OUTGOING Cornard Ladies manager Richie Teager has challenged their cup final winning team to land the league title next season.
In what was Cornard’s first ever final, they beat fierce rivals AFC Sudbury 2-1 at Long Melford’s Stoneylands in front of around 300 fans to win the Suffolk Women’s League Cup and cap a memorable season.
But Teager thinks the side, who came third in the league despite having only lost twice all season, finishing two points behind leaders Brandon, can win more silverware next season.
“I think any other season you lose only two games you would probably win the league,” said Teager.
“I would expect them to push on and win the league next season.
“Brandon have the opportunity to go up, and if not Sudbury, and really now Cornard need to go on and win that league.”
Teager bowed out on the ultimate high following a cup win to retire from football after 30 years. But villagers can expect plenty of continuity, with qualified coach Julie Tubbs moving into the position after being head coach for the last five years.
Cornard, who were formed 14 years ago, won the final on May 4 after second-half strikes from long-serving players Bernice Corney and Emma Couch, but Teager singled out 16-year-old keeper Verity Farrow for special praise.
“She was by far the best person on the pitch and without her we would have lost,” he said. “She made top class saves and has been a revelation since she started playing in October, having been too young at the start of the season.
“She has the ability to play at a higher standard of football if she carries on like this.”
Teager said the champagne was flowing in the changing room after the epic final and the partying continued at Sudbury’s Silkworm sports bar long into the night.
n Cornard’s leading scorer, Teager’s daughter Stacey, who hit 33 goals in just 18 games, has received offers from other clubs ahead of next season and will use the summer to weigh up her future. Anyone interested in playing for the club is asked to contact manager Tubbs on 07927562052.