St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke is determined to lift the Hunts Senior Cup – even though it’s not his biggest priority.
Marheineke has led the Saints into the Southern League Division One (Central) play-off places, but they’ll put that promotion quest to one side as they battle to claim county glory tonight for the first time in four years.
And he is confident his men can beat lower-level Eynesbury Rovers at the Premier Plus Stadium in St Neots (7.45pm), despite the earlier-than-usual staging of the showpiece causing him a headache.
Marheineke said: “I’ve never won the Hunts Senior Cup as a player or manager and that’s something I want to put right.
“I understand the reasons as to why the final has been brought forward this season, but it’s just unfortunate that we are competing for promotion which automatically becomes out biggest priority.
“I will have to select my team with one eye on our remaining league games, but I am lucky to have a very good squad and believe I can put out 11 players capable of winning the county cup.
“I want to win it for the myself, the players and the supporters and the club.”
But Marheineke knows Saints are likely to face a stern test from an Eynesbury side enjoying a fine season of their own in the United Counties League Premier Division under boss Mark Ducket, who took charge at the beginning of December.
Marheineke added: “It won’t be straightforward. Eynesbury are the only team to have beaten the potential champions in their league – and they’ve done it twice.
“I always thought they were a good side under Martin Field, but Mark has turned good players into a fine team capable of getting great results since he came in.
“We’ll rightly be favourites, but we’ll also treat Eynesbury the same as every other team we’ve faced this season.”
St Ives already have winning form at the Premier Plus Stadium in this competition. They dumped out St Neots at the semi-final stage with a 2-1 success after receiving a quarter-final bye.
Admission tonight is £8 for adults and £5 for concessions.