Swinton look to Hamp-er AFP’s bid for second successive win

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It is destination Hampden for Swinton WMC and AFP on Monday. That’s Hampden Road in Mexborough, of course.

Rather than walk out at the 52,000-seat home of Scottish football, Hampden Park, the players will perform in front of a more modest crowd of around 500 in the Montagu Cup final (kick off 11am).

But they wouldn’t change a thing.

“This competition means everything to us,” Tony Chapman of Swinton said.

“I know people who reached the final of this competition 30 and 40 years ago, and they still talk about it now.

“We won the competition two years ago, and the medal is pride of place.

“The trophy itself is amazing - it holds a gallon, and it cost me £48 to fill it up with beer when we won it!

“But growing up in this area, Easter Monday is synonymous with the Montagu Cup final and if we weren’t in the final, I’d still be there on Monday.

“It’s as important as the FA Cup in these parts.”

However Chapman’s counterpart at AFP, secretary Malcolm Gabbitas, is counting on the club’s very own José Mourinho to deliver yet another trophy.

“We just love finals,” Gabbitas said.

“I’ve been here for four years, and in that time we’ve won 11 trophies - in nine years, we’ve won 17.

“We just love winning, and a lot of that comes down to our manager, Geoff Swann.

“In my 43 years in football I have never known anyone like him.

“He’s a lot like Mourinho in that his attention to detail is first class, and he tries to get in the heads of the opposition.

“He knows his players inside out, and that’s why he wins so much.”

Not that AFP’s players are taking victory for granted.

“You can’t have that attitude,” Gabbitas added.

“If any player thinks the game is won, Geoff won’t play them. Simple as that.

“You’ve got to be in the right mindset for a final - there are no ‘Billy Big Times’ here.

It’ll be so tight, it could be a 1-0 again. Which way, I don’t know.”