Laws reflects on fairy-tale ending for AFC Sudbury Academy
Danny Laws believed Kie Dyer's last-gasp strike at Diss Town on Friday, to seal the Thurlow Nunn Youth League Championship and complete the treble, provided the perfect ending for AFC Sudbury Academy's class of 2017/18.
Having lost to Deeping Rangers in the Thurlow Nunn League Cup at the same venue seven days previously, AFC Sudbury had seen a plethora of golden chances to win their play-off championship decider go begging at Brewers Green Lane in a dominant display.
When Callum Watson, who was playing his last game for the club before taking up a soccer scholarship in the USA, finally did break the deadlock, a misjudged kick by Luca Collins had seen Deeping, very much on the backfoot, level.
But with the prospect of penalties getting closer and closer, Dyer, the son of former England international Kieron Dyer, kept his cool to bury Ollie Gravett's low cross to spark wild scenes with less than five minutes of the standard 90 left.
"If I was to write a script for the way I wanted this season, the second-year boys' last, to conclude, I could not have written it any better," said Laws, the club's director of football and youth development.
"Kie Dyer is an absolute gentleman. He was a bit of a late developer with an August birthday and he is a typical AFC Sudbury player, so for him to score a winning goal right at the death, when we really did not deserve penalties, well I just really could not wish it on a better lad. That is why I was jumping up and down on the video at the end. I was just so pleased for him and the boys."
After the guantlet was laid down at the start of the campaign to follow in the footsteps of the quadruple-winning 2016/17 academy side, who swept all before them, Laws revealed he felt just as great a sense of achievement with the current crop, if not more so.
He explained: "Getting defeated last week was not a bonus for me but it did, on reflection, allow us to set a tougher challenge, as the challenge of getting beat and then reversing it in the second week is a greater challenge than winning them all.
"Winning a week later against the same opposition, having learnt from your mistakes, takes a lot of effort and is a good experience for them."
Laws was happy to give the plaudits to his players but did reveal that on the drive home from last week's cup final defeat Craig Power and himself analysed the game together and worked out they could cause more problems by playing two up front and pressing high up the pitch.
It certainly worked as AFC dominated the chances with Watson and Ben Hunter both just a lick of paint away from breaking the deadlock, before Dyer struck the winner.
* While the match signalled the end of the second year's season, for the first year contingent it is ongoing on the academy's annual trip to the USA. Laws and his coaching team, along with Mark Morsley, arrived in California on Tuesday and will be taking part in the South West School Soccer Club Summer Classic tournament in Temecula this weekend.
AFC Gold week 4: £100 (172) D Theobald, Bank Buildings, Sudbury; £10 (263) D Smith, Catesby Meadows, Sudbury; £10 (217) R Marsh, New St, Sudbury.