THURSTON Community College’s under-18 team manager Stefan Lewis has backed his history making pupils to complete their memorable National Schools Cup journey by clinching the title.
The sixth-form side have been a revelation in this year’s nationwide competition, which starts out with around 1000 schools involved, reaching the quarter final stages where they will now face the John Madejski Academy from Reading on Monday, at Walsham Le Willows’ Summer Road stadium.
Despite Monday’s opponents boasting an England under-18 school boy star amongst their ranks and being managed by Blue Square Bet Premier side Hayes and Yeading’s assistant coach Tristan Lewis, Thurston’s manager is confident his side, who are East Anglia’s final remaining representatives, can continue to upset the odds and move one step closer to being crowned champions.
“We will definitely be going into the tie as underdogs but we know anything is achievable,” he said.
“We have a strong team spirit and although we are not favourites to progress we don’t fear anyone.
“The boys have recognised the magnitude of what they have achieved on this journey but they don’t want it to stop.
“We have two games to go to reach the final and we certainly want to win it.”
Although Lewis has ambitions of lifting the title, he revealed no matter what happens in Monday’s encounter, the achievements thus far of his students have given him his proudest moments in 16 years of teaching.
“It is certainly uncharted territory for ourselves but it has been an enjoyable experience and we will keep it that way no matter what happens,” he added.
“This is up there with the best things I have ever done, certainly in my 16 years as a teacher.
“Their achievements have been celebrated through assemblies and they are certainly the talk of the school.
“They have been great ambassadors for Thurston and Suffolk, are fine role models for me to celebrate and encourage our younger students to look up to and attempt to emulate.”
<n> Monday’s match will kick off at 6pm with a £2 entry fee.