‘Biggest game of our lives’, Gym United captain says
The Gym United captain has said the team are ‘really pumped up’ for this weekend’s FA Sunday Cup final at Sheffield United’s Championship ground.
Nathan Clarke confidently declared the Suffolk side as ‘ready to go’ ahead of the final at Bramall Lane on Sunday (1pm), but is also aware there will be ‘plenty of nerves’ to deal with before kick off.
“It’s the biggest game of our lives for most of us,” the Thetford Town player said.
“Playing at Bramall Lane in a national final is so exciting and it’s a 30,000 capacity stadium. Not that many get the chance, at this level, of doing that.
“Everyone is really pumped up and ready to go, whatever happens it’s going to be an incredible experience.
“Win or lose, even making it to this stage and the final is a massive achievement and one I’m really happy to see so many acknowledge.
“It just seems a little mental that our tiny little town, Bury St Edmunds, has produced a side capable of reaching a national final.
“The support we’ve had has been incredible, really special and we really do feel like the whole town, in fact, the whole county are getting behind us.
“Even people who don’t like football have wished us luck.”
He said the club, which had formed from a group of friends, had a ‘great vibe’ due to the friendly nature and this, he thought, was the secret to their success on and off the pitch.
“It’s been no secret that we’re a bunch of mates,” he said. “And that it’s all about enjoying the game, each other’s company and a Sunday afternoon.
“That friendly atmosphere is obvious, I think, we’re like a family and that’s our secret — that we support each other, and work really hard for each other, too.
“None of us wants to be carried and we’re all really committed to doing the best we can.
“We’ve loved the whole competition so far and that’s clear to see, so people want to support the local guys just having a great time.”
He said he is a player who doesn’t suffer from nerves but, as captain, saw his role as crucial to helping others settle before kick off.
“My style is to lead by example a bit,” he said. “But I do also see it as part of my responsibility to help calm the nerves and get everyone in the right mindset.
“I encourage players to do their best and hope that is exactly what we can do on Sunday.”