Town's team hoping to bring football home with eyes on Wembley prize
- Credit: Alan Runnacles
There may have been heartbreak at Wembley for England, but one local team is dreaming of bringing football home to Beccles.
For the second time in three years, Beccles Ladies will take part in the BT Pub Cup, and are looking to line up under the famous arch after narrowly missing out at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane in 2019.
The team will be one of 16 women's sides gunning for glory after being entered into the competition by sponsoring pub The Ingate.
They will travel to the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in Buckinghamshire on July 25, where they will play a number of seven-a-side games, with a place at Wembley on offer for August's final.
Manager Alan Runnacles, who has been involved with the club for 10 years and established the side after his daughter joined the under 10s team, said: "Last time was a bit surreal.
"We weren't quite prepared for it but we are this time.
"We know what to expect, we probably have a stronger squad than before and with the girls not playing regular football for the last two years they're really keen to do it. And with the caveat of getting to Wembley, what else could you ask for?
- 1 Man in his 50s dies after head-on collision on A143
- 2 Part of A143 closed after three-vehicle crash in early hours
- 3 Let's staycation in...Beccles
- 4 No need to wait for booster invitation - clarification after Covid jab confusion
- 5 Man dies in industrial incident at plastics factory
- 6 Suffolk police share ridiculous reasons for 999 calls
- 7 Crime map shows locations of weapons offences in Suffolk
- 8 New project launched to restore south Norfolk countryside
- 9 Farm shop owners 'absolutely thrilled' at national award
- 10 Tyres slashed on parked cars with damage caused overnight in Beccles
"I thought we could have done better than we did last time and we just missed out on going into the next round which was played at Newcastle.
"There were a lot more teams in it, but they have narrowed it down to 16 teams due to Covid this year, so we have a one in eight chance of getting to Wembley."
The team, who play in Division Two of the Norfolk Women and Girls League, were top of their league when the pandemic struck, and lost a number of players while grassroots football was suspended.
Mr Runnacles said: "We would have won the league quite easily with the players we had and where we were, but we had to rebuild and I started this season with about seven players.
"We were doing alright until the next lockdown and it was stopped again.
"We played on October 17 and then didn't play another game until about a month ago.
"We're definitely optimistic ahead of the new season with the players who have come back and our new signings."