HETTON Lyons boss Stuart Gooden admits wielding the axe is the toughest challenge he faces in tomorrow’s FA Carlsberg Sunday Cup final.
The Lyons are bidding to lift the trophy for the fourth time in seven years at the Stadium of Light this weekend after winning the competition for a record third time in 2010.
Standing in their way are Liverpool outfit Canada FC, who will bid to become only the second team this season to inflict defeat on the County Durham outfit.
Lyons lifted the Durham and District Sunday League title last weekend after remaining undefeated throughout the competition, with their only defeat this season coming in the Ramside Hall Cup Winners Cup final.
That formidable record has left Gooden fretting over his 17-man squad tomorrow (kick-off 4pm) with the Hetton-born manager admitting it will be tough to leave out eight players.
Gooden said: “The commitment shown from the players this season has been first class and the toughest thing for me is to choose my squad for tomorrow.
“I know in my head now who I’m going to select, but it’s hard on the eight boys who don’t make it.
“Everyone has played their part in a great season and no one deserves to be left out, but I can only pick a squad of 17.”
Gooden will take charge of Hetton for the first time in the final tomorrow after the previous three cup wins were orchestrated by former manager and now chairman Bradley Groves.
It will be an equally new experience for several of the players, with just four survivors from the 2010 triumph.
Skipper Daniel Moore said: “In the current squad there are only four of us that started the final in 2010.
“This season, the squad took on a totally new look with the new gaffer bringing in a mixture of youth along with the experience we already had.
“So this is the first season we have been together and to captain the side to the final is a proud, proud moment for me.”
Tickets for tomorrow’s game are available on the turnstiles priced at £5 for adults and £1 for concessions.
Hetton squad: Goalkeepers: Keith Finch, Peter Jameson, Sean Newbrook
Defenders: Callum Griffiths, Elliott Woods, Davy Gordon, Michael Canavan, Chris Hunter, Daniel Moore, Ian Davidson, Stephen Capper
Midfielders: Keith Graydon, Craig Price, Nicky Kane, Mark Ellison, Joe Walton, Ian Watson, Robbie Clarkson, Chris Bell
Forwards: Kyle Davis, Danny Craggs, Billy Greulich-Smith, Mark Davison, Warren Byrne, Luke Proctor