County Cup Super Sunday

County Cup action takes over the FDC once again this weekend with a double header on Sunday 19 April when we'll see the Finals of the John Savage Cup

Thetford Town take on Lakeford Rangers in the final of the John Savage Cup which will kick off at 10.30am. The Field of Dreams will then see Thorpe United face Acle United in the Norfolk Women's Cup Final with 3pm kick off.


John Savage was a stalwart of Norfolk Football and in recognition of his dedication to football in the County, the trophy for this U16 competition was named after him. In its 35 year history the Cup has been won by a large number of clubs from across the county, the final has gone to extra time on five occasions however has only gone to penalties once.

Thetford Town was established in 1883 and has traditionally played in Norfolk & Suffolk Leagues as well as entered cups from both Counties.

The club's most recent County Cup Final saw the first team unfortunately miss out in the Senior Cup in 2011-12 when they lost to Gorleston FC and therefore the U16 side will be hoping to add some more cup success to the club's history.

Thetford Manager Will Farthing reflects on his side's season in a positive manner and is excited for the final.

"We have achieved our target of doing better than we did last year; the league we play in is very tough and every game is a challenge, the highlight for me though is reaching this final.

"We have played some good teams on the way and have earned our right to be here. I am very proud of the team and cannot wait for the task ahead."

Farthing also commented on the surface of the FDC Field of Dreams and how it works well for his playing philosophy, ensuring that his team do not need to prepare in any other way.

"The playing surface at the FDC is perfect for us. The coaches and I encourage the players to get the ball down and play and they will certainly have no excuses for not doing that today.

"We will be doing nothing different compared to what we do at every other game we play. We always prepare well and as a manager, I will try and get my players to relax and enjoy the day."

Lakeford Rangers were formed in 1993 and have previously won both the John Savage Cup, the Norfolk Minor Cup and League Cup on several occasions. As a club they intend on going from strength to strength, continuing to encourage children from 5-6 to play football.

Unfortunately, at the end of this season this current side will be going their separate ways as the management hang up their boots and the players explore alternative football opportunities. As a result the team are desperate to finish on the high note of lifting the John Savage Cup.

Manager Darren Lake has studied the stats of the opposition and knows the game won't be easy however like the Thetford Town Boss, thinks the Field of Dreams will play into their hands.

"Looking at their record in this cup it is clear that they are solid defensively and are able to keep clean sheets. Clearly to progress into the final, their team must have performed very well.

"The surface at the FDC and the size of the pitch should help our style of play; we like to pass the ball around and spread our play - we will have a pitch that will let us do that."

Lake feels like his team have achieved the targets they set out at the start of the season but would like to go on and exceed them by winning this trophy and he is confident that his team will be fine with the occasion.

"We shall not be pressuring the boys, we shall simply be asking them to do their best and enjoy the day. I don't plan on taking any special steps before the game, we shall approach this match the same as any other.

"I'll be asking the players to put in the same effort and hard work as always to try and achieve the best possible result."



The Norfolk Women's Cup Final is the newest of our 10 County Cup Final Trophies having been first competed for in the 2010-11 season after replacing the Norfolk & Suffolk Women's Cup.

Norwich City Ladies are currently the only name on the trophy after beating Hethersett in the inaugural final and then successfully defending the Cup against Thorpe United, Acle United and Thorpe United again in the following three seasons respectively.

However this season a new team is guaranteed to be engraved onto the silverware as previous finalists Thorpe United and Acle United will battle it out to lift the Norfolk Women's Cup for the first time.

Thorpe United were set up in 2008 and have flourished ever since, now boasting four youth teams ranging from U10s through to U15s as well as the Ladies side. The club have had their fair share of success after being crowned league and cup double winners of the Norfolk Women & Girls' League in 2010 and making this final in 2012 as well as again in 2014.

Manager Neil Ford thinks that the side's previous outings in this final will provide extra determination to lift the cup this time round.

"We felt we did ourselves proud last year and were gallant losers. We feel that this year we have more of a chance. Having said that we do not underestimate our opponents and we will have to be at our best against a very good Acle team to ensure we lift the cup."

After beating Acle on the way to the final last season, Ford is aware of how his opponents may play.

"I think Acle will play an attacking game. However we will try to play to our strengths while making sure that we counter any threats that they have to throw at us."

Acle United are a club with a long history having been formed in 1900 and the black and white stripes they wear today date back to this time as the founder of the club was an avid Newcastle supporter.

The club formed a ladies side just over ten years ago which started out as a 6-aside team but developed into the 11-aside team it is today.

Last season saw the Ladies win the Eastern Region North Division and get promoted up to the highly competitive Premier Division.

After initially struggling with the step up, they have hit some good form late on and finally seem to have settled down in the league. The team are hoping to use this recent form to solidify their league status, ready for a promotion push next campaign.

When it comes to the County Cup Final, player manager Aisha Shaibu is hoping this season's experiences can spur the team on to perform on the day.

"Certainly our drive this year is bigger than ever. The start of our season was very difficult but we have now turned it around. This highlights that our key strength is not only in our attitude but also in the resilience to move forwards as a team."

Shaibu knows Thorpe's similar past in this competition and acknowledges that they will be just as keen to win the match and get their name on the trophy. She also notes that a difference in league level will not mean much on the day.

"Thorpe United are a good side and they have tackled a lot of hurdles over the years. We are expecting them to come at us strong and we will respond in the same manner."

"Being the highest ranked team in the competition doesn't mean much to us right now, it's such an open final and we will not underestimate our opponents. We want to put in a performance that we can all be proud of."


Spectators are welcome to come along and support both teams competing in this season’s John Savage Cup and Norfolk Women's Cup Finals at the FDC Field of Dreams: admission on the gate is £5 adults and £1 concessions.

For more information about this season’s ten Norfolk County Cup finals please visit our cup pages or follow us on social media @NorfolkCountyFA.

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