Boss hails 'unbelievable' achievement as Bels target cup final double
Stamford Bels boss Lewis Morley has hailed his side's 'unbelievable' achievement after reaching two cup finals in his maiden season at the helm.
Bels are through to the finals of the PFA Challenge Cup and Ancaster Cup competitions after a solid Peterborough League Division One campaign.
They face Division One champions Moulton Harrox Reserves in the PFA Challenge Cup final tonight (Friday) at Yaxley's In2itive Park before taking on derby rivals Stamford Lions in the Ancaster Cup at Bourne Town on Monday night.
And Morley has been delighted with what his new-look side have achieved this term.
He said: "If, before I was appointed as manager, I had been offered a solid league position and two cup finals I would have bitten your hand off.
"I feel like this first season has been a complete success. The squad which I have put together is a new-look Bels side for any team to fear and to get to where we have in less than one year together I feel is an unbelievable achievement for everyone involved in the club.
"In the 16-man squad for Friday's final, 10 of the players weren’t at Bels the previous season and that stat alone proves the refresh that the club has had over the season.
"At the start we had lots of doubters around the area who didn’t want to see us succeed, but I believe with what we have achieved we have proved them all wrong and many would like to be in our position.
"Next season we hope to push on and challenge in the league. We have some top players lined up to come to pre-season as we look to challenge for the title and promotion."
Bels' credentials will certainly face a stern examination in the Challenge Cup against a Moulton side who are chasing a terrific trophy treble.
After winning the Division One title without losing a game and only drawing four of their 24 league games, Harrox then defeated Wittering 4-1 on Saturday to win the Chairman's Championship.
But, with a strong away following expected to swell the crowd, Morley feels his side can be more than a match for Moulton.
He added: "Moulton must be favourites, but will they have 150-200 fans singing the whole game behind their squad? I highly doubt it.
"That will be a major factor. Bels will be lifted by the incredible support which we will be taking to the game.
"I have taken time out recently to go and watch Moulton at every opportunity possible. I feel I know their weaknesses and strengths and the starting 11 and squad has been selected on this.
"Obviously by exploiting their weaknesses, controlling their strengths, working harder than them and showing more passion and determination we have a very high chance of causing an upset.
"Win or lose for Moulton they will have had a brilliant season so I feel like they have less pressure on them than we do.
"My lads have worked so hard to get there so we need to make sure we leave everything on the pitch and have no regrets."
Bels will be missing their two long-term injury casualties in skipper Scott Toomey with a broken leg and James Slack who is awaiting an operation after upturing his anterior cruciate ligament in the Daniels Cup clash against Cottesmore.
Tyler Sculthorpe and James Betts have both shaken off knocks to come back into the squad while Morley himself has recently returned to action after a lengthy lay-off following a serious knee injury.
Morley commented: "My knee is feeling good after such a long time out and hopefully I can get back to my best. I will be in Friday's squad as I believe that I will bring something different to the team."