CUP RETURN FOR CLARK?

SURPRISE INCLUSION? Billy Clark, pictured in last year's final, could be on the bench
SURPRISE INCLUSION? Billy Clark, pictured in last year's final, could be on the bench
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Former Ipswich Town midfielder Billy Clark could be a surprise inclusion in the Bury Town squad for Tuesday’s Suffolk Premier Cup final (7pm).

Clark — who became an academy player at Portman Road in 2008, before being released in 2011 after three substitute appearances for the first team — could return to the npower Championship club’s ground to face Lowestoft Town as part of Bury’s squad after coming through his first action since December.

The midfielder, who started the season by scoring seven goals in 10 matches before suffering a thigh injury, played 15 minutes of the Blues’ 4-1 success over Newmarket Town in the John Wright Memorial Trophy on Wednesday.

“I will have a look at what we have in the squad, but he may edge on to the subs’ bench,” said Blues boss Richard Wilkins. “Whether he participates in a high-tempo game affair like the final, I don’t know.”

Also returning to Portman Road will be ex-Ipswich striker Richard Logan, who has overcome a calf injury, but he may also have to settle for a place on the bench, behind top scorer John Sands and Sam Reed — who leads Bury’s assists’ chart with 22 goals created this campaign.

Right-back Russell Short (hamstring) came through 90 minutes of the match with Newmarket — in which Sands (two), Logan and Craig Parker fired Bury to victory — and should start, while captain Tom Bullard (heel) was not risked, but should be in the starting XI on Tuesday.

Elliot Hunter could also be called into the squad, with versatile teenager Connor Hall (groin) ruled out, winger Warren Whitely ineligible and experienced defender Adam Tann taking part in a charity cycle ride.

The latter’s absence means Sam Nunn will partner Bullard at the heart of the defence, while Callum Kearns (knee) remains a long-term absentee.

Wilkins added: “The players I have available are all prepared and looking forward to it.

“It’s good for lads at this level to play in a professional ground and hopefully they can show their skills to boot.

“It would be nice to finish with a win and bring a trophy back.”

Bury, who last won the competition in 2010/11, were beaten 4-2 by Lowestoft in last year’s showpiece.

The Blues have already created one particularly memorable moment on their way to this year’s final, thrashing AFC Sudbury 10-1 in the first round thanks to hat-tricks from Sands and the now-departed Allicion Blake, a brace from Hall and further strikes from Mark Coulson and Sam Reed.

They went on to see off Kirkley and Pakefield thanks to goals from Sands and Blake before edging out Leiston in the semi-finals with two more strikes from the prolific Sands.

Bury have won a trophy in each of the last three seasons, clinching the Southern League Division One Midlands championship in 2010, the Premier Cup in 2011 and the Isthmian League Cup last campaign.

n Bury-born Ed Upson created footballing folklore for npower League One club Yeovil Town on Monday by scoring a dramatic winner against Sheffield United to send the Glovers into the play-off final against Brentford at Wembley on Sunday, May 19.