POLL: Achilles aiming to end 26-year wait and beat Grundisburgh to Touchiline SIL Premier Division title
PUBLISHED: 09:18 25 April 2014 | UPDATED: 09:18 25 April 2014
Achilles' 26-year wait to lift the Senior League title could be over come tomorrow afternoon
The leaders, managed by the long-serving Lee Osborn, need just four points from their last two games, away at Wenhaston, tomorrow, and at home to Felixstowe Harpers United next weekend.
However, a point tomorrow and defeat for Grundisburgh at lowly Coplestonians would be enough for Achilles to seal their first championship since 1988.
“Fingers crossed we can do it, as we’ve been the nearly men for so long,” said Osborn, who has been with the club since 1992.
“I have had a lot of people say they really hope we do it this season which is a nice change, as Achilles used to have a reputation for being a tough, physical, hard team.
“Myself and my assistant Gary Bartlett have turned it round, although we have still got those qualities in the locker.”
Since returning to the top division in 2009, Achilles have twice finished second, including last season when Ipswich Valley Rangers won the title.
“It would mean so much to win it,” added Osborn.
“I live 10 minutes around the corner from the club and most of the players are from the Chantry area and are a close-knit bunch.
“We started with about 17 players at the beginning of the season, but we have had strength in depth when it’s been needed.
“The reserves have stepped up when required and everyone has played their part because they know it’s for the good of the club.”
He added: “There are so many people off the pitch for whom winning the league would be fantastic. The likes of Dave Morgan (chairman) who does so much behind the scenes that people don’t see, making the teas, putting the corner flags up, it’s unbelievable.”
Standing in their way are two teams safely in mid-table.
“Wenhaston will be a tough game,” explained Osborn.
“I know their manager Carl Chenery who played for Leiston in the SIL and was one of the best midfielders in local football, before he made the step up to the likes of Lowestoft and Kirkley & Pakefield.
“We only beat them 2-1 earlier this season and it promises to be a good game.
“We then face Felixstowe but it’s in our hands now.”
He added: “I wasn’t at the game last Saturday (3-0 win at Ipswich Valley Rangers) but people havesaid it was the best we played all season and that a couple of our players were unplayable.”
At the bottom, Coplestonians and Westerfield are at home to Grundisburgh and at Felixstowe Harpers respectively.
Old Newton (home to Leiston St Margaret’s) and Melton St Audry’s (home to Haughley) can move closer to safety if they win their games.