Braintree Town manager Alan Devonshire said he would field a strong side to face Concord Rangers in tonight’s Essex Senior Cup final at Dagenham and Redbridge.
The Iron’s players will pick themselves up from the disappointment of falling just short of the Skrill Premier play-offs at the weekend and attempt to crown a successful season with a cup they haven’t lifted since the 1995/6 season.
They beat Billericay Town 2-1 to claim the silverware on that occasion and Devonshire is expecting to name a strong side to try to ensure they end in a positive fashion.
He said: “It’s a cup we haven’t won for a while.
“It will be a tough game as Concord are decent.
“I’ve seen them play and they’ll be up for it.
“I just hope we aren’t flat after Saturday.
“I’ll look to put out a strong team as it’s our last one of the season and why not give it a good go.
“We have to show respect to Concord because they’ll be up for it.
“Mentally we have to be up for it and I hope we’re not flat.
“It’s my job to get them up for it.”
Braintree just missed out on one of the Skrill Premier’s play-off places after Gateshead held on to fifth spot on Saturday with their 2-0 win against cambridge United, while the Iron could only draw 0-0 against Grimsby Town.
It has still been a hugely successful campaign, though, with a record high finish and points haul in the top flight of non-league football.
And one of those hoping to feature in the final game tonight is multiple end-of-season award winner Dean Wells, who picked up the supporters’, players’ and manager’s player-of-the-year honours following the final league game of the campaign.
He added: “Hopefully I’ll be involved as I want the glory now.
“We missed out on the play-offs so I want something.
“It’s a competition we want to win.
“We’ve played strong squads so far and I don’t think that will change now.”
Braintree booked their place in the final with a penalty shoot-out win at AFC Hornchurch in the semi-finals in February.
It will be their first Senior Cup final appearance since their 2-1 defeat by Southend United at the end of the 1996/7 campaign.