopefully, the weather will be kind come Sunday and it will be a great day and I am sure that we will have plenty of support which always makes a difference and puts opposition players under that extra bit of pressure.
“We are looking forward to the game, the occasion, the atmosphere and in particular I am excited at the opportunity for so many of our young players to show their talent in a big match.”
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