Goal-happy Sheffield University Bankers in mood for national glory

James Cozens (left) and Nick Fletcher jump for joy after Bankers take  a 4-3 lead in a vital league win over  City of York
James Cozens (left) and Nick Fletcher jump for joy after Bankers take a 4-3 lead in a vital league win over City of York
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Goal-happy Bankers had one of their best ever seasons, winning the North 1 Division and a place in the final on May 4.

However the Goodwin basedside will face tough opposition as they travel down to London to face reigning champions Guernsey.

Despite the challenge, head coach Matt Northcott, who is in his debut season in charge of the team, is confident the attacking philosophy instilled in the side at the beginning of this season will pay dividends on the big day.

“We have been banging them in all season and confidence is at an all-time high at the moment. We need to use this to our advantage and really throw everything at Guernsey,” said the 23-year-old.

“I wanted the team to play with flair and attacking menace as soon as I took over and they carried this through right until the very end and it helped us win the league – and that mentality of “we can always score one more than our opposition,” is what I want to see in the final.

“It isn’t our style of play to sit back and defend. To lift that trophy we must play to our strengths so I want to see us really putting their goal under pressure and having plenty of shots to unnerve their keeper.

“They are going to be our toughest opponents this season because of the occasion but everybody is focused and the players know to have cool heads but also remember that we have goals in us and use the momentum from the league success.”

Bankers, who finished unbeaten in the league, will be looking to add to their 100 goals they scored on their way to title glory – the second best record after division runners-up York on 111.

They can also take much confidence into the final knowing that they have a secure back line to rely on, particularly their keeper Simon Hibbert, who was awarded player of the season, after conceding only 29 goals during the campaign – the best defensive record in North 1 Division for 2014/15.

Northcott added: “We have a tremendously solid base to start our attacking play which will mentally give us an upper hand on the day.”

“Winning really would be the cherry on top of a perfect season. Every player in the squad has performed exceptionally well and I now want them to embrace the final and come off the pitch knowing they have given everything to win.

“We have the benefit of youth and goals on our side. Our fitness keeps going right to the end and even if we seem down and out we always have the attacking potential to turn games around.”