ILKESTON FC Academy have got life for the town’s new club off to the perfect start with title success - and are now aiming to make it a league and cup double.
As preparations continue to get senior football back on the agenda, Kevin Wilson’s academy rounded off their league season with a 5-1 win over Halesowen on Monday night - maintaining their unbeaten record.
They were already champions beforehand, but received their trophy after the game in front of a healthy crowd at the New Manor Ground.
And with the Central Conference Cup Semi-Final all set for next Thursday (28th) against Football CV Reds, Wilson. who celebrated his 50th birthday in style on Monday night, is keen to make a clean sweep.
He said: “When you win something - regardless of the level - it’s always very special and I couldn’t be more pleased for this group of lads.
“In most cases, it’s the first time they have ever picked up a trophy and although I was a little bit concerned that the big night could be an anti-climax, I should have known better.
“They performed really well in all areas of the field and I just hope that those supporters who came to watch them for the first time can see that something special is stirring at the New Manor Ground.”
The victory over Halesowen was played out in front of a crowd of 232, and was achieved thanks to goals from the manager’s son Ryan Wilson, two strikes in the space of 90 seconds at the end of the first-half from Tyrell Waite and Andrew Osei-Siribour, and a second-half brace from Josh Wisdom who was returning from injury.
Next Thursday’s Central Conference Cup semi-final will kick-off at 7.45pm, with the final taking place a week later on Thursday, May 4.
l Ilkeston FC’s youngsters got another slice of international experience last Friday when their second-string apprentices chalked up a 3-1 win against Australian opposition.
Following on from last month’s win over a Japanese touring team, this time the visitors were an under-19 side from Melbourne.
The game provided another opportunity for Troy Carty to demonstrate his finishing ability. He scored two of the goals and the other came from central defender Ross Parker.
Kevin Wilson said: “Some of the lads were in need of match action and a couple of the others are easing their way back from injury so in that sense, it was a useful exercise.”