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  • Writer's pictureRob Stevens

Southcote confident of de-throwing Britwell but champions out to retain title for their community

PICTURE: The young and improving Southcote team has been labelled as a 'special bunch' by manager, Paul Reddington but, faces an acid test against Britwell in the Showcase Match Premier Division title-decider this Saturday (7pm KO).

Southcote manager Paul Reddington has labelled his players a ‘special bunch’ on the eve of the East Berkshire Football League Premier Division title-decider this Saturday.

Southcote is one of the fastest-improving teams in the EBFL, making a bold move for voluntary promotion into the Premier Division in the summer to test themselves against some of the best sides in local grassroots football.

Their target was to survive at the top level but a remarkable run of results has led to a shot at defending champions, Britwell, in a winner-takes-all Showcase Match at The Racecourse Ground in Ascot (7pm kick off).

There is sure to be fireworks on Saturday night and the winners will be crowned champions, Southcote must win on the night to raise the silverware and Reddington claims his side is full of confidence.

He explained: “We took voluntary promotion because we knew that our lads needed to be tested and this [Premier Division] was the perfect test. Our target and ambition was to survive and be competitive in this league.

PICTURE: Entry into the Racecourse Ground this Saturday is 4 pounds for adults, 1 for concessions and Under 18s, hot and cold food will be available for spectators, and the bar will be open until 10pm.

“Being in with a chance to win the league on the final day is as big a surprise to us as it is to the rest of the division!

“With Britwell’s result against KS Gryf [1-1], Old Windsor’s defeat to Iver Heath [2-1], coupled with our own win against Frontline [7-1] on Saturday 4 March, only then did it dawn on us what had happened that day. No-one could have predicted those results.

“Our first season in the Premier Division has also seen us reach the Semi Finals in the Ascot & Fielden Cup and the Quarter Finals in the Maidenhead Norfolkian Senior Cup, the latter against Taplow United.”

Reddington continued: “I have a special bunch of players and I would love nothing more for them to win the title. We can only pick 16 on the day but we’re here because of the squad over the course of the whole season. We all support each other and we’re full of confidence.

“We know what a job we’ve got in front of us on Saturday. This is a special club of which 90 per-cent of my players, and myself, have been a part of for many years. To be in a position to win the league on Saturday, honestly, words fail me.”

PICTURE: Britwell go into the Showcase Match title decider with two advantages; a two-point lead at the top of the table, and the psychological advantage of having twice beaten Southcote already this season.

Southcote have however twice failed the acid test against Britwell this season, losing 3-0 in the reverse league fixture back in October, and then going down 3-2 in the last eight of the League Cup in mid-February.

Reddington said: “We’ve faced Britwell twice this season and both of these matches have been very competitive to say the least.

“They have the experience, good players, and any team that can be in a position to retain their title are not to be taken lightly.”

Britwell are bidding to be the first team since Delaford in 2019 to retain the Premier Division title and head into the Showcase Match with the advantage of a two points lead on Southcote in the table, meaning a would be enough to clinch the silverware once again.

The Steamteam boss, John Brennan, thought his side would have retained the prize already this season but, he wants his men to bring it home for the local community in Britwell.

PICTURE: A season filled with stunning goals, incredible matches, controversial moments and heated debate comes down to one final game, a title-decider to crown the EBFL Premier Division champions.

Brennan said: “The season has gone relatively well until now as we’re in a good position in all the competitions but, nothing has been won yet so I can’t give you a solid evaluation.

“To be honest, I thought we would’ve wrapped it up before now but results have brought us to where we are. Southcote are a good counter-attacking team, young and feisty.

“It would mean a lot for me to win the Premier Division again, but more for our community and the Council estate we call home.”

To enter the East Berkshire Football League ahead of the 2023/24 season, or for further information about the league, or an entry form for the upcoming season, please email the team at


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