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Steeton boss Roy Mason: We have right experience to win West Riding County FA Challenge Cup
Steeton boss Roy Mason believes his squad has the ‘big-game’ experience needed to be crowned West Riding County FA Challenge Cup winners at Elland Road next month.
The Chevrons became the first Keighley team to reach the final of the prestigious competition since Silsden 11 years ago thanks to a 1-0 win over Goole United.
It is the first time the West Riding County Amateur League side have reached the showpiece, and Mason is confident Steeton can lift the trophy when they face Field on Monday, May 19.
He said: “We’re not just going there to make the numbers up – we’re going there to try to win it now.
“We seemed to have saved our best performances for this competition and we have some big-game players like Andy King, Graham Holmes and Tim Hird.”
Michael Rhodes got the winner from the spot against Goole and the Steeton skipper is now hoping to lift the county cup again, having won it twice with Silsden in 2002 and 2003.
Chevrons team-mate Andy Holden was also part of that successful Cobbydalers squad, and Mason believes having players who have already won on the big stage is crucial.
“Having experience is key and we have players who respond to the big occasion,” he said.
“We want to go all the way and lift the trophy and, if we don’t, it certainly won’t be through lack of preparation or desire.”
Mason was delighted by the way Steeton went about their semi-final success.
He said: “The players worked so hard. I said to my assistant Rob Horton that it was one of the easiest games to manage from the touchline as they carried out instructions to the letter.”
The boss also paid tribute to the fantastic backing from their 200-plus fans, which he said had felt like having a “12th man”.
He said: “The support we had was unbelievable and probably outnumbered Goole by three to one.
“They turned up with a drum and an air-horn and never stopped singing the whole game. The players have never experienced an atmosphere like it and it certainly spurred them on.”
Now Mason is hoping to take a 500-plus following to the home of Championship giants Leeds United for the final against Field from the West Yorkshire League Premier Division.
He said: “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime final at Elland Road.
“It’s not just a big day for Steeton, it’s a big day for Keighley. Let’s be honest, it’s a long time since Keighley football has had a lot to shout about.
“Silsden have done well to get where they are and Keighley Minors did well in getting to their final this season.
“But this is something big and exciting that the whole town can get behind.”
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