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  • Writer's pictureRob Stevens

Presidents Cup Final win would be a 'special moment' for first-season manager Bradlee Greenwood and Stoke Poges F.C. players

PICTURE: It would be a special moment should Stoke Poges F.C. Reserves win the Presidents Cup Final on Saturday - a sure sign the club is taking steps forward after winning the Division One title last season and maintaining its position in the Premier Division tis campaign. PHOTO: Gary House.

Stoke Poges manager Bradlee Greenwood has explained that it would be a special moment for his players were they to win the Presidents Cup Final on Saturday.

The football club re-introduced the Reserves team this season having last had two sides in the 2020-21 campaign, and growing off the back of winning the East Berkshire League Division One title last year.

Greenwood, himself in his first season as a manager, has improved both the first and reserves side performances all season with the first team maintaining their position in the Premier Division and the reserves on an impressive run of form in the second tier.

Some of his players are making a return to adult grassroots football this year so, to be in with a chance of winning the Presidents Cup would be a special moment for them as well as see the club continue to make giant strides forward.

Greenwood explained: “With this being our first season getting a Reserves team going again, the Presidents Cup was one of the first things we highlighted at the very start to the campaign.

“For some of these lads, it’s their first season back playing 11-a-side football so, to join our club and lift a trophy after one year would be a special moment for them. Everyone dreams of that Cup Final-winning day.

“To win the Presidents Cup would feel like an amazing achievement as a club, having won the Division One title with our first team last season. For our Reserves team to also win a cup competition, would feel like we’ve taken some huge steps over the past few seasons with back-to-back silverware as a club. Silverware is what attracts players to your club and, with us still looking to continue building, this can help us get towards that.”

Speaking of his own pride as a first-season manager, Greenwood added: “This is my first season as a manager in men’s football and, I’ll be honest, at times it’s been really challenging. It’s been tough but I’ve also loved it. Having steadied the ship for our first team in our first season back in the Premier Division, a mid-table finish for our Reserves side, and then to also win the Presidents Cup would be an extremely proud achievement. It would make all the hard work during the summer and over the season all very much worth it. Every single player in our club has done me proud this year so, for us all to walk away with that trophy would be a really special moment - and it’s a moment we really want.”

PICTURE: Stoke Poges Reserves clash with Old Windsor Reserves in the 2024 Presidents Cup Final at the 1878 Stadium in Burnham on Saturday (3pm). You can purchase tickets for the event here -

Stoke Poges Reserves will take on Old Windsor Reserves in the 2024 Presidents Cup Final at the award-winning 1878 Stadium in Burnham on Saturday (3pm kick off) and Greenwood hopes that his star men will do all their supporters proud.

“Cup final days are some of the best days in grassroots football,” the Stoke boss beamed. “To play in a stadium such as Burnham Football Club is an absolute privilege and makes the occasion that much more special. To then have fans come out and show support as well is amazing, and we hope that we can make it a great and competitive Cup Final with, hopefully, plenty of good football played.

“A big thank you to everyone that comes down to support. We hope that we can do you and our football club proud and bring that trophy home.”

Poges almost fell at the first hurdle in the Presidents Cup competition this season when conceding a two-goals lead to Cressex in a First Round match back in November. The Cressex fightback took the tie to penalties but Stoke goalkeeper Freddy Newbert made himself the hero in the resulting shoot-out to keep his team in the competition.

Greenwood commented: “We’ve had a good run in the Presidents Cup and played some good football at times, controlling a lot of the games we’ve been in. However, after going 2-0 up against Cressex we found ourselves conceding two goals, one of which was one of the last kicks in the match to take us to penalties. Thankfully, our number one stepped up and made a big save in the shoot-out to keep our cup run going.”

Stoke Poges Reserves arrive at the Presidents Cup Final in superb form having won in seven of their last eight matches in all competitions, scoring an impressive 27 goals in the process. The red-hot streak has seen the team climb to ninth position in the Division One table and beat Berks Elite in the Semi Finals of the Cup.

PICTURE: SToke Poges F.C. Reserves will have to create history if they are to win the Presidents Cup on Saturday - beat Old Windsor F.C. Reserves for the first time.

“We feel as though we’ve been on a good run of form lately and our results show that”, Greenwood explained. “Making sure that we had a good run of winning momentum was something, as a club, as said we must make sure of heading into a Cup Final against Old Windsor.

Ewan Hammond could pose the main threat for Stoke Poges Reserves having scored twice already in the Presidents Cup competition this season; one in the First Round win at Cressex and again in the Semi Finals success over Berks Elite.

History is against Stoke Poges however, as the Reserves team has a terrible record against Old Windsor Reserves having lost in all five of the previous meetings dating back to 2015 and conceding 31 goals in the process.

Greenwood has praised Old Windsor as a ‘fantastic well-run football club’ but believes his side were not at full strength during two losses defeats earlier in the season and, he is not bothered about being underdogs in the Presidents Cup Final.

He said: “Old Windsor is a fantastic well-run football club and so it’s no surprise they’re challenging at the top end of both divisions.

“It’s going to be tough for us but, in a Cup Final anything can happen. If we play to our strengths and do all our things right, we will feel as though we can really hurt Old Windsor.

“It’s fair to say that in the two times we’ve played Old Windsor this season they’ve deserved the win on both occasions. The first time was right near the beginning of the season, and so we were still finding our feet as a club and trying to get a better understanding of playing with each other. The second game was on a Wednesday night in which we had two fixtures as a club so, unfortunately, we were not quite at full strength to be able to make a better account of ourselves.

“Being the underdogs in the Cup Final won’t bother us and it’s a challenge we’re more than happy to accept. We know that with our squad on the day, and with the ambition of winning the Cup Final, we’re good enough to compete with most of the teams in the league.”

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