AFC Walpole manager Harry Griffin says the future is bright for his side despite an Intermediate Cup final defeat to Buckden
Walpole boss Harry Griffin insists the future is bright for his side despite their 1-0 loss in Wednesday night's Intermediate Cup final.
The Honey Badgers conceded inside the first 90 seconds at March Town's Robingoodfellow Lane, and were unable to find an equaliser against a stubborn Buckden side.
However, after achieving three promotions since the club was founded in the 2017/18 season and winning five from five at the start of their 2021/22 Cambridgeshire County League Kershaw Senior B campaign, Griffin is making sure to stay positive.
"Long term, we want to get ourselves into the Kershaw Premier," he told The Citizen.
"We want to go as far as we can with the group we have. It's a very young group, and we're a very social team.
"We're all a group of friends. There's been players who have had offers to go and play for other teams at higher levels, but they want to stay because they buy into what we're trying to do here.
"This year, we quietly are targetting promotion. But there are six brilliant sides in the league who are also targetting promotion.
"As disappointing as the final was on the day, the lessons we take out of it for big games this season will be invaluable."
Walpole missed a first-half penalty as they looked for a way back into the final, and Griffin believes things could have gone differently on another day.
"For the first 15 or 20 minutes we were under the cosh a little bit. They scored the goal, their tails were up big time and they looked the more likely to add the second goal," he said.
"But after the first 20 minutes we settled, created chances and had a penalty missed. There were probably four or five big chances that we failed to take.
"We played really really well, but we failed to take our chances. It was probably a 50/50 game where we had virtually all of the chances.
"It was a hard-working performance, but cup finals are one-off games. It doesn't matter how well you play, it's all about getting the result and we didn't get it.
"The players were absolutely gutted. It was probably 12 months work coming to that one night.
"We said after the game, we'll take it into the league season now. We just have to use that as motivation, to make sure we don't feel like that all year."
Walpole vs Buckden: Watson, Miller, Hall, Ogden (C), Dennis, Elsey, Payne, Knight, Hopkisson, Drewery, Reed (Subs: Wyhatt, Talmage, Ketteringham, Kennedy, Ablett)
Griffin also took time to thank the club's chairman, Charlie Buttriss, who has provided funds and helped to set up a reserve team.