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Weary Borough set for cup final
BRENT Peters hopes Bacup Borough can overcome a daunting fixture list to win the North West Counties Challenge Cup tomorrow night after hitting out at the lack of preparation time his side have been given for the game.
Bacup have incredibly had fixtures scheduled for each of the last eight days, even if some of those games were ultimately postponed because of the weather.
And they have now been asked to play league games tonight, on Friday and on Saturday despite tomorrow’s cup final against Maine Road, which will take place at Curzon Ashton’s Tameside Stadium.
But Peters yesterday insisted that Bacup would not agree to the rearrangement of their North West Counties Premier Division derby at home to Colne for tonight, following its postponement on Sunday and Monday because of a waterlogged pitch.
The weather and Bacup’s progress in cup competitions this season left them well behind with their league games, but Peters is angry that preparations for the club’s third cup final in 12 years have been damaged by the need to finish the Premier Division season as soon as possible.
“This is not the preparation I would have wanted but I just hope the players can produce one last effort because they are a fantastic bunch of lads,” he said.
“Our game against Colne was called off and the league told us it had to be rearranged for Wednesday but we have refused. It is not happening.
“I have spoken to the FA and they have told all leagues to fit the games in as soon as possible but to be sensible about it because even in May there have been floods.
“The league cannot expect us to rearrange a game at 24 hours’ notice and also to play 24 hours before a prestige cup final.
“It is not fair on the players who are expected to participate and I don’t think it’s fair on the league either because it’s supposed to be a showpiece game.
“Why can’t they have the game after the end of the league season?
“Maine Road are playing a league game tonight but they will have a completely different side out, we haven’t got the squad to do that.
“Andy Hill, our head of player development, and myself have been in the pro game and we know how important it is for players to have the right recovery.
“After what has happened with the Italian lad sadly passing away and the Fabrice Muamba situation, it’s even more important.
“Even at this level the game is a lot quicker now.
“We have lads who go to work at 5am and then have to play a game of football, whether they’re a roofer, joiner or builder. We have firemen here.
“And it affects the staff too, we have got someone who has to wash the kit and turn that around and sort out the hospitality, and it takes time to arrange all the fixtures.
“But I have a tremendous set of players. They could have just said we’re playing on Saturday and we’re not playing again until the cup final but they haven’t done that. They are ready, willing and able to play whenever I need them.”
Peters wants to win tomorrow’s final in memory of his father, who passed away last summer, and is also keen to see captain Davey Luker lift his first trophy at the club.
“It would mean a lot for a few reasons,” he said.
“It has been a difficult year. In June my dad passed away.
“He always backed me and was close to me, so it has been tough.
“Also people around the club have passed away this season – Keith Halshaw, Vinny Turner, Arthur Raby, people who were committed to the club.
“And I have a fantastic captain in Davey Luker, who is a real leader.
“I have had him here for five years but the one thing he hasn’t done is lift a trophy and I would like nothing more than to see him do that on Thursday. He deserves it.”